German pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that it will acquire all shares of NBE-Therapeutics for a total of €1.18bn.
NBE-Therapeutics, headquartered in Switzerland, is focused on antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) for the development of targeted cancer therapies.
The biotech’s immune stimulatory iADC platform creates ‘highly potent’ immune stimulatory ADCs with an anthracycline payload that are designed to directly target tumour cells and induce a durable immunological anti-tumour effect, according to the company.
ADCs are comprised of an antibody that specifically binds to a target on tumour cells, and is linked to a cytotoxic drug intended to kill the targeted cells.
NBE’s lead candidate, NBE-002, is currently in phase 1 clinical studies for triple negative breast cancer and a number of additional solid tumours.
Following the acquisition, Boehringer will have access to this programme, as well as NBE’s iADC platform, which the company says it will use to build a ‘leading ADC portfolio’.
The €1.18bn total financial consideration also includes contingent clinical and regulatory milestone payments, Boehringer added in a statement. The acquisition is expected to close, subject to customary closing conditions, during the first quarter of 2021.
“NBE-Therapeutics’ iADC platform adds exceptional tumour targeting capabilities to our oncology portfolio. Together with our immune cell-targeting assets, this could enable new powerful combinations that will allow for efficacious and durable treatments for patients,” said Michel Pairet, member of Boehringer Ingelheim’s board of managing directors.
“This acquisition is a further example of Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term strategy to enhance our position as an innovator of novel cancer therapies for patients in need. We welcome NBE-Therapeutics’ richly talented team to Boehringer Ingelheim and we look forward to collaborating with them on this important work,” he added.
Boehringer has also announced its intention to acquire German biotech company Labor Dr. Merk & Kollegen, which will give it access to the latter’s advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP)-based immuno-oncology therapies.
As part of the acquisition deal, Boehringer will also gain Labor Dr. Merk & Kollegen’s manufacturing site, which is involved in ATMP-based cancer immunology treatments.
Both deals seem to signal Boehringer’s increasing focus on bolstering its cancer portfolio, expanding its R&D with innovative treatments in the oncology therapy area.