The deal gives AstraZeneca access to another potentially lucrative rare disease drug that is undergoing late-stage trials and has a ‘fast track’ status for regulatory review in the United States.
New Jersey-based Caelum will become part of AstraZeneca’s Alexion division, the rare diseases specialist it bought for $39 billion earlier this year.
Alexion will pay $150 million to buy the remaining stake it does not already own in Caelum and make future payments of up to $350 million, depending on milestones achieved. Alexion took a minority stake in Caelum in 2019.
Through the acquisition, AstraZeneca said it would accelerate Caelum’s late-stage trial of its drug candidate to treat AL amyloidosis, a rare, life-threatening disease that damages the heart and kidneys.
The treatment, which aims to improve organ function in affected patients, had in June received a fast-track status from US health regulators.
“With a median survival time of fewer than 18 months following diagnosis, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this devastating disease,” Alexion Chief Executive Officer Marc Dunoyer said in a statement.