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Nov 30 (Reuters) - AbbVie said on Thursday it will buy ImmunoGen for $10.1 billion, underscoring a growing interest from large drugmakers in a promising class of targeted cancer therapies.
Through the deal, AbbVie gains Elahere that is approved for ovarian cancer patients who have received previous therapies, and is also being tested in earlier lines of treatment.
Elahere is part of a new class of cancer drugs called antibody drug conjugates (ADC), which comprise a monoclonal antibody that precisely targets cancer cells and reduces toxicity of other cells.
Due to their targeted approach, drugmakers have shown soaring interest in ADCs. Pfizer is also in the process of acquiring Seagen in a $43 billion deal, gaining access to a pioneer of antibody-drug conjugates treatments.
For ImmunoGen, AbbVie will pay $31.26 per share in cash, representing a premium of 94.6% to the last closing price.
Immunogen's shares surged 90% in premarket trading to $29.23, after the deal announcement. They have more than tripled this year, after the company said in May that Elahere helped extend the lives of patients in a late-stage trial.
The deal would help boost AbbVie's plans to expand into the cancer drug market as its top-selling product Humira, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, faces fierce competition in the United States.
In August, AbbVie's blockbuster blood cancer drug Imbruvica was selected as one of the 10 drugs subject to the first-ever price negotiations by U.S. Medicare insurance plans, expected to come into effect starting 2026. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)