Gilead Sciences paying $21B in cash for Immunomedics and its cancer-fighter Trodelvy

(Courtesy photos)

California-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. has agreed to buy Morris Plains-based cancer treatment specialist Immunomedics in a $21 billion cash deal, the two announced.

Gilead, which focuses on treatments for unmet needs, will pay $88 per share in cash for Immunomedics, giving it the drug Trodelvy — granted accelerated approval by the Food and Drug Administration — for the treatment of certain breast cancers.

“We are very pleased that Gilead recognized the value of Trodelvy — both for the important role it has already begun to play for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and for its potential to help many other patients with cancer in the future,” Immunomedics Executive Chairman Behzad Aghazadeh said in a prepared statement. “We are excited for the opportunities ahead of us as we join with Gilead to advance our shared mission in defeating cancer. By working with Gilead, we have the opportunity to accelerate our progress and improve care for patients in need of new therapies.”

Gilead said it hopes to expand studies of Trodelvy for various types of cancers, and sees the drug as a cornerstone product for its tumor pipeline.

“This acquisition represents significant progress in Gilead’s work to build a strong and diverse oncology portfolio,” Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day said in a statement. “Trodelvy is an approved, transformational medicine for a form of cancer that is particularly challenging to treat. We will now continue to explore its potential to treat many other types of cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other treatments.”

Under the terms of the deal, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gilead will pay $88 per share for all of the outstanding shares of Immunomedics’ common stock. Gilead said it will use approximately $15 billion in cash on hand, plus $6 billion in newly issued debt, to fund the transaction.

“We look forward to welcoming the talented Immunomedics team to Gilead so we can continue to advance this important new medicine for the benefit of patients with cancer worldwide,” O’Day said.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending customary approvals and conditions. Both boards of directors unanimously approved the deal.

Centerview Partners LLC and BofA Securities are Immunomedics’ financial advisers, while Lazard and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are Gilead’s financial advisers. Cowen & Co. LLC also provided advice to Immunomedics, while Watchell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is its legal counsel. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is Gilead’s legal counsel.