AstraZeneca expanded its oncology portfolio Tuesday morning by announcing it reached an agreement to buy Neogene Therapeutics. 

The British pharma giant is purchasing the clinical-stage biotechnology company for $320 million, which includes an initial payment of $200 million followed by up to $120 million in both contingent milestones and non-contingent consideration.

Neogene’s lead products are next-generation T-cell receptor therapies (TCR-Ts) that utilize novel cell therapy to target cancer cells. The TCR-T market is an area of the healthcare sector that has continued to show significant promise in recent years. 

A report from The Insight Partners released in October indicated that the TCR-T market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.7% from 2022 to 2028. 

Other pharma companies see opportunities in oncology, notably Alkermes, which announced earlier this month that it would separate its commercial-stage neuroscience business from its oncology unit as part of an ongoing review of strategic alternatives.

AstraZeneca said it aims to combine its considerable resources and Neogene’s expertise in TCR-T discovery and manufacturing to improve outcomes. 

“This acquisition represents a unique opportunity to bring innovative science and leading experts in T-cell receptor biology and cell therapy manufacturing together with our internal oncology cell therapy team, unlocking new ways to target cancer,” Susan Galbraith, EVP of Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca, said in a statement. 

Similarly, Neogene CEO Carsten Linnemann, PhD, said that the two companies are “well-positioned to translate pioneering science into novel treatments for hard-to-treat cancers.”

As part of the transaction, Neogene will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca and continue operations in Amsterdam and California. The deal is slated to be closed during Q1 2023 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. 

AstraZeneca announced the Neogene deal weeks after releasing its latest earnings report, highlighted by total revenue that increased by 19% at constant exchange rates. One driving factor for the company’s top-line growth was its strong oncology and biopharmaceutical sales, with Farxiga generating more than $1.1 billion in revenues.

Additionally, AstraZeneca said the deal does not impact the company’s financial guidance for 2022.