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Here’s why AstraZeneca wants to buy US biotech TeneoTwo for $1.27B

AstraZeneca
Image credits: AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has inked a deal to buy US biotech TeneoTwo in a deal worth up to $1.27B.

As a part of the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay $100M upfront for the company and 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.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.

Anas Younes, Senior Vice President of Haematology R&D, AstraZeneca says, “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.”

Reason behind acquisition

AstraZeneca‘s acquisition includes TeneoTwo’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 lymphoma1.

The acquisition of TNB-486 will accelerate the development of this potential new medicine for B-cell haematologic malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. 

The TNB-486 further diversifies AstraZeneca’s haematology pipeline that spans multiple therapeutic modalities and mechanisms to address a broad spectrum of blood cancers.

What is TNB-486?

According to AstraZeneca, TNB-486 belongs to a class of therapeutic antibodies known as T-cell engagers, emerging as a promising therapeutic approach in haematologic malignancies and solid tumours. 

T-cell engagers are bispecific molecules engineered to redirect the immune system’s T-cells to recognise and kill cancer cells

By binding to both CD19, an antigen expressed on B-cells, and to the CD3 receptor on T-cells, TNB-486 activates and recruits T-cells to CD19-expressing tumours where they can elicit an immune response. 

AstraZeneca

Based out of Cambridge, AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company focused on prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. 

The UK company operates in over 100 countries, and its medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. 

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