Rodeo’s preclinical programme targeting 15-PGDH will support Amgen in developing therapeutic agents against inflammatory disease indications


Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California. (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia.)

US-based pharmaceutical firm Amgen has agreed to acquire Rodeo Therapeutics (Rodeo), a biopharmaceutical firm developing small-molecule therapies.

As part of the agreement, Amgen will make an upfront payment of around $55m, in addition to future contingent milestone payments of up to $666m in cash.

Established in 2017, by Accelerator Life Science Partners (ALSP), Rodeo is focused on developing small-molecule therapies that enhance tissue levels of prostaglandin PGE2.

The company is engaged in developing advanced, orally available modulators of prostaglandin biology that promote regeneration and repair of tissues.

Rodeo president and CEO Thong Q Le said: “We are thrilled that Amgen recognises the potential value and differentiated profile of our 15-PGDH inhibitor programme.

“With decades of experience in developing, manufacturing and commercialising innovative therapies for patients suffering from a broad range of immunologic diseases and conditions, Amgen is ideally positioned to rapidly advance our programme into the clinic.”

Rodeo’s lead product 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) modulators have generated compelling data in the preclinical studies and showed clinical potential.

According to preclinical studies, increasing PGE2 through modulation of a 15-PGDH will prevent colitis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Also, the process has shown to advance the reconstitution of hematopoietic stem cells after bone marrow transplant and promotes liver regeneration in different animal models.

Amgen believes that Rodeo’s 15-PGDH programme would complement its inflammation portfolio and support its efforts to develop advanced therapeutics.

Amgen global research senior vice president Raymond Deshaies said: “The enzyme 15-PGDH plays a key role in many disease-relevant processes such as stem cell self-renewal and epithelial barrier repair.

“Given the encouraging preclinical data to date, we are excited about the opportunity to develop a novel therapy with potential in a range of important inflammatory disease indications.”

Cooley served as legal advisor to Rodeo for the transaction, while Gunderson Dettmer served as legal advisor to Amgen.