Digital therapeutics have had a tough time gaining traction in the last few years. They’ve been hampered by sometimes reluctant payers, providers and regulators who lack familiarity with the approach, which typically employs an app or other technology to treat a patient by supporting behavioral adjustments.
Passed up for acquisition by former partner Retrophin Inc., Censa Pharmaceuticals Inc. has found a new home in rare disease specialist PTC Therapeutics Inc., which has agreed to pay $10 million up front for the opportunity to develop CNSA-001 (sepiapterin), a candidate for orphan metabolic diseases, starting with phenylketonuria (PKU). The proposed transaction also includes up to 850,000 shares of PTC common stock (NASDAQ:PTCT), valued around $40 million, plus additional rewards for achieving development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Shares of PTC closed at $46.91 on May 7, down $1.31.
DUBLIN – Bavarian Nordic A/S, Europe’s largest independent vaccine developer, is placing a bet on virus-like particle (VLP) technology as a potentially useful contribution to the desperate global effort to push back against SARS-CoV-2.
HONG KONG – After inking a recent deal with China’s Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co. Ltd., South Korea’s Crystalgenomics Inc. is celebrating its 20th anniversary by seeking more partners to further develop its anti-PD-1 inhibitor pipeline.
BEIJING – Shanghai-based bispecifc antibody startup Epimab Biotherapeutics Inc. entered a research collaboration and license agreement with Brisbane, Australia-based QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to look for novel bispecific target combinations, a move that could expand the startup’s pipeline.
BEIJING – In one of the latest Sino-foreign collaborations formed to find a cure for the pandemic that has infected 3.5 million people worldwide, Shanghai-based Junshi Biosciences Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly and Co. have disclosed an agreement to co-develop therapeutic antibodies for preventing and treating COVID-19. Under the terms, Junshi grants Lilly an exclusive license, outside of greater China, to conduct R&D, manufacture and distribute the SARS-CoV-2 JS-016 neutralizing antibodies developed by Junshi.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boston, will diversify its portfolio beyond its top-selling Soliris (eculizumab) and C5 inhibitor Ultomiris (ravulizumab) by acquiring Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1.4 billion. Alexion’s CEO, Ludwig Hantson, told investors May 5 that the acquisition immediately diversifies the company’s commercial-stage portfolio by adding Portola’s Andexxa (coagulation factor Xa [recombinant], inactivated-zhzo) to Alexion’s existing palette of hematology and neurology therapies. Alexion’s CEO, Ludwig Hantson, told investors May 5 that the acquisition immediately diversifies the company’s commercial-stage portfolio by adding Portola’s Andexxa (coagulation factor Xa [recombinant], inactivated-zhzo) to Alexion’s existing palette of hematology and neurology therapies. Andexxa is the only FDA-approved factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent in severe and uncontrolled bleeding.
The business of cancer therapy in the U.S. is where the big money is, and the Menarini Group, a privately held Italian pharma and diagnostics company, just got a place at the table with its acquisition deal worth up to $677 million for New York’s Stemline Therapeutics Inc.
The restrictions on elective surgeries as hospitals struggle to manage the unfolding global pandemic are hitting medical device companies particularly hard. Abiomed Inc., which specializes in a tiny, minimally invasive heart pump to support heart failure patients, saw its first fiscal fourth-quarter revenue flatten as procedures were postponed. Still, U.S. revenue remained stronger than Wall Street had expected, even as ex-U.S. revenue had deeper declines.