US drug developer Celldex Therapeutics has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, a privately held clinical-stage company focused on the discovery and development of novel, antibody-based drugs targeting receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs).
Celldex believes Kolltan’s clinical candidates and preclinical platform are highly compatible with the company’s scientific approach and can be developed independently and in combination with Celldex’ existing product candidates.
Under the terms of the agreement, Celldex will acquire Kolltan in a stock-for-stock transaction, in which the upfront payment represents an equity value of around $62.5 million. In addition, Kolltan shareholders are eligible to receive additional payments of up to $172.5 million upon the completion of specific development, regulatory and commercial milestones. The transaction, which is subject to the receipt of Kolltan stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed by year-end. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction, and Kolltan’s directors have unanimously recommended that their stockholders approve the transaction.
On closing of the acquisition, Celldex’ clinical pipeline will include seven drug candidates including therapeutic antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and immune system modulators, which are being tested in a range of difficult-to-treat indications in oncology. This broad pipeline allows for novel combination approaches, several of which are already under study. In addition, Celldex would have two active preclinical programs.