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 Big Biotech re­port­ed the end of the deal in a fil­ing with the SEC. The news was first re­port­ed by Xcon­o­my.

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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