Servier acquires oncology arm of Agios, partners with Celsius

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

December 21, 2020 -- French pharmaceutical company Servier announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the oncology business of Agios Pharmaceuticals. In a related move, Servier also said it will partner with Celsius Therapeutics for cancer drug discovery.

The Agios acquisition could be worth up to $2 billion and would include Agios' commercial, clinical, and research-stage oncology portfolio. The payment includes an upfront payment of $1.8 billion as well as a potential of $200 million in regulatory milestone and royalty payments.

The board of directors at both Agios and Servier approved the transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearances and Agios shareholder approval. The companies expect the acquisition to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Servier said that the acquisition will enable the company to bolster its oncology product portfolio and drug development pipeline as well as reinforce the company's U.S. presence. It is a reflection of Servier making oncology a strategic priority, including allocating half of the company's overall research and development budget to the area.

In another move to focus on cancer therapies, Servier also announced a partnership with precision medicine firm Celsius. Servier and Celsius will partner to identify and validate novel drug targets for colorectal cancer.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Celsius will use its single-cell genomics platform to analyze hundreds of samples from patients with colorectal cancer. In turn, Servier will receive an exclusive option to research, develop, and commercialize products for up to three targets identified and validated by Celsius.

The collaboration agreement stipulates that Celsius would receive an upfront payment and research funding as well as be eligible to receive more than $700 million in tiered royalties and milestone payments for drug discovery, development, and commercialization.

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