AstraZeneca has signed an agreement for the acquisition of all outstanding equity of TeneoTwo as well as its CD19/CD3 T-cell engager, TNB-486, in a deal worth up to $1.27bn to bolster the haematological cancer pipeline.

As per the deal, AstraZeneca will make an upfront payment of $100m on the closing of the transaction.

Furthermore, equity holders of TeneoTwo are entitled to get up to $805m in research and development (R&D)-based milestone payments as well as up to $360m as commercial-related milestone payments from AstraZeneca.

A Phase I clinical-stage asset, TNB-486 is being analysed for relapsed and refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

It attaches to CD19, an antigen expressed on B-cells, and CD3 receptor on T-cells to stimulate and recruit T-cells to CD19-expressing tumours, where they can induce an immune response.

Through the acquisition of TNB-486, AstraZeneca intends to expedite the development of this new therapy for B-cell hematologic malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. 

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Building on Calquence’s (acalabrutinib) success, TNB-486 is expected to further expand the haematology pipeline of AstraZeneca that covers various therapeutic modalities and mechanisms for addressing a wide range of blood cancers.

AstraZeneca Haematology R&D senior vice-president Anas Younes 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.”

Subject to necessary conditions and approvals, the deal is anticipated to conclude in the third quarter of this year.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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