Shares in this Australian stem cell company are going nuts on an investment from a biotech giant

Getty/Scott Nelson

US-based Celgene Corporation is spending $58.5 million to buy about 4.7% of Australian biotech Mesoblast and get access to its anti-cancer drugs.

Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company and formerly based in Australia, will buy 15.3 million ordinary shares in Mesoblast at $3.82 per share.

The US company will also get a six-month right of first refusal on Mesoblast’s proprietary adult stem cell product candidates for the prevention and treatment of acute graft versus host disease, certain cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases and organ transplant rejection.

Celgene president and COO Mark Alles said the agreement provides an opportunity to add to the company’s cellular and regenerative medicine pipeline.

Mesoblast shares are trading 22% higher at $3.92.

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