Gilead Sciences to Buy Cancer Drug Developer Forty Seven for $4.9 Billion

Forty Seven surges on confirmation that it and its flagship cancer-fighting treatment are being bought by Gilead Sciences for $95.50 a share in cash.

Gilead Sciences  (GILD) - Get Report on Monday confirmed that it has reached an agreement to buy cancer drug developer Forty Seven  (FTSV) - Get Report in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $4.9 million, sending shares of Forty Seven surging in morning trading.

Gilead on Monday confirmed that it will acquire Forty Seven for $95.50 a share in cash, giving it access to Forty Seven’s so-called investigational lead product candidate magrolimab. Shares of Forty Seven surged more than 60% in premarket trading on Monday following the announcement.

Magrolimab is an antibody that focuses on a “do not eat me” signal that allows cancer cells to avoid destruction, in turn allowing a patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer cells. The in-trial drug is being tested as a treatment for several cancers, including myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

“This agreement builds on Gilead’s presence in immuno-oncology and adds significant potential to our clinical pipeline,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in a statement. “Magrolimab complements our existing work in hematology, adding a non-cell therapy program that complements Kite’s pipeline of cell therapies for hematological cancers.”

The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Gilead and Forty Seven boards of directors and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Forty Seven had reportedly received interest from other potential suitors, with talks with Gilead already being discussed late last week, though it was not clear how a deal might be structured.

Shares of Forty Seven surged more than 61%, or $35.76 a share, to $93.76 in morning  trading on Monday. They ended the trading day Friday up 18.9% at $58. Shares of Gilead were up 2.68% at $71.22.