Few would dispute that the best way to find innovative solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic is through industry, academia and government working together. BioWorld data indicate that more than 45% of the biopharma deals with nonprofit entities (bio/nonprofit) in 2020 are indeed focused on fighting the globally-disruptive SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In the first five months of 2020, BioWorld has tracked a total of 351 bio/nonprofit deals, with 159 of those logged concentrated on developing therapeutics and vaccines for the deadly virus. The number of these coronavirus-focused deals has ramped up dramatically from only two in January to 18 in February, 45 in March and 63 in April, a month in which the COVID-19 deals accounted for 57% of the total. There were 31 bio/nonprofit COVID-19 deals in May, representing 54% of the total for the month.
Less significant is the amount of money those COVID-19 deals represent, a mere $25.16 million compared to the $919.69 million overall total for the year. Only 20 bio/nonprofit deals have disclosed financial terms so far this year.
The largest, worth $525 million, was formed in May between San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Vanderbilt University to develop and commercialize drug candidates targeting the muscarinic M1 receptor for central nervous system disorders worldwide. In April, the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) placed a new $202 million order under its contract for the manufacturing and supply of Copenhagen, Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic SA's smallpox and monkeypox vaccine Jynneos. Another significant bio/nonprofit deal for $94 million in March involved New York-based Royalty Pharma acquiring Massachusetts General Hospital's royalty interest in Entyvio for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Those three deals account for 89% of the overall money in 2020 for bio/nonprofit deals.
COVID-19 bio/nonprofit deals include a $14 million agreement for Alachua, Fla.-based Ology Bioservices Inc. to develop, manufacture and deliver a monoclonal antibody for the U.S. Department of Defense to treat the disease, and a $6 million partnership between the Biology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences and Miramar, Fla.-based Generex Biotechnology Corp. to develop a vaccine to counter the virus. BARDA also partnered in two separate deals in February with Johnson & Johnson and Paris-based Sanofi Pasteur to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and in a third deal with Barcelona, Spain-based Grifols SA in March for a plasma-derived hyperimmune globulin treatment.
To see bio/nonprofit deals tracked by BioWorld Snapshots in 2020, visit this link:
Biopharma financings data for 2020 through May 28 can be found here: