After Novartis AG decided not to take it forward in-house, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse is to fund phase III development of mavoglurant in the treatment of cocaine abuse disorder. The agreement to back a trial involving up to 330 participants is with Stalicla SA, which in-licensed the glutamate receptor antagonist from Novartis earlier this year.
Biohaven Ltd. has acquired global rights, excluding China, from Highlightll Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to develop and commercialize a dual inhibitor of tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) and JAK1, BHV-8000 (TLL-041), for the treatment of brain disorders in a deal worth up to $970 million.
Just days after Karuna Therapeutics Inc. reported positive data from a third registrational trial of Karxt (xanomeline plus trospium) in schizophrenia, Puretech Health plc sold a portion of its royalty in Karxt in a potential $500 million agreement with Royalty Pharma. Puretech was a founder of Karuna and co-inventor of Karxt, an oral M1/M4-preferring muscarinic agonist.
A deal worth $745 million for two small-molecule programs, with a lucrative option to expand into other modalities, brings together the diabetes and metabolic disease expertise of Novo Nordisk A/S with an artificial intelligence technology platform from Dewpoint Therapeutics Inc. Boston-based Dewpoint signed on with Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk to use the former’s biomolecular condensates discovery engine to find new drugs for diabetic complications. The drugs will target condensates that contribute to the mechanisms of insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance, a key driver of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Are deals such as M&As between biotechs and big pharma becoming a thing of the past? That was a key question posed during the opening keynote at this year’s BIO-Europe Spring conference in Basel, Switzerland. Although Susanne Kreutz, global head of corporate and business development of Basel-based Novartis AG, doesn’t think this is the case, she told delegates that she believes M&A will increasingly focus in on “high-quality, high-impact, late-stage assets, where reimbursement is securable and where regulatory paths appear.”
Livzon Pharmaceutical Group Inc. licensed rights to zastaprazan, a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) treatment candidate, from Onconic Therapeutics Inc. in a $127.5 million deal. Under the agreement, Livzon, which is based in Guangdong, China, obtains the exclusive rights to develop, license, manufacture and commercialize the candidate in greater China. In turn, Seoul, Korea-based Onconic will obtain a $15 million up-front payment, and up to $112.5 million in development, licensing and commercialization milestone payments.
Shares of Provention Bio Inc. (NASDAQ:PRVB) closed March 13 at $24.10, up $17.40, or 259%, after Wall Street learned that collaborator Sanofi SA intends to acquire the firm for $25 per share in cash, which works out to an equity value of about $2.9 billion. The transaction brings Paris-based Sanofi the type 1 diabetes (T1D) therapy Tzield (teplizumab-mzwv), approved by the U.S. FDA in 2022 as the first and only therapy to delay the onset of stage 3 disease in adults and in pediatric patients ages 8 and older with T1D that has reached stage 2.
Pfizer Inc.’s appetite for acquisitions shows no signs of abating as it announced this morning its plan to acquire biotech Seagen Inc. for a whopping $43 billion in a move that will double the size of its early stage oncology pipeline. Under the deal, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both firms, Pfizer will pay Seagen $229 per share. Bothell, Wash.-based Seagen expects to amass $2.2 billion in revenue in 2023, representing 12% year-on-year-growth, royalties and collaboration and license agreements from its four, FDA-approved products for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, antibody-drug conjugate drugs Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), Padcev (enfortumab vedotin) and Tivdak (tisotumab vedotin), and tyrosin kinase inhibitor Tukysa (tucatinib).
Another step forward in the quest for an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) vaccine took the form of Merck & Co. Inc.’s deal with Modex Therapeutics Inc., owned by Opko Health Inc., to advance MDX-2201 worldwide, an arrangement that brings $50 million up front for Opko plus as much as $872.5 million in milestone payments along with royalties.
After placing a temporary hold on the merger between F-star Therapeutics Ltd. and Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd.’s Invox Pharma Ltd., citing “unresolved national security risks,” the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has finally cleared the merger to proceed.