The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking to block Illumina Inc.’s $7.1 billion purchase of Grail Inc., claiming the deal will “diminish innovation in the U.S. market” for multicancer early detection (MCED) tests, which could be used to flag dozens of tumor types when they are still treatable. Illumina has vowed to “pursue all legal options” to complete its acquisition of Grail, arguing that it does not compete with Grail and is committed to providing “unfettered access” to its NGS technology.
Med-tech M&A continued an upward trend through March, with 30% more completed in 2021 compared with this point last year. Deals, including collaborations, licensings and joint ventures, are up by 13%, although the value of those deals are trailing 2020 by 39%.
Lianbio Co. Ltd. has inked a $200 million deal with Tarsus Pharmaceuticals Inc. for greater China rights to the phase IIb/III-stage candidate, TP-03 (lotilaner ophthalmic solution, 0.25%), designed to treat Demodex blepharitis and Meibomian gland disease.
Marking its second acquisition this year after snapping up cancer-focused Five Prime Therapeutics Inc., Amgen Inc. is adding to its inflammatory disease portfolio through the purchase of Seattle-based Rodeo Therapeutics Corp. The deal includes $55 million up front for the private company's shareholders, plus contingent milestone payments worth up to an additional $666 million. Rodeo's lead preclinical program targets 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase to increase tissue levels of prostaglandin PGE2.
LONDON – Bridgebio Inc. has made a huge turn on the initial $65 million it invested in 2018 to acquire rights to infigratinib from Novartis AG, sealing a $2 billion commercialization deal with Swiss oncology specialist Helsinn Group for the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor just four years later. Helsinn will work with Bridgebio affiliate QED Therapeutics Inc. on U.S. co-commercialization of infigratinib in oncology and all other indications apart from skeletal dysplasias, with profits and losses shared on a 50-50 basis.
Bridgene Biosciences Inc., a company using an in-house chemoproteomic platform to find and develop small molecules for hard-to-drug targets, has signed its first major pharma partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for an undisclosed up-front payment.
Somalogic Inc. has agreed to go public via a merger with blank-check company CM Life Sciences II. Upon closing, CMLS II – a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by affiliates of Casdin Capital LLC and Corvex Management LP – will be renamed Somalogic and its common stock listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol SLGC.
PARIS – Implanet SA won approval from its founding shareholders to acquire a majority stake in spinal implant manufacturer Orthopaedic & Spine Development SAS (OSD). Implanet’s bid is aimed at acquiring majority control, and potentially the entire share capital, of Avignon, France-based OSD, valued at $5 million. OSD’s founding shareholders, representing 71.5% of the capital, have already committed to respond favorably to the bid, thus confirming the principles behind this merger.
HONG KONG – Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. is celebrating its 100th anniversary by inking a collaboration and licensing agreement with Perception Neuroscience LLC to develop and commercialize the latter’s PCN-101 (r-ketamine) in Japan.
Small-molecule mRNA translation expert Anima Biotech Inc. has landed a significant new preclinical research deal with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., covering as many as six programs for genetically defined neurological diseases. The deal starts with $120 million in up-front and preclinical research milestone payments for Anima, but altogether the two-part collaboration could hold as much as $2.3 billion.