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April 29, 2016.
AbbVie announced on April 28, 2016 that it has plans to acquire Stemcentrx, a biopharma company focused on developing cancer treatment therapies. Stemcentrx was founded in 2008 and currently has five investigational oncology drugs in human clinical trials. AbbVie will acquire Stemcentrx for approximately $5.8 billion, with $2 billion paid in cash and the remaining in stock. In a press announcement, AbbVie said it would acquire the San Francisco-based company’s lead late-stage asset rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T), a novel biomarker-specific therapy derived from cancer stem cells, for the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Rova-T is currently under investigation as a third-line treatment in SCLC, and has been submitted to FDA for Breakthrough Therapy designation. Stemcentrx has four other drugs in its pipeline including treatments for triple negative breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer.
The move is strategic for AbbVie, who is looking to expand its oncology pipeline. In March 2015, AbbVie acquired Pharmacyclics, a California-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer. AbbVie purchased the company for $21 billion, and acquired Imbruvica (ibrutinib), a treatment indicated for three types of blood cancer including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia.
In the press announcement, AbbVie said its existing oncology pipeline currently consists of more than a dozen assets. The company has five programs in late-stage development, including 200 clinical trials with more than 19 types of tumors.