Despite coming out strong earlier this year, biopharma deals have slowed significantly, with values now falling behind 2021 by 7.6%. In August, deals were ahead of all recent years, showing a 7% increase over last year. Through early November, the industry has completed 1,296 deals, including licensings, joint ventures and collaborations, valued at $154.6 billion.
Shares of Oyster Point Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:OYST) soared to $11.57, or 38.6% on word of the buyout by Viatris Inc., which is also taking over privately held, development-stage Famy Life Sciences Ltd. to create an ophthalmology franchise that Viatris estimates could mean at least $1 billion in sales by 2028 as well as at least $500 million more in adjusted EBITDA.
Alkermes plc’s decision to explore separating its commercial-stage neuroscience business from earlier-stage oncology efforts – forming a distinct, publicly traded company to investigate cancer therapies – drove speculation about the launch of the firm’s Lybalvi (olanzapine and samidorphan), approved by the U.S. FDA in the middle of 2021 for schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder.
CSL Ltd. subsidiary CSL Seqirus signed a licensing and development deal with Arcturus Therapeutics Inc. to in-license Arcturus’ late-stage self-amplifying mRNA vaccine platform technology. Arcturus will receive $200 million up front and is eligible to receive more than $1.3 billion in development milestones and over $3 billion in commercial milestones. In addition, it could capture a 40% net profit share for COVID-19 vaccines and up to double-digit royalties for vaccines against flu, pandemic preparedness and three other respiratory pathogens.
Black Friday is still weeks away, but Exelixis Inc. has gone shopping and inked two deals that together are potentially worth more than $1 billion, bolstering its pipeline with cancer drugs from Cybrexa Inc. and Sairopa B.V. Both deals are eye-catching, not just because of their potential value but also because of the technologies involved. Cybrexa’s drug is a peptide-drug conjugate, a class where only one drug is FDA approved and established, and Sairopa is working on an antibody targeting SIRPα, a potential next-generation immunotherapy.
JW Therapeutics Co. Ltd. has formed a partnership with 2seventy Bio Inc. to launch a translational and clinical cell therapy development program for the development of T cell-based immunotherapies in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao.
Shares in Inventiva SA (Paris:IVAA) fell about 18% after development partner Abbvie Inc. quit development of the inflammatory disease drug cedirogant following an unfavorable readout from a phase II toxicology study. The companies had worked on the asset together for about a decade. Inventiva emerged from Abbott in 2012, before the healthcare giant split in 2013 to form pharma specialist Abbvie and Abbott Laboratories, focused on medical devices.
With its acquisition of Subintro Ltd., Rigimmune Inc. put a building block in place to further its development of stem-loop RNA therapeutics that selectively activate the innate immune sensor RIG-I. Subintro specializes in development and delivery of antiviral therapeutics for respiratory diseases caused by RNA viruses, including influenza, rhinovirus and SARS-CoV-2. Subintro’s technology allows the company to consider topical and nasal delivery.
The changes continue at GSK plc as the pharma giant stepped away from its NY-ESO cell therapy program in moves that touch two collaborators. The company is terminating its three-year partnership with Lyell Immunopharma Inc. to develop candidates targeting NY-ESO-1, including the second‑generation product candidates, Lyell’s genetic and epigenetic reprogramming technologies (LYL-132 and LYL-331), and some other second-generation approaches GSK was considering.