Astellas Buying Agensys

Astellas Pharma Inc. has agreed to acquire Agensys Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based developer of therapeutic cancer antibodies. The deal includes a $387 million up-front cash payment, plus up to $150 million in possible earn-outs.

Agensys has raised $113 million in total VC funding since 1997, from firms like Duquesne Capital Management, JAFCO, Innovis Investments, Nextech Venture, Bear Stearns Health Innoventures, Alta Partners, HBM BioVentures, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie, H&Q Life Sciences and Orbimed Advisors.

Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”; headquarters: Tokyo; President and CEO: Masafumi Nogimori) today announced that its US subsidiary, Astellas US Holding, Inc. (headquarters: Deerfield, IL) has signed a definitive agreement on November 26, 2007 (US time), to acquire Agensys, Inc. (“Agensys”; headquarters: Santa Monica, CA; Chairman, President & CEO: Donald B. Rice, Ph.D.) for $387 million up front assuming approximately $30 million net cash balance at closing.  In addition, Agensys' current shareholders will retain the right to receive a maximum of $150 million in accordance with Agensys' achievement of various milestones.

Agensys is a biotechnology company specialized in therapeutic antibody research and development in cancer.  It has selected candidate targets by applying differential gene expression technology to human tissues and identified 30 proprietary targets in 14 cancer types.  It has rich experience in using its optimized hybridoma method* to generate fully human monoclonal antibodies, including to challenging targets, from XenoMouse