RARE Daily

Agios Sells Oncology Business for $2 Billion to Focus on Genetic Diseases

December 21, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Agios Pharmaceuticals said it has reached an agreement with French pharmaceutical Servier to sell its commercial, clinical, and research-stage oncology portfolio, and concentrate its efforts on accelerating and expanding its rare genetic disease portfolio.

Under the terms of the agreement, Agios will receive a cash consideration of up to $2.0 billion, including $1.8 billion in upfront cash and $200 million in a potential future milestone payment for vorasidenib, as well as 5 percent royalties on U.S. net sales of Tibsovo through loss of exclusivity and 15 percent royalties on U.S. net sales of vorasidenib from first commercial sale through loss of exclusivity.

“Our decision to accelerate the next chapter of Agios’ success with a singular focus on genetically defined diseases and sell our oncology portfolio to Servier is a transformational milestone for Agios,” said Jackie Fouse, CEO of Agios. “The result of a deliberative strategic review, this decision reflects the progress we have made understanding and harnessing the science and promise of PK activation and captures the full value of our oncology assets.”

Agios will focus on mitapivat, which it believes can be a new potential treatment option for patients with three rare hemolytic anemias—pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency, thalassemia and sickle cell disease—and a clinical and research pipeline based on PK activation and cellular metabolism. Agios’ late-stage research pipeline includes treatments for hereditary and acquired anemias, myopathies, retinal diseases, and diseases of inborn errors of metabolism, such as aminoacidurias, aminoacidemias and others.

“The proceeds from the transaction will allow us to focus on rapidly advancing our genetically defined disease portfolio for patients in need, strengthen our capital structure and return at least $1.2 billion to shareholders post-closing, achieve capital markets independence and participate in the future success of Tibsovo and vorasidenib,” said Fouse.

Investors welcomed the sale, sending Agios’ stock up 34 percent on the news.

For Servier, the deal enhances its oncology business, and strengthens its presence in the United States. “The strategic acquisition of Agios’ oncology business, including its precision medicine portfolio and pipeline, is aligned with our ambition to become a recognized player in oncology and further supports our commitment to provide innovative treatments to cancer patients with unmet medical needs,” said Olivier Laureau, president of Servier.

The transaction includes the transfer of Agios’ oncology portfolio and associated employees, including its marketed medicine Tibsovo, which is approved in the United States as monotherapy for the treatment of adults with IDH1-mutant relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and for adults with newly diagnosed IDH1-mutant AML who are ≥ 75 years old or who have comorbidities that preclude the use of intensive induction chemotherapy. Tibsovo is also under investigation in two phase 3 combination trials in newly diagnosed AML, and as a potential treatment for previously treated IDH1-mutant cholangiocarcinoma and IDH1-mutant myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Servier will also acquire Agios’ co-commercialization responsibilities for Bristol Myers Squibb’s Idhifa (enasidenib) and conduct certain clinical development activities within the Idhifa development program.

All of Agios’ U.S.-based employees who primarily support the oncology business will receive a comparable offer at Servier.

The transaction has been approved by the board of directors and is subject to approval by Agios shareholders and satisfaction of regulatory conditions. It is currently expected that the transaction will close in the second quarter of 2021.

Photo: Jackie Fouse, CEO of Agios

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