Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) is to acquire Forty Seven, Inc. (Nasdaq: FTSV), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing therapies targeting cancer immune evasion pathways and specific cell targeting approaches based on technology licensed from Stanford University, for $95.50 per share in cash.
The transaction, which values Forty Seven at approximately $4.9 billion, is anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Through the addition of Forty Seven’s investigational lead product candidate, magrolimab, the acquisition will strengthen Gilead’s immuno-oncology research and development portfolio. Magrolimab is a monoclonal antibody in clinical development for the treatment of several cancers for which new, transformative medicines are urgently needed, including myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The investigational therapy targets CD47, a signal that allows cancer cells to avoid destruction thereby permitting the patient’s own innate immune system to engulf and eradicate those cancer cells. Forty Seven presented results of a Phase 1b study of magrolimab in patients with MDS and AML at the American Society of Hematology meeting in December 2019.
Beyond magrolimab, Forty Seven, which is led by Mark McCamish, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, is preparing to advance two additional investigational compounds into clinical testing. FSI-174, an anti-cKIT antibody, is being developed in combination with magrolimab as a novel, all-antibody conditioning regimen to address the limitations of current stem cell transplantation conditioning regimens. FSI-189, an anti-SIRPα antibody, is being developed for the treatment of cancer, as well as certain non-oncology settings, including transplantation conditioning.
Led by Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.