AstraZeneca to buy Spirogen

Posted: October 17, 2013

Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Tuesday that it would pay up to $440 million for Spirogen, a privately held biotech company that focuses on "antibody-drug conjugate" technology used in making cancer drugs.

AstraZeneca will pay $200 million up front and then $240 million more if Spirogen products reach development and commercial milestones.

United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca has facilities in Wilmington and Newark, Del. AstraZeneca made the deal through MedImmune, its global biologies research and development arm.

MedImmune also paid $20 million to enter into a collaboration agreement with ADC Therapeutics to develop two of that company's antibody-drug conjugate programs in preclinical development. MedImmune will also make an equity investment in ADC Therapeutics, which has a licensing agreement with Spirogen.

Spirogen is based in London. ADC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"Antibody-drug conjugates are groundbreaking technologies with the potential for directly targeting many types of cancer tumors while safeguarding healthy cells," MedImmune executive vice president Bahija Jallal said in a statement. "The cutting-edge technologies developed by Spirogen and ADC Therapeutics complement MedImmune's innovative antibody engineering capabilities, enabling us to accelerate antibody-drug conjugates into the clinic."


dsell@phillynews.com

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@phillypharma

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