Celgene buys cancer therapy maker Impact Biomedicines for $1.1B

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Celgene Corp. has announced the acquisition of Impact Biomedicines, a company developing medication to combat bone marrow cancer.

Celgene, headquartered in Summit, N.J., will purchase San Diego-based Impact Biomedicines for $1.1 billion, with another $1.25 billion in later contingent payments based on regulatory approvals on other indicators of success.

Additional payments for sales-based milestones could add $4.5 billion to the deal, a statement from both companies Sunday said.

Impact Biomedicine’s specialty is development of treatments for complex cancers. Its most promising research is the development of fedratinib, a treatment for the rare bone marrow cancer myelofibrosis, and for polycythemia vera, which involves an overproduction of red blood cells in bones. The drug is a kinase inhibitor, meaning it is an enzyme which blocks the action of other enzymes called protein kinases.

Recent Phase III trials indicated that fedratinib demonstrated significant improvements in symptoms and in blood platelet counts.

Impact Biomedicines is a privately-held company whose investors include venture capital companies Medicxi and Oberland Capital. Shares in Nasdaq-traded Celgene closed at $105 on Friday, and was up 1.5 percent, at $106.55, in Monday’s pre-market trading.