Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Gilead Reportedly in Talks to Acquire Cancer Biotech Forty Seven

By Jim Crumly – Feb 28, 2020 at 2:08PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Forty Seven shares soared on the rumor, but Gilead's stock price fell.

Gilead Sciences (GILD 2.67%) is in discussions with cancer biotech Forty Seven (FTSV) about a possible takeover or partnership, according to an article published Thursday by Bloomberg. According to the report, no deal has been finalized, and Forty Seven has received interest from other parties as well. Shares of Forty Seven were up over 20% on the news, but those of Gilead were down 5% in mid-afternoon trading.

Forty Seven is working on therapies to inhibit the CD47 signaling pathway, which cancer cells use to trick the body's immune system into ignoring them. Its lead antibody drug, magrolimab, drew a lot of attention from investors in December after the company announced it had seen promising response rates in an early-stage clinical trial that tested it in combination with chemotherapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia.

Cancer cell in crosshairs.

Image source: Getty Images.

Forty Seven is now focused on starting potentially registration-enabling trials of magrolimab for MDS and relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. It expects to report initial data from the lymphoma trial as soon as the fourth quarter. The drug is also in early trials in combination with other immunotherapy drugs for treating colorectal, ovarian, and bladder tumors.

Gilead is has been looking at acquisitions to help it return to growth as revenue from its hepatitis C franchise continues to sag. The company acquired oncology assets when it purchased Kite Pharmaceuticals in 2017, and Forty Seven's science would complement those assets nicely. The biotech giant can certainly afford to buy the $3 billion market-cap company; Gilead has over $25 billion in cash on its balance sheet.

Jim Crumly owns shares of Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Gilead Sciences, Inc. Stock Quote
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
GILD
$64.30 (2.67%) $1.67
Forty Seven, Inc. Stock Quote
Forty Seven, Inc.
FTSV

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
327%
 
S&P 500 Returns
105%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.