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Tavneos Developer ChemoCentryx to be Acquired by Amgen for Almost $4 Billion

Tavneos Developer ChemoCentryx to be Acquired by Amgen for Almost $4 Billion

Amgen said that ChemoCentryx’s approved drug, Tavneos, will bolster its pipeline focus on treatments for nephrology and inflammation. Photo depicts Amgen’s Building 27 in their Thousand Oaks campus in California. Photo courtesy of Amgen.

ChemoCentryx made its way into news in October 2021 when it clenched its first ever US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 24 years for the drug Tavneos (avacopan) for patients with serious autoimmune disease. Tavneos recorded US sales of $5.4 million during the first quarter of 2022. The sale of Tavneos has been approved in the US, European Union, Canada and Japan.

ChemoCentryx is yet again in focus as they will be acquired by Amgen for $52 per share in cash, which is an enterprise value of around $3.7 million.

Amgen is well known for developing biosimilars such as Riabni (a biosimilar to Rituxan), and Avsola (a biosimilar to Remicade). The company manufactures and distributes about 26 drugs all over the US.

ChemoCentryx is a biopharma that has focused on orally administered drugs to treat inflammatory disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Tavneos is an orally administered drug that is FDA-approved as an adjunctive treatment for adults with severe active anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, specifically microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). ANCA-associated vasculitis is a group of rare autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation of small blood vessels. The inflamed vessels may become occluded or rupture, which results in a wide range of clinical symptoms alike to a systemic inflammatory response. ANCA-associated vasculitis is a life-threatening disorder which can cause serious injury and dysfunction in the lungs, kidneys and other organs.

“The acquisition of ChemoCentryx represents a compelling opportunity for Amgen to add to our decades-long leadership in inflammation and nephrology with Tavneos, a transformative, first-in-class treatment for ANCA-associated vasculitis,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen in the company’s press release.

Even though Tavneos is considered to be the driving force behind the agreement with Amgen, ChemoCentryx has three early-stage drug candidates that target chemoattractant receptors (a family of seven transmembrane G protein coupled receptors) in other inflammatory diseases:

  • Vercirnon (also known as Traficet-EN or CCX282) is a Phase III-ready drug candidate for Crohn’s disease
  • CCX507 is a potential treatment for inflammatory bowel disease that completed Phase I clinical development
  • CCX587 is a small molecule inhibitor of the chemokine receptor CCR6 and a possible treatment for skin diseases driven by Th17 helper T cells such as psoriasis and may also treat rheumatoid arthritis

Chemocentryx is also developing CCX559, an oral checkpoint inhibitor for cancer that is currently being assessed in a Phase I dose escalation study.

“Last year, after 25 years of proud history, we at CCXI delivered on our founding promise with the approval of Tavneos for patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis. It is an honor to now join Amgen’s great mission, and together begin a bright new era bringing landscape-shaping medicines like Tavneos to those who will benefit most.” said Thomas J. Schall, PhD, president and chief executive officer of ChemoCentryx, in the same press release.

The agreement has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and it is anticipated to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022.