New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Celgene announced Sunday it will acquire two-year-old San Diego startup Impact Biomedicines in a deal that could ultimately be worth more than $2.35 billion.

Impact Biomedicines is developing the fedratinib drug for treating myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera, two rare bone marrow cancers.

Celgene will pay approximately $1.1 billion upfront and up to $1.25 billion in contingent payments based on regulatory approval milestones. Additional future payments for sales-based milestones could total up to $4.5 billion more.

“We believe Celgene is the ideal organization to follow through on our mission of maximizing fedratinib’s potential for patients with myelofibrosis,” said Dr. John Hood, chief executive officer of Impact BioMedicines.

In trials, the drug has “demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements” and further further regulatory testing will begin in the middle of this year.

“Myelofibrosis is a disease with high unmet medical need as the number of patients who are ineligible for or become resistant to existing therapy continues to increase,” said Nadim Ahmed, president of hematology and oncology for Celgene. “We believe fedratinib is uniquely positioned as a potential treatment for myelofibrosis.”

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.