AstraZeneca forks out $100m to acquire TeneoTwo

AstraZeneca says it will bolster its hematology pipeline through the acquisition of TeneoTwo and its clinical-stage T-cell engager, TNB-486.

A significant part of the deal, which will see AstraZeneca make an upfront payment of $100 million and additional milestone related payments up to $1.7 billion, is the acquisition of TeneoTwo’s Phase I clinical-stage CD19/CD4 T-cell engager, TNB-486.

TNB-486 is an experimental drug that aims to treat relapsed and refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. T-cell engagers work by redirecting the immune systems T-cells to identify and kill cancer cells. CD19, an antigen expressed on B-cells, and CD3 receptor on T-cells bind together, causing TNB-486 to activate and recruit T-cells to CD19-expressing tumors where they can produce an immune response.

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“By redirecting the body’s natural immune response to target B-cell malignancies, TNB-486 alone or in combination with CD20-targeted therapy could potentially deepen clinical responses and improve patient outcomes,” said Anas Younes, senior vice president Hematology R&D, AstraZeneca.

“We believe this innovative molecule, which was designed to optimize the therapeutic window of T-cell activation, will enable us to explore novel combinations that have the potential to become new standards of care in this setting.”

As well as driving the development of medicine options for B-cell hematologic malignancies, AstraZeneca claims that TNB-486 diversifies its hematology pipeline, which addresses a wide-range of blood cancers.

“Building a diverse portfolio spanning multiple modalities and targets allows us to explore different monotherapy and combination treatments across a broad range of blood cancers and at all stages of disease,” a spokesperson for AstraZeneca told BioProcess Insider.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2022 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances and the spokesperson said that there will be “no staffing or facility implications” associated with the acquisition.