Rumors are saying that French Cellectis is in talks about its potential sale. US-giant Pfizer is considered to be among the buyers.
According to The Financial Time, two people familiar with the situation said Cellectis was in negotiations over a deal, but warned no outcome was certain. The Financial Time also declared that “one person said Pfizer has approached the company about a deal that could value it at as much as €1.5 billion”. No information are suggesting that other parties are also in the sale talks with Cellectis.
Pfizer and Cellectis declined to comment this rumor but of course, the market reacts immediately with a 14% increase of Cellectis’ shares.
Cellectis intends to reprogrammed T-cells to make your own body immunized against cancer cells. To do so, the company harvests T-cells from third-party patients and re-inject them after reprogramming. In contrast, its main competitors Novartis, Juno, Bluebird and Kite, are taking patient’s own T-cells.
Entering NASDAQ, was a way for Cellectis to be judged by the same yardstick as the others. The company’s shares who jump up to 200% this year, are giving the company a market value of €1.3 billion. The company’s lead candidate, a Servier-partnered treatment for leukemia, is slated to enter the clinic this year.
Pfizer already owns around 10% of Cellectis after they entered a €2.6 billion partnership to develop CAR-T therapies together. An acquisition of Cellectis would strengthen Pfizer’s intention to become a major player in the CAR-T race and close the gap with US Merck, BMS, AstraZeneca and others.