Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Astellas to acquire Ganymed Pharmaceuticals in EUR1.28bn deal

PBR Staff Writer Published 31 October 2016

Japan’s Astellas Pharma has agreed to acquire Germany-based Ganymed Pharmaceuticals in a deal that could potentially reach €1.28bn.

Located in Mainz, Ganymed was established in 2001. It is engaged in the development of a new class of immunotherapeutic cancer drugs called ideal monoclonal antibodies (IMABs).

The transaction, which includes an initial purchase price of €422m, will expand Astellas' oncology pipeline with the addition of Ganymed's experimental drug IMAB362.

It includes contingent payments of up to €860m depending on progress in the development of IMAB362.

A phase 2b study data demonstrated that IMAB362 was associated with significant improvements in overall and progression-free survival when added to standard chemotherapy.

Astellas said that the greatest benefit was observed in a subgroup of patients with the highest levels of the protein Claudin18.2.

Claudin 18.2 is expressed in several high medical need cancers including in around 80% of gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas, 60% pancreatic tumors as well as in biliary, ovarian and lung cancer

Astellas president and CEO Yoshihiko Hatanaka said: “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.

"We aim to deliver a potential new therapeutic option to cancer patients who currently have limited treatment options available to them."

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected in the coming weeks, Ganymed will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese firm.

Astellas focuses on urology, oncology, immunology, nephrology and neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas and advances new therapeutic areas and discovery research using new technologies/modalities.

Image: Astellas Pharma agrees to acquire Ganymed Pharmaceuticals. Photo: courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.