Celldex Acquires Immuno-Oncology Portfolio in $235-Million DealBy
Celldex Therapeutics, a Hampton, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, a privately held clinical-stage company based in New Haven, Connecticut focused primarily in oncology, to boost its immuno-oncology and antibody portfolio in a deal valued up to $235 million.
Upon closing of the acquisition of Kolltan, Celldex’s clinical pipeline will include seven drug candidates, including therapeutic antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, and immune-system modulators, which are being tested in a range of indications in oncology. This broad pipeline allows for combination approaches, several of which are under study. In addition, Celldex would have two active preclinical programs.
Under the agreement, Celldex will acquire Kolltan in a stock-for-stock transaction, in which the upfront payment represents an equity value of approximately $62.5 million. In addition, Kolltan shareholders are eligible to receive additional payments of up to $172.5 million upon the completion of specific development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. The transaction, which is subject to the receipt of Kolltan stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed by year-end. The Boards of Directors of both Celldex and Kolltan have unanimously approved the transaction, and Kolltan’s directors have unanimously recommended that their stockholders approve the transaction.
Kolltan’s portfolio includes the antibodies designated as KTN0158, a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits KIT activation in tumor cells and mast cells currently in a Phase I study; KTN3379, a human monoclonal antibody designed to block the activity of ErbB3 (HER3), a molecular target for various cancers; and a multi-faceted program to generate antibodies that modulate the tyro-3, axl, and mer family of receptor tyrosine kinases.