Amgen and Teneobio on July 27, 2021 announced they had reached an agreement which will see Amgen acquire Teneobio, a privately held, clinical stage biotechnology firm developing a new class of biologics known as Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies. Under the terms of the deal, Amgen will take over all outstanding shares of Teneobio at closing in exchange for a $900 million upfront cash payment, as well as future contingent milestone payments to Teneobio equity holders possibly summing up to an additional $1.6 billion in cash.
The takeover includes Teneobio’s proprietary bispecific and multispecific antibody technologies, which will ensure significant acceleration and efficiency in the development and discovery of new molecules that have the potential to treat an extensive range of major diseases across Amgen’s primary therapeutic areas. These platforms complement Amgen’s existing antibody capabilities with the addition of a heavy-chain only platform that ensures a streamlined, sequence-based discovery approach for target binders, as well as Teneobio’s innovative T-cell engager platform, which builds on Amgen’s existing leadership position in bispecific T-cell engagers by offering a differentiated, but complementary, approach to Amgen’s current BiTE platform.
“The acquisition of Teneobio will strengthen our ability to develop innovative medicines to treat patients with serious illnesses and to bring to market best-in-class products, particularly with respect to multispecific and bispecific medicines directed against targets in a wide range of diseases across our core therapeutic areas,” explained David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen.
“Teneobio’s antibody platform complements our existing capabilities and could potentially give us a more diverse set of building blocks that can be developed into new multispecific therapeutics. In addition, the availability of Teneobio’s CD3 engager technology will allow us to broaden our capabilities in generating bispecifics, and with our own technology, enable customization of the T cell engaging domain of the molecules depending on the disease and target.”
The acquisition will also include TNB-585, a Phase 1 bispecific T cell-engager for the treatment of metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), and several preclinical oncology pipeline assets with the capability for near-term IND filings. TNB-585 enhances Amgen’s existing prostate cancer portfolio, which includes acapatamab (previously AMG 160) and AMG 509, both in Phase 1. Each of these three investigational treatments uses a different strategy to treat a widespread disease for which new therapy options are very much demanded.
“The Teneobio team is enthusiastic about joining forces with Amgen, a pioneer of biotherapeutics. Amgen’s R&D resources and its extensive clinical experience in immuno-oncology are ideally suited to applying and advancing Teneobio’s differentiated technologies and multispecific antibodies to deliver transformative medicines,” noted Roland Buelow, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Teneobio. “Over the last five years, Teneobio developed leading-edge expertise in efficiently engineering differentiated multispecific and bispecific therapeutics for numerous indications with potentially better safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetic profiles than the first generation of T-cell engagers. Together, we share a focused commitment to rapidly discover, develop and deliver novel and meaningful disease-modifying multispecific antibodies to patients in need.”
In June 2021, AbbVie Inc. set in motion its right to take over TeneOne, Inc. (a Teneobio affiliate), which includes TNB-383B, an anti-CD3/BCMA bispecific for treating relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Before the close of the deal, three Teneobio affiliates will be spun-off to Teneobio’s existing equity holders: TeneoTwo, Inc. (anti-CD19/CD3), TeneoFour, Inc. (anti-CD38 enzyme inhibitor) and TeneoTen, Inc (anti-HBV/CD3).
The acquisition is dependent on customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close in the second half of 2021. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC played the role of financial advisor to Amgen and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as its legal advisor. Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP served as legal advisor to TeneoBio.