In a blow to Aussie regenerative medicine company Regeneus Ltd., Japan’s Kyocera Corp. has pulled out of a licensing deal for Regeneus’ lead mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy, Progenza, for osteoarthritis of the knee for the Japan market. Osteoarthritis of the knee is the first indication for Progenza, an allogeneic off-the-shelf adipose-derived MSC therapy.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical Ltd. has out-licensed greater China rights for its idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) candidate, bersiporocin (DWN-2088), to CS Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in a deal worth up to $336 million. Bersiporocin is a prolyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor being developed by Daewoong for IPF and potentially other fibrotic indications.
Sysnav Healthcare SA and Roche Holding AG entered a new collaboration to develop digital endpoints for use in clinical trials of therapies for a range of neuromuscular disorders. The alliance combines Sysnav’s expertise in wearable technologies and movement evaluation with Roche’s clinical experience. It builds on an existing collaboration that led to the qualification of the world’s first digital endpoint, for evaluating therapies in development for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). They now aim to put that experience to work in widening its application to other disorders in which movement is a key parameter.
Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc.’s faith in tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy lifileucel was further proven by the Jan. 23 acquisition of worldwide rights from Clinigen Ltd. to Proleukin (aldesleukin), an IL-2 product used to promote T-cell activity after infusion of TILs. Terms call for San Carlos, Calif.-based Iovance to pay Clinigen, of Burton Upon Kent, U.K., £166.7 million (US$$206.1 million) right away and a £41.7 million milestone payment upon first approval of lifileucel in advanced melanoma, plus double-digit global royalties for Clinigen.
Chinese firm Hutchmed Ltd. has out licensed its targeted colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib to Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. as it eyes growth opportunities in the U.S., Europe and Japan in a deal totaling up to $1.13 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Tokyo, Japan-based Takeda will gain an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize the drug in all indications and territories outside of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Just in time for the Chinese New Year, Mabwell Bioscience Co. Ltd. announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Mabwell Therapeutics Ltd., closed a licensing deal with Disc Medicine Inc. worth up to $412 million for preclinical candidate 9MW-3011, a humanized monoclonal antibody (MAb) that regulates iron metabolism.
Looking ahead to potential commercialization of its late-stage tau PET imaging agent, Aprinoia Therapeutics Inc. has chosen to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Ross Acquisition Corp. II in a deal that has an equity value of $280 million. The funding is aimed at getting candidate 18F-APN-1607 to the market in China.
CAR T specialist Carsgen Therapeutics Holdings Ltd. out-licensed commercial rights for its B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) CAR T therapy, CT-053, in mainland China to Huadong Medicine Co Ltd. in a deal worth up to $152 million.
While it made a sturdy effort as biopharma companies opted for licensing deals over M&As in 2022, the year did not surpass 2021 in deal values, falling about 3.5% short. Lackluster M&A values dropped to their lowest levels in five years and were down by 35.6% compared with 2021.