GlaxoSmithKline has announced a deal to buy the UK's Domantis for $454 million--the latest in a string of major buyout deals. In this case, Glaxo is acquiring a leading developer of monoclonal antibodies and has attracted considerable attention to its programs for developing smaller antibodies that can be administered in a variety of ways and reach areas of the body that currently-used antibodies can't. Due to their relatively large molecular size, antibody therapies now have to be injected or infused. For Glaxo, the deal doubles its presence in the biotech world but isn't expected to add materially to its revenue in the near future. Domantis is in the preclinical stage of development and any commercial applications are still years away. Novo Nordisk, which owns a minority stake in the company, will earn close to $18 million in the deal. Peptech says it too will gain a reward--$140 million--for its stake in the company. Domantis was a 2006 Fierce 15 winner.
Another potential winner could be Belgium's Ablynx, which has competed with Domantis in the field. Antibodies appear to be a hot property right now, which was emphasized last May when AstraZeneca bought Cambridge Antibody Technologies. Domantis has therapies in the pipeline for asthma, multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
- see this press release for details
- here's the AP report on the buyout