AstraZeneca has strengthened its cancer drug pipeline the $100m (£82.5m) acquisition of a clinical-stage T-cell engager, which will be used to develop medicines for lymphoma.
The famed Covid-19 vaccine maker inked a deal which will see the T-cell engager TNB-486 as well as the owning company TeneoTwo fall under its wing, with promises of further funding should it meet certain research and development (R&D) and commercial milestones.
Under the deal, AstraZeneca could inject up to $805m (£664.2m) into TeneoTwo on an R&D basis, and make payments of up to $360m to the company’s equity holders should it fill specific commercial requirements.
The promise of extra cash means the deal is worth up to $1.2bn (£990m), having raked in an $11.3bn (£9bn) revenue in the first few months of the year.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, and signals yet another push into cancer drug research while flush with cash following its successes during the coronavirus pandemic.
The TNB-486 buyout is hoped to to boost the development of a potential new medicine for B-cell haematologic malignancies and tumours, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.
AstraZeneca has had a number of successes with its cancer drugs in recent weeks, most recently combination lung cancer drug Imfinzi which showed promise in late-stage trial patients on Thursday and breast cancer treatment Enhurtu which won approval for use in the European Union last week.
“By redirecting the body’s natural immune response to target B-cell malignancies, TNB-486 alone or in combination with CD20-targeted therapy could potentially deepen clinical responses and improve patient outcomes,” Anas Younes, senior vice president of haematology R&D at AstraZeneca explained.
“We believe this innovative molecule, which was designed to optimise the therapeutic window of T-cell activation, will enable us to explore novel combinations that have the potential to become new standards of care in this setting.”