Acetylon can say goodbye to buyout and a $1B-plus in Celgene biobucks
Celgene caused a stir when it fronted Acetylon $100 million three years back, snagging an option to buy the company in a deal that valued it at $1.7 billion. But last May, Celgene quietly passed on that pact, satisfied to let the option lapse.
The deal-making team at Celgene — which still has an equity stake in the biotech — was drawn to Acetylon’s work on HDAC inhibitors, a field which just saw the alignment of Helsinn with MEI Pharma on a Phase III effort. Celgene’s George Golumbeski has made no secret of his love for option deals, which give Celgene a front row seat on the R&D work it treasures most, without actually having to buy it.
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