Two players in the gene sequencing space, Illumina Inc. and Pacific Biosciences, have scotched their planned $1.2 billion merger roughly two weeks after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission posted a 5-0 vote to seek an injunction against the merger.
Astellas Pharma Inc.’s early 2018 buyout of Universal Cells Inc. (UC) may have laid the groundwork for longer-range steps in allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy, but Xyphos Biosciences Inc. CEO James Knighton told BioWorld Asia that the buyout of his firm provides the Tokyo-based giant for now with “an incredibly elegant solution that has tremendous potential.”
Acceleron Pharma Inc. and Fulcrum Therapeutics Inc., two Cambridge, Mass.-based companies that have benefited from partnerships, agreed to an R&D collaboration and license agreement to identify small molecules for treating an undisclosed target in pulmonary disease.
For biopharma, 2019 can be described as a terrific year – with a few asterisks. The financial markets were flourishing, with venture capital dollars, in particular, flowing to the sector, while dealmaking reached historic proportions. Meanwhile, scientific breakthroughs led the way as cell and gene therapies gained ground, the first signs of success emerged with new technologies like CRISPR and the long-awaited promise of genomics found its way to the front lines of health care.
Astellas Pharma Inc.’s early 2018 buyout of Universal Cells Inc. (UC) may have laid the groundwork for longer-range steps in allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy, but Xyphos Biosciences Inc. CEO James Knighton told BioWorld that the buyout of his firm provides the Tokyo-based giant for now with “an incredibly elegant solution that has tremendous potential.”
Turnstone Biologics Inc. has found a major backer for its preclinical vaccinia-based oncolytic virus platform for cancer immunotherapy. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. is paying $120 million in up-front, near-term milestones and equity investment and could pay $900 million more in development, regulatory and commercial milestones to enter a strategic alliance with the New-York-based firm.
In a move that Sarepta Therapeutics Inc.’s president and CEO, Doug Ingram, called “transformational” for the company and “the largest licensing transaction in cell or gene therapy history,” Sarepta granted Roche Holding AG exclusive commercial rights outside the U.S. for SRP-9001, its gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Roche Holding AG took an interest in immunometabolism specialist Rheos Medicines Inc. even before its March 2018 launch. Now, less than two years later, it has tapped Cambridge, Mass.-based company, founded by Third Rock Ventures, to identify and develop an undisclosed number of new therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory disease.