Astellas expands oncology pipeline with deal to buy Ganymed for nearly 1.3 billion euros

Astellas agreed to acquire Ganymed Pharmaceuticals under a deal potentially worth nearly 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion), the companies reported Friday. The transaction, which includes an initial purchase price of 422 million euros ($461 million), will expand Astellas' oncology pipeline with the addition of Ganymed's experimental drug IMAB362.

The companies noted that the agreement includes contingent payments of up to 860 million euros ($940 million) based on progress in the development of IMAB362. According to Astellas, mid-stage study data unveiled earlier this year showed that IMAB362 was associated with significant improvements in overall and progression-free survival when added to standard chemotherapy compared to standard chemotherapy alone for the first-line treatment of gastric cancer. The Japanese company added that the greatest benefit was observed in a subgroup of patients with the highest levels of the protein Claudin18.2.

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"Oncology is one of our focus therapeutic areas and key drivers for our growth," noted Astellas CEO Yoshihiko Hatanaka, adding "the acquisition of Ganymed will enable Astellas to further expand our oncology presence by adding a late-stage antibody asset with the potential to establish a new pillar" following Xtandi (enzalutamide).

Astellas said that the transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks, after which Ganymed will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese firm.

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