Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) is planning to buy a share in Beigene Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:BGNE) to help in creating advance cancer immunotherapy treatment in China for tumor cancers. The deal will position the company in the medical field of immune-oncology.
If successful, Celgene could directly compete with both Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb in producing the most novel cancer drugs for fighting cancer conditions. The drug works by blocking a particular interaction in the body that could prevent further immune response to cancer cells.
Based on the new agreement, Celgene will develop and commercialize a drug known as the BGB-A317 to take care of solid cancer tumors in various regions including US, Japan, entire Europe and other regions beyond Asia continent. Beigene will retain its rights to its original drug that treats blood cancers all over the world and for solid tumors within Asia.
Celgene already owns an immune-oncology that treats blood cancers through its acquisition of rights to the AstraZeneca’s product known as Imfinzi in blood tumors in 2015. The deal comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to hold three Merck’s Keytruda trials after a number of patients died. Celgene also teamed up in the trials. However, there are some doubts regarding how far Celgene is willing to commit to complete the development of BGB-A217.
Celgene needs to consider how gigantic the research and development is and undertaking it will require more immune-oncology resources to be deployed for probable combos. Several companies are working on a wide range of immune-oncology goals. But they will need to put more resources including IDO inhibitors such as the Incyte’s epanados tat and CTLA-4 inhibitor.
Celgene is paying $263 million upfront for the license fee and another $150 million as an equity investment to obtain the rights to create the drug called BGB-A317 for the treatment of solid tumors across the whole world. The current deal will consolidate Celgene’s partnership with AstraZeneca Plc to produce durvalumabm to treat hematological malignancies and further increase the drug developer’s existence in Asia.