The acquisition of Pharmion furthers Celgene's strategy to become a global leader in the hematology/oncology field. The transaction brings together three medically meaningful therapies, Revlimid(R), Thalomid(R) and Vidaza(R), treating different patient populations worldwide. These products are expected to generate multiple global revenue streams for accelerated revenue and earnings growth over the next five years.
"The acquisition of Pharmion is an exceptional strategic fit that will expand our role as a leader in hematology and oncology," said Sol J. Barer, PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation. "Our combined global infrastructure will leverage the therapeutic and commercial potential of Pharmion's products, particularly Vidaza, which has the potential to become a major global therapy. By bringing together the talents and resources of both companies, we move closer to our vision of becoming a leading hematology and oncology company in the world, expanding our industry leading programs for safety, access and patient support."
Pharmion is a global drug development company that has built a successful and promising oncology franchise. Pharmion has four products on the market and several in development focused on hematological and solid tumor cancers. Vidaza is approved in the U.S. for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Vidaza has demonstrated unprecedented overall survival benefit for higher-risk MDS patients based on a Phase III trial. Pharmion previously reported that its Phase III study demonstrated that Vidaza extended overall survival by 74 percent as compared to conventional care regimens. Patients receiving Vidaza had a two-year survival rate of 50.8 percent versus 26.2 percent for those in the comparator arm. These results translated into a median survival benefit of 9.4 months (24.4 months versus 15.0 months). Pharmion expects to file a Market Authorization Application (MAA) in Europe for Vidaza in higher-risk MDS before the end of the year.
Additionally, thalidomide (licensed to Pharmion by Celgene to develop and commercialize in Europe and other select countries) is under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) as a therapy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. An EMEA action is expected in late 2007 to early 2008. Pharmion's clinical development pipeline includes Amrubicin, a third generation synthetic anthracycline, which is in Phase III development for the treatment of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) under an approved Special Protocol Assessment (SPA). MGCD0103, a selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor is being evaluated in Phase II studies in hematological malignancies as well as in solid tumors.
"The combination of our two product portfolios and organizations represents the opportunity to create a leading global hematology/oncology company," said Patrick J. Mahaffy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmion Corporation. "In particular, I would like to thank the Pharmion employees who have contributed so much to the development of our company and to ensuring that our products are available to improve the lives of cancer patients in the US, Europe, and many international markets. We believe that Celgene is now exceptionally well positioned to take advantage of these efforts, as well as those of its own strong organization, to create a truly unique global biopharmaceutical company."
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.celgene.com.
Pharmion Corporation is a leading global oncology company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative products for the treatment of hematology and oncology patients in the U.S., Europe and additional international markets. Pharmion has a number of products on the market including the world's first approved epigenetic drug, Vidaza(R), a DNA demethylating agent. For additional information about Pharmion, please visit the company's website at www.pharmion.com.