DUBLIN – Numab Therapeutics AG is banking an equity investment of CHF15 million (US$15.2 million) from its latest Asian partner, Sunshine Guojian Pharmaceutical (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., as part of a broad alliance to develop up to five multispecific antibodies from three programs based on Numab’s Match platform.
A pair of Israeli health tech companies, Beyond Verbal and Healthymize, plan to merge to form Newton, Mass.-based Vocalis Health. The company will be focused on developing vocal biomarkers, which track voice patterns via phone calls or smart devices to screen for various voice-indicating ailments including chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions, as well as depression. Vocalis has raised a $9 million financing led by Israeli health tech and life science venture firm Amoon to accumulate additional clinical data and enhance its voice database.
HONG KONG - South Korean biopharmaceutical company Quratis Inc. and Indonesia’s state-run company, Bio Farma PT, have entered a term sheet agreement to develop and commercialize Quratis’ tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, QTP-101, for adults and adolescents. The total amount of the deal is around ₩1.2 trillion (US$1.1 billion), according to the Seoul-based company.
HONG KONG – Rapt Therapeutics Inc., of San Francisco, and Seoul, South Korea-based Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. entered a license agreement for Rapt’s FLX-475 in Asia. FLX-475 is an oral, small-molecule CCR4 antagonist for cancer treatment.
BEIJING – Luye Pharma Group Ltd., of Yantai, Shandong Province of China, has proposed to acquire Shandong Boan Biological Technology Co. Ltd. for up to $205.8 million to expand and diversify its pipeline portfolio into biologics. The payment is to be in three parts: an initial amount of $102.9 million, followed by payments linked to China marketing approval for two of Boan’s candidates of $51.45 million each.
Lantheus Holdings Inc., of North Billerica, Mass., has entered a strategic collaboration with Paris-based Carthera SAS for the use of its microbubbles in combination with Carthera’s investigational Sonocloud system. The implantable device is in development for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor with a post-diagnosis median survival of just 15 months. The new deal furthers two of Lantheus’ strategic goals, finding new applications for its microbubbles and expanding its footprint in oncology.
Arqule Inc. CEO Paolo Pucci said the firm was “limited in what we can comment [on] for the time being” in connection with Merck & Co. Inc.’s deal to pay about $2.7 billion in cash for the company. “There is no better model for bringing a drug faster into the hands of patients and caregivers than the example of Keytruda. I will leave it at that.” Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), a human PD-1-blocking antibody was first approved in September 2014 for advanced melanoma. The label has been widely expanded since.
LONDON – Janssen Biotech Inc. is buying Xbiotech Inc.’s interleukin-1a (IL-1a) inhibitor bermekimab for $750 million up front and will pay a further $600 million in potential milestones as the product advances in development for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and the chronic immune-mediated skin disease, hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).
LONDON – GE Healthcare Life Sciences is bringing its heft to 3D bioprinting in an agreement with Advanced Solutions Life Science Inc. (ASLS), in which the partners aim to automate the production of quality-assured, vascularized tissues, for bone, soft tissue and organ replacements.
DUBLIN – Sanofi SA is paying a hefty 172% premium to acquire Synthorx Inc. for $68 per share, or $2.5 billion in all, to add a clinical-stage immuno-oncology asset to its pipeline and a platform technology that will enable it to optimize cytokine-based drugs for cancer and autoimmune disease.