AstraZeneca to acquire blood cancer biotech TeneoTwo for $1.27 billion

The transaction will see the British pharma giant AstraZeneca diversify its hematology pipeline.

On Tuesday, the British pharmaceutical giant announced an agreement to acquire TeneoTwo for $1.27 billion. The transaction will include the acquisition of the biotech’s Phase I clinical-stage CD19/CD3 T-cell engager, TNB-486, which is currently under evaluation in relapsed and refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. According to a statement published on AstraZeneca’s website, the ‘acquisition of TNB-486 aims to accelerate the development of this potential new medicine for B-cell haematologic malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma’. This will also see AstraZeneca diversify its haematology pipeline which spans multiple therapeutic modalities and mechanisms to address a broad variety of blood cancers. TNB-486 belongs to a class of therapeutic antibodies known as T-cell engagers, which are emerging as a promising therapeutic approach in haematologic malignancies and solid tumours.

Anas Younes, Senior Vice President Haematology R&D, AstraZeneca said: “By redirecting the body’s natural immune response to target B-cell malignancies, TNB-486 alone or in combination with CD20-targeted therapy could potentially deepen clinical responses and improve patient outcomes. We believe this innovative molecule, which was designed to optimise the therapeutic window of T-cell activation, will enable us to explore novel combinations that have the potential to become new standards of care in this setting.” According to the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will acquire all outstanding equity of TeneoTwo in exchange for an upfront payment of $100m on deal closing. In addition, the pharma giant will make additional contingent R&D-related milestone payments of up to $805m and additional contingent commercial-related milestone payments of up to $360m to TeneoTwo’s equity holders.