Amgen steps up antibody capabilities with Teneobio buy for up to $2.5 billion

Amgen has reached an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Teneobio for a $900-million upfront cash payment. It has also agreed to make future contingent milestone payments to Teneobio equity holders potentially worth up to an additional $1.6 billion in cash.

According to Amgen, Teneobio's bispecific and multispecific antibody technologies will round out its existing capabilities with the addition of a heavy-chain-only platform that "allows a streamlined, sequence-based discovery approach for target binders," while Teneobio's novel T-cell engager platform, is expected to provide "a differentiated, but complementary" approach to the company's current BiTE platform.

"Teneobio's antibody platform complements our existing capabilities and could potentially give us a more diverse set of building blocks that can be developed into new multispecific therapeutics," commented Amgen R&D chief David Reese. "In addition, the availability of Teneobio's CD3 engager technology will allow us to broaden our capabilities in generating bispecifics, and with our own technology, enable customisation of the T-cell engaging domain of the molecules depending on the disease and target," he said.

Roland Buelow, chief executive Teneobio, noted that over the last five years, his company has been developing expertise in efficiently engineering differentiated multispecific and bispecific therapeutics "with potentially better safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetic profiles than the first generation of T-cell engagers."

Phase I bispecific antibody for prostate cancer

The deal includes Teneobio's Phase I bispecific T-cell engager TNB-585, currently under development for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Amgen said TNB-585 bolsters its existing prostate cancer portfolio, which includes acapatamab, formerly AMG 160, and AMG 509, both in Phase I. "Each of these three investigational therapies uses a different approach to treat a highly prevalent disease for which new treatment options are very much needed," it added. The company also gains several preclinical oncology pipeline assets that it says have potential for near-term investigational new drug filings.

In June, AbbVie exercised its right to acquire Teneobio affiliate TeneoOne, which includes TNB-383B, an anti-CD3/BCMA bispecific for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Meanwhile, before the Amgen acquisition closes, three other Teneobio affiliates will be spun-off to Teneobio's existing equity holders; namely TeneoTwo, TeneoFour and TeneoTen.

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