HONG KONG – With the sale of a group of noncore assets to a little-known Chinese company, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. took another step in a multibillion-dollar string of divestitures that is part of a plan to cut debt and focus on five key business areas. Takeda announced on Dec. 21 the sale of a portfolio of noncore prescription drugs marketed in China to Hasten Biopharmaceutic Co. Ltd. (China).
With record financings and now record deals in 2020, as well as a respectable value accumulated through completed mergers and acquisitions, the biopharma industry has managed to circumvent a crippling economic slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
HONG KONG – Peptidream Inc. inked a research collaboration with Amolyt Pharma SAS to test and optimize Peptidream’s growth hormone receptor antagonist (GHRA) peptides, with the aim of selecting a candidate to develop as a potential treatment for acromegaly.
HONG KONG – Hummingbird Bioscience Pte. Ltd. is collaborating with artificial intelligence (AI) company Tempus Labs Inc. to advance HMBD-001, a differentiated anti-HER3 neutralizing antibody developed using Hummingbird's Rational Antibody Discovery platform, into clinical trials in HER3-driven cancers.
Bayer Corp. and Veracyte Inc. are collaborating in the thyroid cancer space, with an eye toward identifying underlying genomic drivers, including NTRK gene fusions, within patients’ tumors. South San Francisco-based Veracyte offers the Afirma Genomic Sequencing Classifier (GSC) and Xpression Atlas (XA), which aims to help physicians in terms of thyroid cancer diagnosis and individualized care.
Skyhawk Therapeutics Inc., one of the early leaders in developing small-molecule drugs that target RNA, closed out the year with yet another big pharma partnering deal, an alliance with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., in which it is getting $40 million up front plus up to $2.2 billion more in milestones and royalties on product sales.
PARIS – Tilak Healthcare SAS is signing an ophthalmology partnership agreement with Novartis AG from Basel, Switzerland, to expand international distribution of its vision monitoring technology, Odysight.
Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company that has until now revolved primarily around its FDA-approved acute myeloid leukemia drug, Tibsovo (ivosidenib), is selling that drug and the rest of its oncology business to Servier Pharmaceuticals LLC in a deal valued at up to $2 billion, plus royalties. The agreement includes $1.8 billion cash up front for the portfolio and as much as $200 million in regulatory milestone payments for the investigational glioma treatment vorasidenib.
In what could end up being a deal that tops $1 billion, Merck & Co. Inc. cut a collaboration and license agreement with Janux Therapeutics to find, develop and commercialize T cell engager immunotherapies for cancer patients.