In a bid to expand its presence in CNS to a wider range of neurodegenerative diseases following a substantial restructuring last month, Alkermes plc has moved to acquire privately held neuronal epigenetics specialist Rodin Therapeutics Inc. for $100 million up front and up to $850 million in clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones.
Optina Diagnostics, of Montreal, and the Wagner Macula & Retina Center are collaborating on a clinical study using Optina's Retinal Deep Phenotyping (RDP) platform to screen for Alzheimer's disease. The program will put the platform into nine community eye clinics in Virginia and North Carolina.
Any worries by Promedior Inc. investors after Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) backed away last year from its option to acquire the firm were resolved in a big way by last week's news that Roche Holding AG is taking over the company in a transaction valued as high as $1.39 billion. Privately held, Lexington, Mass.-based Promedior's lead asset is PRM-151, a recombinant form of human pentraxin-2 (PTX-2) protein that won breakthrough designation from the FDA earlier this year for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
CEO David Giljohann said the first indication in Exicure Inc.'s deal with Allergan plc is antigenic alopecia, but his firm doesn't "have anything else to disclose yet" about other hair loss diseases that the pact will include.
Merck & Co. Inc. acquired Calporta Therapeutics Inc. for an up-front payment and milestone payments that could total $576 million. Calporta is a build-to-buy spinout of La Jolla, Calif.-based COI Pharmaceuticals Inc. Calporta develops selective small-molecule agonists to TRPML1, foremost in the mammalian mucolipin TRP channel subfamily.
HONG KONG – South Korea's Samsung Bioepis Co. Ltd. will get $100 million in up-front payments in a commercialization deal for two of its biosimilar candidates with U.S. company Biogen Inc. Under the deal, Samsung Bioepis will also be eligible for up to $270 million in milestone and option payments, as well as a share of sales revenue.
DUBLIN Evotec SE is taking a further crack at kidney disease, through a 50-50 joint venture with Vifor Pharma Group, which is funding an initial drug discovery and preclinical development phase with €25 million (US$27.6 million). The as-yet-unnamed venture aims to capitalize on Evotec's participation in a large-scale U.K. biobank, which is tracking about 4,000 patients with either chronic kidney disease or idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.
When the time was right to make a powerful Western biotech welcome in China, Beigene Ltd. was ready when Amgen Inc. came calling. Its massive $2.7 billion cash equity investment in Beigene buys Amgen an oncology footprint in China.
HONG KONG – Canadian company Pascal Biosciences Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, and South Korean biotech Y-biologics Inc., based in Daejeon, have signed a research collaboration agreement for the discovery and development of bispecific antibodies for the treatment of leukemia.
South Korean AI-based biotech Azoth Bio Inc., of Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, and biopharmaceutical venture Wellmarker Bio Co. Ltd., based in Seoul, have signed a memorandum of understanding for cancer drug R&D and commercialization.