Cephalon, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEPH) announced today that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Australian biotechnology company, Arana Therapeutics Limited. As a result of the acquisition, Arana is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cephalon.
Cephalon Chairman and CEO, Frank Baldino Jr., Ph.D., said, “We are excited about the advanced biological and molecular technology expertise that Arana brings to Cephalon. With biologics in inflammatory diseases and clinical candidates in oncology for solid tumors, this acquisition will catalyze the entry of Cephalon into the biologics space.”
Cephalon acquires an established protein engineering technology platform to transform proteins, including antibodies, into potent drug candidates. The lead biologic in the portfolio (ART621) is the first domain antibody to enter the clinic targeting TNF alpha, and is in a phase 2 clinical program for rheumatoid arthritis. Additional biologics acquired include: a RANKL inhibitor for bone metastases; one targeting a novel epitope for colorectal cancer in collaboration with Kyowa Hakko-Kirin; one targeting gangliosides for small cell lung cancer and melanoma; one targeting IL 12 /23 for psoriasis and Crohn’s disease as well as other earlier stage opportunities.