Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) and Avila Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company developing targeted covalent drugs that treat diseases through protein silencing, today announced a definitive merger agreement under which Celgene Corporation will acquire Avila Therapeutics, Inc.
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 Corporation. “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 Chief Executive Officer. “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. Equally important, we value the high standards of creativity and rigor of Celgene’s scientists. We believe working together may accelerate the advancement of more innovative medicines from the Avilomics platform.”
The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Celgene will acquire Avila Therapeutics, Inc. for $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. The acquisition of Avila Therapeutics, Inc. will be accounted for as a purchase transaction that Celgene expects to be completed during the first quarter of 2012. The Company anticipates the acquisition will be neutral to 2012 non-GAAP diluted earnings guidance.