Sangamo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SGMO) made a huge announcement early this monring. The company announced that it will be making an offering to acquire TxCell, leading to excitement and getting the social investing community buzzing. Today, we’ll talk about:
- The acquisition news;
- why the news is so exciting; and
- what we’ll be watching for ahead.
SGMO Announces Acquisition News
As mentioned above, Sangamo Therapueitcs is having an overwhelmingly strong start to the trading session this morning after announcing that it has entered into an agreement to acquire an asset. In a press release issued early this morning, the company announced that on July 20, 2018, it entered into a definitive agreement to file a simplified cash tender offer for the purchase of all outstanding shares of TxCell. The acquisition will take place at a price of approximately EUR72 million and will be made on a debt-free and cash-free basis. Of course, SGMO said that the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
In the release, SGMO said that it expectes that the proposed acquisition of TxCell will accelerate the company’s entry into the clinic with a CAR-Treg therapy. As a result, in 2019, the company expects to submit a clinical trial authorization application in Europe for TXCell’s first CAR-Treg investigational product candidate for solid organ transplant. The company also said that it intends on initiating a Phase 1/2 clinical trial later in 2019. In a statement, Sandy Macrae, CEO at SGMO, had the following to offer:
We are thrilled to announce this proposed acquisition which would combine TxCell’s Treg expertise with our ex vivo gene editing capabilities, positioning Sangamo as a leader in the emerging field of CAR-Treg cell therapy… We believe CAR-Treg therapies will prove to be as exciting for immunology as CAR-T has been for oncology.
The above statement was followed up by Stephane Boissel, CEO at TxCell. Here’s the statement provided:
We are excited to combine with Sangamo for their experience and technical expertise in gene-edited cell therapy, and we believe Sangamo’s ZFN editing technology will facilitate the precise genetic modifications needed to create a new class of Treg-based antigen and tissue specific immunosuppressive medicines… Progressing such CAR-Treg products in clinical development and towards commercialization would require expertise and financial resources that were impossible for us to get as a stand-alone business at a reasonable cost.
Why This Is Such Big News
The news is exciting investors for a good reason. After all, TxCell brings leadership in the emerging field of regulatory T cell (Treg) development for immunological diseases. This area is an area where SGMO is focusing on heavily with regard to the development of its own candidate pipeline.
In the announcement, Sangamo said that it intends to evaluate the potential of CAR-Treg therapies to prevent graft rejection in solid organ transplant and for the treatment of autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
At the end of the day, preclinical research has shown proof of concept that antigen specific CAR-Tregs can deliver potent immunosuppressions to locally targeted tissues. This is a big change in how we treat many conditions. For example, the anti-TNF alpha small molecule and monoclonal antibody drugs that are on the market today cause global, non-specific immune suppressions, leading to concerning side effects. However, with CAR-Treg, the extreme targeting available makes this not the case.
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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead
Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on SGMO. In particular, we’re interested in following the news surrounding the compny’s acquisition of TxCell and excited to watch as the company moves the CAR-Treg treatment into the clinical setting. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks.
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