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Another Celgene Partner Files For Its IPO

|Includes:Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AGIO), BLUE, CELG, EPZM

Following on the heels of the successful IPO's of Bluebird Bio and Epizyme over the last several weeks, another CELG partner has filed with the SEC to go public.

Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a cellular metabolic biotech, based in Cambridge, MA, has recently filed for an IPO with the SEC. The S-1 can be found at:


According to the red herring, CELG, which already owns a little over 17% of AGIOS, will enter into a concurrent private placement for more of AGIO's common stock at the IPO price.

The nature of the relationship thus far between CELG AND AGIOS is referred to in the prospectus:

"In April 2010, we entered into a collaboration agreement with Celgene focused on cancer metabolism. Under the collaboration, we are leading discovery, preclinical and early clinical development for all cancer metabolism programs. The discovery phase of the collaboration expires in April 2014, subject to Celgene's option to extend the discovery phase for up to two additional years. Celgene has the option to obtain exclusive rights for the further development and commercialization of certain of these programs, and we will retain rights to the others. For the programs that Celgene chooses to license, we may elect to participate in a portion of the sales activities for the medicines from such programs in the United States. In addition, for certain of these programs, we may elect to retain full rights to develop and commercialize medicines from these programs in the United States. Through March 31, 2013, we have received approximately $141.2 million in payments from Celgene and $37.5 million in equity investments. We are also eligible to receive extension payments, payments upon the successful achievement of specified milestones, reimbursements for certain development expenses and royalties on any product sales. We have retained the option for exclusive rights to develop and commercialize AG-120 in the United States."

Agios targets certain cancers and inborn errors of metabolism, or IEMs, a subset of orphan genetic metabolic diseases with its drug development. Its cancer drug development candidates seek out the mutated forms of IDH1 and IDH2 ( found in cancer cells versus the normal forms of IDH1 and IDH2 found in all other cells. It plans to commence clinical trials in patients with IDH2-mutation positive cancers with AG-221, its lead candidate in its IDH2 program, by mid-2013. In the IDH1 program, clinical trials should begin by early 2014 in patients with IDH1-mutation positive cancers, using AGIOS's lead development candidate, AG-120, mentioned above.

Although clinical trials have not yet been initiated and likely depend on the funds raised from the IPO and private placement, AGIOS research and development bear close scrutiny, given CELG 's commitment to AGIO's drug candidates.

Disclosure: I am long CELG.

Additional disclosure: I have no positions in AGIOS, Epizyme and Bluebird other than through CELG's stake or partnership in the companies.