Innovent Biologics Inc. has secured an option to license China rights for up to three enzyme specific inhibitors for inflammatory disorders with few or no treatments from Amagma Therapeutics Inc. Innovent will also manufacture the inhibitors for a phase II trial in the region.
When Glaxosmithkline plc’s new CEO, Emma Walmsley, was hiring a “dream team” of executives to lead the company in 2017, former Genentech whizz Hal Barron was the star signing as chief scientific officer. Lured away from Alphabet Inc.’s biotech subsidiary, Calico LLC, by a bumper pay deal, Barron was arguably Walmsley’s most important appointment. Walmsley badly needed a strong leader with credible expertise in science to lead the company’s R&D efforts, as her expertise and experience came from the company’s consumer operation. But as GSK plans to split later this year, Barron is heading for the exit to become CEO of California’s ambitious and enormously well-funded startup Altos Labs Inc.
UCB SA has unveiled plans to acquire Zogenix Inc. in a deal worth up to $1.9 billion (€1.7 billion), adding to its portfolio an approved drug aimed at rare forms of epilepsy. Brussels-based UCB will pay $26 per share in cash for the Emeryville, Calif.-based biotech, plus a contingent value right of $2 per share, which would pay out upon approval of the oral drug Fintepla (fenfluramine) for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
LONDON – Evotec SE put the biggest ever headline figure on one of its pharma drug discovery collaborations, announcing a $1 billion deal with Eli Lilly and Co. in metabolic diseases. The Hamburg, Germany-based company will be responsible for the discovery of drug candidates for the treatment of diabetes and chronic kidney disease against targets identified by Lilly or Evotec, or sourced externally. Lily has rights to up to five programs, to be developed in the partnership and to take on any subsequent development, clinical validation and commercialization activities. The collaboration initially runs for three years.
Shanghai-based Everest Medicines Ltd. has won exclusive global rights to a set of viral 3C-like (3CL) protease inhibitors from Singapore's national drug discovery platform, the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC), in a deal worth up to $214.5 million.
SCG Cell Therapy Pte. Ltd. has acquired rights to human induced pluripotent stem cell technology from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s Accelerate Technologies Pte. Ltd. to support the development of natural killer (NK) cell therapies for leukemia, liver cancer, gastric cancer and other solid tumors.
Salarius Pharmaceuticals Inc. is joining the red-hot protein degradation space with an acquisition of a portfolio of oral small-molecule protein degraders and IP from Deuterx LLC it’s calling "transformative." The lead asset, SP-3164, is a cereblon-binding molecular glue that Salarius plans to move to the clinic in 2023 as a potential treatment for hematological cancers and solid tumors. Salarius paid Deuterx $1.5 million in cash and 1 million shares of restricted stock (NASDAQ:SLRX) up front, worth about $487,900 at market close on Jan. 13.
Sana Biotechnology Inc. has acquired rights to two CAR T constructs through a pair of deals, one with partners Innovent Biologics Inc. and Iaso Biotherapeutics Co. Ltd. and a second with the U.S.-based National Cancer Institute (NCI). In the Innovent-Iaso deal, Sana secured nonexclusive commercial rights to a B-cell maturation antigen-targeted CAR T construct for in vivo gene therapy and ex vivo hypoimmune cell therapy applications. The NCI deal, for exclusive commercial rights to the NCI’s CD22 CAR asset, could help Sana “address key relapse challenges for CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapies,” the company said.
Astrazeneca plc has announced two significant R&D deals with Scorpion Therapeutics Inc. and Benevolentai Ltd., which it hopes will sharpen its research into cancer, lupus and heart failure. Both of the deals involve artificial intelligence (AI) as a way to increase the probability of success during the clinical development process and reduce the chances of costly trial failures.
The value of biopharma deals in 2021 rose above the prior year’s record by about 8%, thanks to an increasing number of high-money transactions. Mergers and acquisitions, however, fell 32% below 2020 as the industry gravitated more toward financings.