Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), also known as diastolic heart failure, accounts for roughly half of all heart failure cases worldwide. The condition, which occurs when the ventricles do not relax as they fill with blood following heart muscle contractions, is especially common in elderly women, striking up to 10% of those over 80 years old. Now stem cell biotech firm Novoheart Holdings Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, is partnering with Astrazeneca plc, of Cambridge, U.K., to co-develop a human-specific in vitro, functional model of HFpEF. The goal is to give drug researchers critical clues of a drug candidate’s efficacy before it is tested in patients.
Baxter International Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., has entered an agreement to acquire Seprafilm adhesion barrier and related assets from Paris-based Sanofi SA. The expected price at closing is $350 million, with the transaction anticipated to wrap up in the first quarter of 2020.
In its second large deal of the calendar year, Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. acquired the rights to Xenon Pharmaceutical Inc.’s selective sodium channel inhibitor for treating epileptic encephalopathy. Xenon receives $30 million up front, $20 million in equity and up to $1.7 billion in potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.
HONG KONG – Seoul, South Korea-based GI Innovation Inc. has licensed to Nanjing, Jiangsu-based Simcere Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. rights to its immunotherapy drug candidate, G1-101, a bispecific CD80/interleukin2 (IL-2) variant fusion protein.
Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S’ board chairman, Michael Heffernan, said investors will find out in “the next four weeks” more details related to the $1.3 billion takeover by Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Corp., which gets control of Envarsus XR, an improved formulation of tacrolimus for prophylaxis of organ rejection in kidney transplant patients converted from tacrolimus and for use in de novo kidney transplant patients.
PARIS – Dentressangle Initiative SAS, of Lyon, France, is in talks to buy a majority stake in Marle International Holding SAS, an orthopedic implant contract manufacturer. The acquisition is said to be worth $880 million, although Dentressangle has not confirmed this amount. “We are looking forward to supporting the management team in achieving its long-term goal for Marle, of offering higher value-added services to its clients and pursuing target acquisitions,” Thierry Coloigner, managing partner for mid and large cap at Dentressangle, told BioWorld MedTech.
Huntington’s disease is a fatal hereditary disease that results in the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It erodes a person’s physical and mental abilities, usually beginning in their 30s and 40s, and to date has no cure. Now Austin-based Asuragen Inc. is joining forces with Wave Life Sciences USA Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to develop companion diagnostics (CDx) for Wave’s investigative allele-selective therapeutic programs targeting the genetic cause of the disease.