San Francisco – March 2, 2020 – Cooley advised publicly traded clinical-stage immuno-oncology company Forty Seven on its agreement to sell to Gilead for $4.9 billion in all cash. Partners Jamie Leigh, Ben Beerle, Eric Jensen and John McKenna led the Cooley team advising Forty Seven on the transaction, which is expected close in Q2.
Through the addition of Forty Seven’s investigational lead product candidate, magrolimab, the acquisition will strengthen Gilead’s immuno-oncology research and development portfolio. Magrolimab is a monoclonal antibody against the CD47 receptor, a “don’t eat me” signal that cancer cells commandeer to avoid being ingested by macrophages.
“This is an exciting day for patients who may one day benefit from future anti-CD47 therapies and other immuno-oncology treatments based on our research and an exciting time for Forty Seven as this allows us to achieve our vision of helping patients defeat their cancer,” Mark McCamish, president and CEO of Forty Seven said in a statement. “We are pleased to join Gilead and believe that by combining our scientific expertise with Gilead’s strength in developing treatments that modify the immune system, we will be able to more rapidly advance our therapies.”
Cooley has advised Forty Seven on various corporate transactions since its inception in 2015. In 2018, Cooley represented the company on its $113 million initial public offering.
Forty Seven is developing therapies targeting cancer immune evasion pathways based on technology licensed from Stanford University. Magrolimab is currently being evaluated in multiple clinical studies in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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