Cellective Therapeutics, a high-profile drug development startup that raised a whopping $27.5 million in its first round of venture capital, is already cashing out.
MedImmune, a pharmaceutical firm based in Maryland, said Wednesday it was purchasing Cellective. MedImmune Ventures is one of the original investors in Cellective.
Financial terms were not disclosed. However, MedImmune (Nasdaq: MEDI) said it expected to take a 20-cent per share charge against earnings once the deal closed. MedImmune has 247.76 million shares outstanding. A 20-cent per share charge would put the cost associated with the deal at $50 million.
Intersouth Partners of Durham was one of the investors in Cellective, which focused on antibody research. Alta Partners, BA Venture Partners, Forward Ventures, Genentech, Inc., Latterell Venture Partners, MedImmune Ventures, Inc., and Sofinnova Ventures.
Cellective focused its research on B-cells, a class of cells in the immune system. These cells are becoming increasingly important as relevant targets for treatment in cancer and autoimmune diseases like B-cell lymphoma, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
MedImmune cited Cellective’s three preclinical antibody research programs in making the deal, saying the acquisition “expanded its pipeline of potential drug candidates”.
“With our mutual focus on antibody research, the acquisition of Cellective is an excellent strategic fit for MedImmune,” said James Young, president of research and development at MedImmune. “Cellective’s lead product candidates, which are based on the extensive work on B cells by renowned immunologist Dr. Thomas F. Tedder of Duke University Medical Center, provide additional opportunities for MedImmune to expand its potential offering of treatments for patients battling cancer and autoimmune diseases.”
Cellective was launched in the Triangle. Arthur Mandell, who was hired to serve as president and chief executive officer, moved the company in Maryland where he lives.
“We are delighted that MedImmune recognizes the value of Cellective’s promising portfolio of monoclonal antibodies and extensive knowledge in the field of B-cell biology,” Mandell said in a statement. “With a proven track record of developing successful products and a strong commitment to developing antibody therapeutics, MedImmune is an ideal strategic partner for our company.
“Although Cellective has a relatively short history, it has multiple antibody product candidates with potential in both oncology and autoimmune diseases,” he added. “MedImmune and Cellective look forward to taking these antibodies into the clinic and eventually to patients.”
MedImmune said it would acquire “all outstanding equity interests” in Cellective in a cash deal that is expected to close by Oct. 31. MedImmune also agreed to make “future payments” to Cellective shareholders “should certain product development and sales milestones be achieved”.