The acquisition includes a portfolio of early-stage oncology assets, including a Phase 1 bispecific antibody for advanced prostate cancer

The Q13a-A platform from Neptune Energy

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

Amgen has agreed to acquire Teneobio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on a new class of biologics, dubbed Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will acquire all the outstanding shares of Teneobio, in exchange for an upfront payment of $900m in cash. Teneobio equity holders are eligible to receive additional cash payments of up to $1.6bn, contingent on achieving certain milestones in future.

Amgen research and development executive vice-president David Reese said: “The acquisition of Teneobio will strengthen our ability to develop innovative medicines to treat patients with serious illnesses and to bring to market best-in-class products.

“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 multi-specific therapeutics.

“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.”

The acquisition includes Teneobio’ bispecific and multi-specific antibody technologies, which will support the discovery and development of new treatments for diseases across Amgen’s core therapeutic areas.

The acquisition also adds TNB-585, a phase one bispecific T cell-engager intended for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Also, the transaction provides Amgen with several preclinical oncology pipeline assets with the potential for IND filings in near future.

Last month, AbbVie has acquired TeneoOne, an affiliate of Teneobio that holds TNB-383B, an anti-CD3/BCMA bispecific treatment for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Prior to closing, three of Teneobio affiliates, including TeneoTwo, TeneoFour and TeneoTen are planned to be spun off to the company’s existing equity holders.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.

Goldman Sachs served as a financial advisor and Latham & Watkins as a legal advisor to Amgen on the acquisition, while Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian served as legal advisor to TeneoBio.

Teneobio CEO Roland Buelow said: “The Teneobio team is enthusiastic about joining forces with Amgen, a pioneer of biotherapeutics.

“Amgen’s R&D resources and its extensive clinical experience in immuno-oncology are ideally suited to applying and advancing Teneobio’s differentiated technologies and multispecific antibodies to deliver transformative medicines.

“Together, we share a focused commitment to rapidly discover, develop and deliver novel and meaningful disease-modifying multi-specific antibodies to patients in need.”