Japan’s Astellas is strehtneing its oncology pipeline with the acquisition of Potenza Therapeutics in a deal worth up to $404.7 million.
The deal is the zenith of a collaboration agreement struck between both companies back in 2015 with the aim of building a portfolio of novel immune-oncology (IO) therapies.
The clinical IO therapies developed through this collaboration may also provide a platform for IO combinations with Astellas’ existing non-IO programs for life cycle management and future novel IO combinations.
“This transaction underscores Astellas’ commitment to innovation and scientific partnerships to advance our creation of value for patients,” said Kenji Yasukawa, President and CEO of Astellas.
“In oncology, Astellas has focused on developing treatments for unmet medical needs with novel mechanisms of action and modalities. We believe the novel assets we have developed with Potenza have the potential to make an even more pronounced difference for patients in need.”
Through the research and development collaboration over the past three and a half years, Astellas and Potenza have discovered and developed three novel investigational new drugs with the potential to treat various cancers that are non-responsive or resistant to the current generation of IO therapies.
This portfolio of programs targeting immune stimulation, immune checkpoint inhibition, and regulatory.
The deal sees Potenza become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astellas. As well as the upfront $164.6 million, Potenza’s shareholders will be eligible for additional payments of up to $240.1 million.