Biogen Inc., one the world's top neurological disease specialists, is committing to invest more than $1 billion in cash and equity in Denali Therapeutics Inc. for rights to co-develop and co-commercialize a potential therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD) and options to secure up to four more neurodegenerative disease programs from its new partner.
Bold up-fronts and even bigger milestones defined ambitious neurology deals Abbvie Inc. struck with Voyager Therapeutics Inc. in 2018 and 2019. With vectorized antibodies, they planned to target multiple indications tied to excess aggregations of tau and tragic synucleinopathies. Considerable progress was made, said Omar Khwaja, Voyager's chief medical officer. But despite millions of dollars invested in the programs, Abbvie has now decided to quit the venture, leaving Voyager to either go it alone or find a new partner in its work on the challenging indications.
Shares of Cymabay Therapeutics Inc. (NASAQ:CBAY) shot 37% higher on Monday after top-line data showed 78.2% of people with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in the company's disrupted phase III test of seladelpar achieved the primary composite outcome after just three months on a 10-mg dose of the drug vs. 12.5% in the trial’s placebo arm.
Second-quarter earnings reports, flowing fast in the last days of July, delivered a bevy of contrasting results, from A to V. Stymied by the pandemic, Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. booked exactly zero net sales during the quarter for its expected blockbuster peanut allergy treatment, Palforzia. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Seattle Genetics Inc. beat top-line expectations, driven primarily by strong sales of new products.
In a move that Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. chief Lonnel Coats said will focus the company on its phase II neuropathic pain program, The Woodlands, Texas-based venture has agreed to sell one of its two approved products, the carcinoid syndrome diarrhea therapy Xermelo (telotristat ethyl), to Tersera Therapeutics LLC for $159 million in cash.
UCB SA, a Belgian company developing an antibody targeting a toxic protein tied to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), said Roche Holding AG has negotiated an exclusive global license to the potential therapy for $120 million up front, plus almost $2 billion in milestone payments following positive proof of concept for the anti-tau candidate, UCB-0107, in AD.
Nura Bio Inc., a company working to discover and develop new neuroprotective medicines, has closed a $73 million series A financing that President and CEO Alpna Seth said would help her team advance a multitarget pipeline, initially led by an inhibitor of the sterile alpha TIR motif protein 1 inhibitor (SARM1).
The industry's expanding quest for protein degraders grew a little larger on July 9 with Sanofi SA tapping Kymera Therapeutics Inc. to advance two new protein degrader programs, one of which will target IRAK4 in patients with immune-inflammatory diseases and another for an undisclosed target. Each program could yield multiple therapies.
Following a brisk quarter of healthy biopharma dealmaking driven in part by New York-based Blackstone Group Inc., the global investment giant has revealed that its Life Sciences Fund V has closed with $4.6 billion of capital commitments, making it what the firm said is the largest life sciences private fund raised to date.
Velosbio Inc., a San Diego-based company developing cancer therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1), has raised $137 million in series B financing to support development of its lead antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), VLS-101, and continued expansion of its pipeline.