The definitive agreement signed this week will see Celgene Corporation acquire the San Diego, California-based biotech firm Receptos for a price of $232 per share, totaling $7.2bn cash.
Receptos’ lead candidate Ozanimod will be added to Celgene’s Inflammation & Immunology (I&I) portfolio which already boasts psoriasis drug Otezla (apremilast) and a Crohn’s disease candidate GED-0301, currently in Phase II trials.
Ozanimod is a once daily, specific and potent modulator of the sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 receptor (S1P1R) pathway being investigated in Phase II studies for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and ulcerative colitis (UC), and was described as “a potentially transformational oral therapy” by Celgene’s President of I&I, Scott Smith.
“Ozanimod is a highly differentiated next-generation S1P receptor modulator with important efficacy and safety features that create the opportunity for development across a spectrum of immune-inflammatory diseases,” he said.
The deal was welcomed by analysts, with Cantor Fitzgerald’s Mara Goldstein raising guidance on Celgene to ‘buy’ on the back of the acquisition, adding both clinical indications of Ozanimod had the potential to be billion dollar blockbusters.
“The potential revenues from Ozanimod in UC and MS are substantial, and if successful, hold the potential to eclipse this purchase price at peak and are additive to long-term growth,” she noted.
Furthermore, she added “Ozanimod for UC, combined with GED-0301, could create critical mass in the inflammatory bowel disease space, a dynamic we like.”