Abbvie Inc.’s buyout of Immunogen Inc. in a deal valued at about $10.1 billion lit a fire under shares of the latter (NASDAQ:IMGN) which were trading midday at $29.20, an increase of $13.14 or 81%. The cash arrangement brings to Abbvie the approved compound Elahere (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx), the first antibody-drug conjugate approved for treating platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Elahere gained accelerated approval from the U.S. FDA in November 2022.

Prism scores up to $660M from Lilly in drug discovery deal

Five months since Eli Lilly and Co.’s $2.4 billion buyout of Dice Therapeutics Inc. and its Delscape platform for oral small-molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions (PPI), Lilly rolled the dice again for novel PPI targets by partnering with Japanese biotech Prism Biolab Co. Ltd. Under the collaborative licensing deal, the U.S. pharma giant agreed to pay Fujisawa, Kanagawa-based Prism up-front payments and up to $660 million in preclinical, clinical and commercial development milestones, along with royalties on product sales. Prism will work to discover a PPI target, selected by Lilly, via its Pepmetics technology. Lilly can also add up to two more targets, it said.

A Google Maps for genomics: UK Biobank opens access to 15 years of genome sequencing data

After five years and 350,000 hours of DNA sequencing, the UK Biobank has opened up access Nov. 30 to the whole genome sequences of half a million people who volunteered to give samples 15 years ago. “This is a veritable treasure trove,” said Rory Collins, principal investigator at UK Biobank. “I expect it to have transformative results for diagnoses, treatments and cures.” Data come from 20 million biological samples, health records, whole body MRI scans of part of the cohort, a variety of biochemical analyses, including plasma proteomics, and diet and lifestyle information, all of which can be cross-referenced with the genomic data.

Engeneic dream vector nanocells extend overall survival in end-stage pancreatic cancer

Patients with end-stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma achieved unprecedented survival rates after being treated with the Engeneic dream vector nanocells, with 88% of patients doubling the historical survival rates, Engeneic Ltd. co-CEO Jennifer MacDiarmid told BioWorld. The longest-surviving patient had an extended life to an unprecedented 19.7 months and eight of the 17 evaluable patients achieved more than six months survival compared to historical survival of less than two months.

Experts predict ‘biotech winter’ nearing end, cash runway still key

For biopharma, the 2023 post-pandemic reality check has been harsh, replete with sagging stock prices, bankruptcy filings and restructurings, as well as IPOs at their lowest levels in a decade. The good news, according to a handful of industry experts, is that it could be coming to an end, possibly as early as 2024. “We’re closer to the end than the beginning … of what has felt like a very long biotech winter,” said Brad Sitko, chief investment officer at royalty firm Xoma Corp., during a virtual salon hosted this week by Demy-Colton looking at how firms can extend their cash runways and emerge on the other side of that biotech winter.

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