AstraZeneca’s Alexion Buys Caelum Biosciences

13.10.2021 - AstraZeneca’s rare diseases unit Alexion has taken full control of Caelum Biosciences, gaining access to another rare disease drug, CAEL-101, which is a potential treatment for light chain amyloidosis (AL) that has been granted Fast Track status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“With a median survival time of less than 18 months following diagnosis, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this devastating disease,” said Alexion’s CEO Marc Dunoyer. “CAEL-101 has the potential to be the first therapy to target and remove amyloid deposits from organ tissues, improve organ function and, ultimately, lead to longer lives for these patients.”

Alexion, acquired by AstraZeneca in July for $39 billion, paid about $150 million to acquire the remaining equity in Caelum and has committed to making additional payments of up to $350 million contingent on achieving regulatory and commercial milestones. It previously took a minority stake in Caelum when the companies entered into a collaboration in January 2019 to develop CAEL-101.

AL is a rare and life-threatening disease caused by defective proteins – or amyloids – building up in organs and inflicting significant damage. CAEL-101 is a type of monoclonal antibody that reduces or eliminates these deposits and improves organ function.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist