Merck & Co. Inc. has tapped Skyhawk Therapeutics Inc. for its expertise in the discovery and development of small molecules that modulate RNA splicing, agreeing to pay it up to $600 million per program target plus royalties on sales of any commercialized products of the collaboration. The deal, focused on potential treatments for certain neurological diseases and cancer, was accompanied by news of an expansion of Skyhawk's collaboration with Biogen Inc., which originally signed on with the Waltham, Mass-based company in January.
HONG KONG – Belgian drugmaker Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has decided to return the rights of diabetic obesity treatment HM-12525A to Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. The South Korean company said the decision followed phase II testing by Janssen, which showed the drug achieved the weight loss endpoint but didn't reach Janssen's internal criteria for blood glucose control in obese patients with diabetes.
HONG KONG – To improve public health care in Brazil, Bioneer Corp., a South Korean biotech, and Brazilian government-run Institute of Technology on Imunobiologicals (Bio-Manguinhos) will focus on business development and R&D of in vitro diagnostics and new drugs.
HONG KONG - Incyte Corp. entered a collaboration and licensing deal to flip its greater China rights to an investigational anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody to Zai Lab Ltd., of Shanghai. The candidate, INCMGA-0012, is currently being evaluated as a monotherapy in registration-directed trials for patients with MSI-high endometrial cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma and anal cancer.
Korea's largest pharmaceutical company, Yuhan Corp., and German giant Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH (BI) have signed a collaboration and license agreement to develop a first-in-class dual agonist to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and related liver diseases, following a similar path trod by other companies.
Bracco Imaging SpA. is buying prostate cancer imaging specialist Blue Earth Diagnostics Ltd. for $450 million, acquiring full rights to Axumin (F18-fluciclovine), a PET radiocontrast agent originally developed by Chicago-based GE Healthcare.
Japanese biopharma Carna Biosciences Inc. and Gilead Sciences Inc., of Foster City, Calif., have signed a $470 million R&D collaboration to develop and commercialize small-molecule compounds in immuno-oncology. Under the agreement, Gilead will license worldwide rights to develop and commercialize inhibitors against an undisclosed immuno-oncology target from Kobe, Japan-based Carna. Additionally, Gilead will have access to Carna's lipid kinase drug discovery platform.