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Crédit Agricole Private Equity announces Amgen agreement to acquire portfolio company BioVex for up to US$1 billion
Acquisition of a Potential, First-in-Class Cancer Therapeutic in Late-Stage Clinical Trials for the Treatment of Advanced Melanoma and Head and Neck Cancer
Crédit Agricole Private Equity announces that Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and BioVex, Inc. have entered into a definitive acquisition agreement where Amgen has agreed to acquire BioVex Group, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company that has two biologics in clinical development, including BioVex’s lead product candidate, OncoVEXGM-CSF, a first in class oncolytic vaccine that may prove to be a paradigm-shifting approach to treating melanoma and other solid tumors, as well as a vaccine for genital herpes.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of each company. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.
Under terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay up to US$1 billion; US$425 million in cash at closing and up to US$575 million in additional payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Following the completion of the transaction, BioVex will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Amgen.
“We are proud to have finalised such a large transaction which reflects the potential of the company we have been supporting since our first investment. Crédit Agricole Private Equity has invested in BioVex next to Forbion and SEP in 2003 followed by Innoven in 2004 and holds since then roughly 10% of the shares of the company with a Board seat. This strong historical syndicate led by Forbion has actively supported the company over the various financial rounds and during its clinical development, declares Dr Guinot MD, PhD, Senior Partner at Crédit Agricole Private Equity and Head of Life Sciences investments.”
“OncoVEXGM-CSF has demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor activity in clinical studies for the treatment of melanoma and head and neck cancer. BioVex is currently enrolling patients into pivotal phase 3 trials in both indications,” said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., Amgen’s Executive Vice President, Research and Development. “Amgen is particularly excited about joining with BioVex and its talented staff to focus on advancing this late-stage investigational therapy, with the hope of bringing it to market within the next few years.”
“Amgen is ideally positioned to leverage the potential of OncoVEX in multiple solid tumor indications given their impressive oncology franchise and expertise in biologics manufacturing and development”, said Philip Astley-Sparke, Chief Executive Officer of BioVex. “We have a shared vision and commitment to bring novel therapeutics to market and we are looking forward to being able to combine our efforts towards this common goal.”