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14 September 2020AmericasSarah Morgan

Gilead to buy Immunomedics for $21bn

Gilead Sciences is set to acquire biopharmaceutical company Immunomedics in a $21 billion deal, further strengthening its oncology expertise.

Under the agreement, announced yesterday, September 13, Gilead will acquire Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy), which was granted accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in April for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.

Daniel O’Day, chairman and CEO of Gilead, said: “This acquisition represents significant progress in Gilead’s work to build a strong and diverse oncology portfolio.”

He added that the company will explore Trodelvy’s potential to treat many other types of cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other treatments.

Immunomedics plans to submit a supplemental Biologics License Application to support full approval of Trodelvy in the US in the fourth quarter of 2020. It is also on track to file for regulatory approval in Europe in the first half of 2021.

The acquisition builds on Gilead’s emerging oncology pipeline and marks a broadening of Gilead’s portfolio, which has traditionally been based on antivirals for diseases like HIV, Ebola, and most recently, COVID-19.

In March this year, Gilead secured an anti-cancer therapy with the $4.9 billion acquisition of California-based immuno-oncology company Forty Seven.

A few months later, in June this year, Gilead began a potential takeover of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics after it agreed to pay $275 million for a 49.9% equity stake in the cancer research company. Then, in July, Gilead purchased a 49.9% stake in California-based biotechnology company Tizona.

The company has also continued its oncology expansion with a series of licensing deals, including an agreement with Jounce Therapeutics to exclusively develop and license its antibody programme, JTX-1811, which is designed to fight cancer cells.

Behzad Aghazadeh, executive chairman of Immunomedics, said: “We are excited for the opportunities ahead of us as we join with Gilead to advance our shared mission in defeating cancer. By working with Gilead, we have the opportunity to accelerate our progress and improve care for patients in need of new therapies.”

The transaction was unanimously approved by both the Gilead and Immunomedics boards of directors and is anticipated to close during the fourth quarter of 2020.

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