Celgene Invests $45 Million in Stem Cell Company Mesoblast

Celgene has agreed to buy a minority stake in stem cell company Mesoblast Limited, valued at $45 million.

The Australia-based company said that it has entered into an agreement with US-based Celgene Corp., under which Celgene will purchase 15.3 million ordinary shares in Mesoblast for $45 million. In return, Celgene has a six-month right of first refusal with respect to Mesoblast’s proprietary mesenchymal lineage adult stem cell product candidates for the prevention and treatment of acute graft versus host disease (GVHD), certain oncologic diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, and organ transplant rejection.

The announcement caused Mesoblast stock to surge by more than 25 percent, its biggest gain since 2005.

“We are pleased that Celgene, as a global leader in development and commercialization of innovative therapies for oncologic and immune-mediated diseases, has chosen to make this investment in Mesoblast. We look forward to working closely together and building a strong and fruitful relationship,” said Mesoblast’s Chief Executive, Silviu Itescu.

Mesoblast’s uses its proprietary technology platform, which is based on specialized cells known as mesenchymal lineage adult stem cells, to establish a broad portfolio of late-stage product candidates. The company’s allogenic, or “off-the-shelf” cell product candidates target significantly advanced stages of diseases where there are highly unmet medical needs, including cardiovascular conditions, orthopedic disorders, immunologic/inflammatory disorders and oncology/hematology conditions. Its lead product candidates under investigation include MPC-150-IM for chronic congestive heart failure, MPC-06-ID for chronic discogenic low back pain, MSC-100-IV for acute GVHD, and MPC-300-IV for biologic refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and diabetic nephropathy.

“Today’s agreement provides an opportunity for Celgene to add to its leading cellular and regenerative medicine pipeline. We are committed to developing important new therapies for significant medical diseases that are currently not being adequately addressed,” said Mark Alles, President & COO of Celgene.

Source: Mesoblast Limited

Last updated: 4/13/15; 1:15pm EST


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