M&A

That EngMab buyout? Celgene agreed to pay up to $3B for BCMA-targeting drug

That EngMab buyout deal by Celgene was a little bigger than we first reported at the end of September.

After hearing that Celgene — one of the most muscular dealmakers in biotech — was telling analysts that it had snagged a deal to buy the Swiss biotech, we confirmed the news with a company spokesman, but only got the upfront for our scoop.

The latest quarterly report from Celgene $CELG reveals that the overall buyout deal is much larger in scope. The big biotech paid $625.3 million in cash upfront, added in $155 million in development and regulatory milestones and topped it off with $2.3 billion for commercial milestones based on sales.

Total deal package: $3.08 billion.

The deal added a lead BCMA-targeting multiple myeloma program to the pipeline, building on its CAR-T and CD-3 antibodies with an eye to finding a cure for myeloma and lymphoma.

Celgene is the leader in the multiple myeloma market, dominating the field with Revlimid and Pomalyst while J&J and Bristol-Myers Squibb have jumped in with Darzalex and Empliciti. It also has good reason to go after B-cell maturation antigen, a target that is present at an estimated 60% to 70% of all multiple myeloma cases. The big biotech restructured its deal with bluebird bio $blue last year to go after BCMA.


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