Eli Lilly and Co.’s acquisition of Dermira Inc. for $1.1 billion in cash enlarges Lilly’s dermatology pipeline with the addition of lebrikizumab, a monoclonal antibody designed to bind IL-13 with high affinity, now in two phase III studies for treating moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in adolescent and adult patients, ages 12 and older.
California's Amunix Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Roche Holding AG has agreed to license its therapeutic half-life extension technology, XTEN, for an effort to discover and develop new non-oncology therapies. The deal, which includes $40 million up front, plus up to $1.5 billion in development and sales milestones, builds on a previous technology evaluation agreement the companies first inked in 2013.
Fresh off ending one antifibrosis program in December, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH (BI) is spinning up an expansive new effort in the area this month, promising Singapore-based Enleofen Bio Pte. Ltd. potential payouts of more than $1 billion per product from a preclinical interleukin-11 platform.
Philadelphia-based Aro Biotherapeutics Co. CEO Sue Dillon told BioWorld her firm has “incoming interest from other companies to apply Centyrins to other kinds of drug conjugates,” which could mean more deals with the platform like the one sealed with Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Nurix Therapeutics Inc. landed its second big pharma collaboration in seven months when it signed with Sanofi SA to discover, develop and commercialize a pipeline of protein degradation therapies. In the Sanofi deal, Nurix receives $55 million up front and is eligible for up to about $2.5 billion in total payments based on achieved milestones. To start, Nurix will design small molecules to induce degradation in three specific targets while Sanofi has the option to up the ante to five targets. Sanofi receives exclusive rights and will handle clinical development and commercialization and Nurix retains the option to co-develop and co-co-promote up to two products in the U.S.
San Diego-based Atyr Pharma Inc. CEO Sanjay Shukla told BioWorld that the company plans to move into a registrational trial with lead candidate ATYR-1923 in pulmonary sarcoidosis (PS) if data from the ongoing phase Ib/IIa trial, due later this year, turn out positive. Releasing patients from steroid burdens “would be a real game-changer,” he said, noting that people with PS take as much as 25 mg of prednisone per day to control their coughs and shortness of breath.
In a deal with just $50 million up front but the potential to reach $2.5 billion, Tokyo’s Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, U.K., are joining Merck & Co. Inc. in an exclusive worldwide research collaboration and license agreement to develop small-molecule inhibitors against several cancer targets, including the KRAS oncogene.
BEIJING – Yisheng Biopharma Co. Ltd., of Beijing, said it has inked a pact with U.S. biotech Tavotek Biotherapeutics, of Ambler, Pa., to co-develop a combination therapy with Yisheng’s YS-ON-001/002 and Tavotek’s Tavo-301/303, which the companies hope could prove a more efficacious cancer treatment than the popular anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapies.