Deals of the Week: Is Astex Settling For An Underpriced Buyout?
A new life sciences hedge fund operated by two former associates of activist investor Carl Icahn is challenging Otsuka’s takeover of cancer drug developer Astex. Also, Johnson & Johnson’s London Innovation Center announced four alliances, Celgene took another option on one of its investments and Takeda teamed up with New York research institutions to form a new discovery institute.
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Joint research effort by three New York-based academic research organizations seeks to expedite translation of basic biomedical research into innovative therapies. Initial focus is on small molecules, but the plan is to branch out eventually into monoclonal antibodies and molecular imaging agents, as well.
The California/U.K.-based biotech has announced plans to be acquired by Japanese pharma Otsuka in a deal that will please shareholders and provide its suitor with a slew of revenue-generating opportunities including a mid-stage pipeline, a platform technology and royalty streams.
A $100 million, non-dilutive investment will keep Acetylon off the market, giving Celgene the right to buy it for a minimum of $500 million up-front within a pre-determined time window. For now, Acetylon retains all rights to its pipeline, including Phase Ib multiple myeloma drug ACY-1215.