US biotech firm Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG) says it will acquire privately-held company Delinia, which is developing novel therapeutics for autoimmune diseases.
The transaction expands Celgene’s inflammation and immunology pipeline through the acquisition of Delinia’s lead program, DEL106, as well as related second generation programs. DEL106 is a novel IL-2 mutein Fc fusion protein designed to preferentially upregulate regulatory T cells (Tregs), immune cells that are critical to maintaining natural self-tolerance and immune system homeostasis. Augmenting Tregs as a means of restoring immune system balance has the potential to benefit patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Deal worth a potential $775 million
Under the terms of the agreement, Celgene will make an initial payment of $300 million. Delinia shareholders will be eligible to receive up to an additional $475 million in contingent payments on the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2017.
“Delinia is at the forefront of advancing new approaches to treating patients with severe and debilitating autoimmune diseases,” said Rupert Vessey, president of research and early development for Celgene, adding: “We look forward to progressing DEL106 into the clinic next year.”