Summit, N.J.-based Celgene will acquire privately held Avila Therapeutics of Bedford, Mass., a biotechnology company developing targeted covalent drugs that treat diseases through protein silencing, for $350 million in cash.
The acquisition positions Celgene to expand its leading role in the future treatment of hematologic cancers with Avila's AVL-292, a highly-selective Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor, currently in phase I clinical development. In addition, Avila's proprietary Avilomics platform augments Celgene's investment in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for managing complex disorders.
"Avila Therapeutics is a remarkable company that is aligned with our commitment to improve the lives of patients worldwide through innovative science and disease-altering therapies," said Tom Daniel, M.D., president of research and early development for Celgene. "In particular, we see Avila's unique approach to protein silencing as an area of great promise for our research initiatives in hematology, oncology and immune-inflammatory diseases."
"Celgene and Avila are uniquely matched, both strategically and scientifically," said Katrine Bosley, Avila's CEO. "Celgene's global leadership in hematology and emerging franchise in immune-inflammatory diseases will accelerate and expand the clinical development of our Btk inhibitor program."
The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is subject to customary closing conditions. Celgene will pay $350 million in cash plus up to $195 million for milestones contingent upon the development and regulatory approval of AVL-292, as well as up to $380 million in potential milestone payments contingent upon the development and approval of candidates generated from the Avilomics platform.