Celgene to Buy Impact Biomedicines

Celgene agreed to buy Impact Biomedicines for as much as $7 billion, subject to certain milestones associated with regulatory hurdles and sales performance. Celgene will make an upfront payment of $1.1 billion for the privately held San Diego–based company, the companies said in a joint statement.

Celgene – based in Summit, New Jersey – is known for its cancer-drug portfolio but has been trying to diversify beyond its top-selling product, multiple myeloma drug Revlimid (lenalidomide).

Impact’s founders developed fedratinib when they were employed by a biotechnology company called TargeGen, which was subsequently acquired by Sanofi. After Sanofi halted fedratinib’s clinical development in 2013 because of serious side effects in several patients including encephalopathy, the founders created a new company, Impact, in 2016 to buy back the rights to the drug.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed Impact to resume testing of the drug. Impact has been developing fedratinib, a kinase inhibitor, to treat myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2018.