Gilead Sciences has agreed to acquire Immunomedics for about $21 billion, giving it a potential blockbuster breast cancer drug to add to its oncology pipeline.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval in April to Immunomedics’ Trodelvy treatment for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC).
“As a first available treatment for cancer patients who lack effective options, annual sales of Trodelvy are expected to reach $2.3 billion by 2026,” according to The Motley Fool.
Gilead, which is best known for antiviral treatments, said Sunday it will pay $88 per share for Immunomedics, a premium of 108% to Friday’s closing price.
“This acquisition represents significant progress in Gilead’s work to build a strong and diverse oncology portfolio,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in a news release. “Trodelvy is an approved, transformational medicine for a form of cancer that is particularly challenging to treat.”
“We will now continue to explore its potential to treat many other types of cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other treatments,” he added.
As CNBC reports, “The deal comes as Gilead’s hepatitis C business has struggled in recent years and its overall sales have fallen as the coronavirus pandemic weakens demand for some drugs.” Gilead’s sales fell 10% during the second quarter to $5.1 billion while its oncology lineup generated sales of only $334 million in the first half of 2020.
TNBC represents approximately 15 to 20% of all breast cancer cases and is generally considered the most aggressive form of the disease. Trodelvy delivers a dose of chemotherapy directly to tumor cells after recognizing a protein called Trop-2 commonly found on their surface.
Trop-2 is also known to appear on tumors that originate in the pancreas and bladder.
“We are very pleased that Gilead recognized the value of Trodelvy — both for the important role it has already begun to play for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and for its potential to help many other patients with cancer in the future,” said Behzad Aghazadeh, executive chairman of Immunomedics.
On news of the deal, Gilead shares rose 3% to $66.85 in trading Monday.