Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. is keeping the faith and figuring out next steps with its next-generation, mesothelin-directed CAR T-cell therapies after Bayer AG ended their exclusive worldwide licensing agreement, signed in late 2020. The setup included funding and development of ATA-3271, an armored allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy, and an autologous version, ATA-2271, for high mesothelin-expressing tumors such as malignant pleural mesothelioma and non-small-cell lung cancer.
Evotec AG and Almirall SA have entered a multitarget drug discovery alliance focused on severe skin disease, from which Evotec could earn up to €230 million (US$243.5 million) in per-program milestones. It is also receiving an undisclosed up-front payment, research funding and, should any products reach the market, it would also bank sales royalties in the high-single-digit percentage range.
Turning Point Therapeutics Inc. has picked up near-global rights to develop and commercialize an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) targeting Claudin18.2 from Lanova Medicines Ltd. for $25 million up front. The deal excludes greater China and South Korea.
In a deal potentially worth more than $1.4 billion, Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has out-licensed a large molecule drug in cancer to Merck & Co. Inc. for development and commercialization outside mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.
While biopharma mergers and acquisitions are at an all-time low, a company that stood in the front battle lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic not only completed the top M&A so far in 2022, but it also announced plans for another mega-merger shortly thereafter.
An unknown U.K. biotech, RQ Biotechnology Ltd., has emerged from stealth mode with a $157 million licensing deal with Astrazeneca plc for its monoclonal antibodies, aimed at protecting vulnerable and immunosuppressed people against SARS-CoV-2.
Evotec AG and Sernova Corp. are joining forces in a bid to develop a functional cure for type 1 diabetes. The companies plan to file an IND early in 2024 for a combined cell therapy and medical device product comprising Evotec’s human beta cells, derived from the company’s induced pluripotent stem cell platform, and Sernova’s Cell Pouch delivery system, which provides transplanted cells with a vascularized, physiologically appropriate environment that enables them to secrete insulin and other hormones involved in regulating blood glucose levels.
Antifungals specialist F2G Ltd. has signed an agreement with Japanese pharma Shionogi & Co. Ltd. for development and commercialization of its treatment for invasive aspergillosis in both Asia and Europe. Under the terms of the deal, F2G is getting $100 million up front and regulatory and commercialization milestones of up to $380 million. The two partners will share clinical development costs.
Off-the-shelf cancer vaccine specialist Nouscom AG has taken the wraps off a multiproject agreement with Janssen Research and Development LLC, after the lead candidate received FDA approval to enter clinical trials.
Cullinan Oncology Inc.’s lead program deal with Otsuka Holdings Co. Ltd. subsidiary Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. brings $275 million up front and the potential for as much as $130 million in regulatory milestone payments.