AbbVie buys Third Rock’s Celsius for $250M to expand IBD pipeline

As AbbVie continues to tout its next generation of immunology drugs behind Humira, it’s buying an early-stage startup to boost its longer-term prospects in inflammatory bowel disease.

The Chicago-area pharma giant, which will have a new CEO on Monday, said Thursday it will pay $250 million in cash to acquire Celsius Therapeutics and its Phase 1-completed asset CEL383. Celsius was last valued at $120 million, according to venture data firm PitchBook.

The Cambridge, MA-based startup has been relatively quiet over the years. Among its co-founders are computational biologist Aviv Regev and Christoph Lengauer. Well-known investors Third Rock Ventures, Google’s GV and Casdin Capital, among others, launched the biotech with $65 million in 2018 and refueled it with an $82 million Series B in 2022.

Regev now leads research and early development at Genentech, and…
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