Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Forty Seven, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTSV) announced today that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire Forty Seven for $95.50 per share in cash. The transaction, which values Forty Seven at approximately $4.9 billion, was unanimously approved by both the Gilead and Forty Seven Boards of Directors and is anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
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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 “do not eat me” 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 promising results of a Phase 1b study of magrolimab in patients with MDS and AML at the American Society of Hematology meeting in December 2019. Magrolimab has the potential to be a first-in-class therapy.
“This agreement builds on Gilead’s presence in immuno-oncology and adds significant potential to our clinical pipeline,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead Sciences. “Magrolimab complements our existing work in hematology, adding a non-cell therapy program that complements Kite’s pipeline of cell therapies for hematological cancers. With a profile that lends itself to combination therapies, magrolimab could potentially have transformative benefits for a range of tumor types. We are looking forward to working with the highly experienced team at Forty Seven to help patients with some of the most challenging forms of cancer.”
“This is an exciting day for patients who may one day benefit from future anti-CD47 therapies and other immuno-oncology treatments based on our research and an exciting time for Forty Seven as this allows us to achieve our vision of helping patients defeat their cancer,” commented Mark McCamish, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forty Seven. “We are pleased to join Gilead and believe that by combining our scientific expertise with Gilead’s strength in developing treatments that modify the immune system, we will be able to more rapidly advance our therapies.”