Celgene Acquires Gloucester In $340M Deal

biotechdollarsBiopharmaceutical company Celgene is plumping up its oncology pipeline with its latest acquisition. The Summit, NJ-based company has struck a deal to purchase Gloucester Pharmaceuticals for $340 million up front. Celgene has agreed to pay Gloucester an additional $300 million in future regulatory milestone payments.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Gloucester is a privately held biopharmaceutical company specializing in the acquisition and development of oncology drug candidates. Gloucester’s first drug, Istodax, was approved last month to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).  CTCL is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma caused by a mutation of the T-cells.  The disease typically manifests itself in the early stages with itching and skin lesions.  Patients may have flat, scaly patches that resemble rashes.

Earlier this year, Celgene acquired Boulder, Colo.-based Pharmion Corp. for $2.9 billion. Pharmion sells Vidaza to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a group of bone marrow diseases that can develop into leukemia.  The acquisition of Gloucester will likely offset sales of Vidaza, which are expected to decrease when the drug’s U.S. patent expires in 2011.

Also today, Allos Therapeutics announced that a U.S. patent had been issued for Folotyn to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Folotyn was originally approved in September to help patients with PCTL for whom other therapies had failed. The Westminster, Colo.-based company plans to launch Folotyn in January 2010. 

Other companies developing treatments for various forms of lymphoma include BioVest International, Actinium Pharmaceuticals, MAT Biopharma and ProNAi Therapeutics.

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