Astellas ramps up M&A, buys U.S. biotech Xyphos for as much as $665 million

Astellas Pharma Inc has bought U.S.-based Xyphos Biosciences Inc to expand its immuno-oncology business, a deal worth up to $665 million including potential development milestones and its second acquisition announced this month. Japan’s second biggest drugmaker by sales paid $120 million upfront for Xyphos and the rest will be milestone payments, the companies said in a statement. Astellas also said this month it had agreed to purchase Audentes Therapeutics Inc for about $3 billion to expand its push into genetic medicines. The deal is due to close in January. Immuno-oncology, which seeks to use the body’s own defense systems to fight cancer, is a primary focus for Astellas and under the deal, the Japanese firm will gain Xyphos’ cell therapy technology platform and its research team.

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