US-based Celgene has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire biotechnology firm Quanticel Pharmaceuticals in a $485m deal.
Quanticel is a private drug discovery firm, which develops breakthrough medicines to treat cancer.
Under the agreement, Celgene will pay an upfront payment of $100m in cash to Quanticel and up to an additional $385m in contingent payments based on research, development, and regulatory advances related to its research and development platform.
Celgene research and early development president Dr Tom Daniel said: "This acquisition brings into Celgene a highly productive, innovative organisation deploying a unique platform of high strategic value.
"More than acquiring the great team, the novel technology, and the drug candidates, the deal validates an innovative approach to building organisational capabilities."
The deal will allow Celgene to acquire Quanticel’s proprietary platform for the single-cell genomic analysis of human cancer and its lead programmes that target specific epigenetic modifiers to advance the new cancer therapies.
The latest deal ends the strategic alliance between both firms that established in 2011. Quanticel industrialised its single-cell platform for analysis of tumour cellular content and applied it to novel target discovery and the generation of high-quality drug candidates during the three-and-a-half year alliance.
Quanticel’s multiple drug candidates are expected to be launched in early 2016.
Quanticel Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr Steve Kaldor said: "Celgene made clear from the start that they valued both our technology and our team, and this resulted in an extremely collaborative and productive partnership over the past three years."
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.