Celgene to buy BeiGene stake, to develop tumor cancer treatment

(Reuters) - Biopharmaceutical company Celgene Corp will buy a stake in BeiGene Ltd and help develop and commercialize BeiGene's investigational treatment for tumor cancers, the companies said on Wednesday.

Celgene will acquire 32.7 million, or 5.9 percent of BeiGene's ordinary shares, at $4.58 each, or $59.55 per BeiGene's American Depositary Shares (ADS), they said in a statement.

BeiGene will receive $263 million in upfront license fees and $150 million equity investment. The company will also be eligible to receive up to $980 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments.

BeiGene will acquire Celgene's operations in China and will also license and assume commercial responsibility for Celgene's approved therapies in China.

BeiGene's advanced clinical-stage investigational tumor cancer treatment, BGB-A317, is a type of antibody that belongs to a class of immuno-oncology agents known as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The treatment has been tested in over 500 patients, with initial clinical data suggesting that it is well tolerated and exhibits anti-tumor activity across a range of solid tumor types, the companies said.

BeiGene will retain exclusive global rights for the development and commercialization of BGB-A317 for malignancies related to blood-forming tissues and for solid tumors in Asia, excluding Japan.

(Reporting by Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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