Ten days after its JAK1 inhibitor, itacitinib, failed a phase III trial in acute graft-vs.-host-disease (GVHD), Incyte Corp. has finalized a deal that could provide an alternative growth path. It is paying Morphosys AG $750 million up front, investing $150 million in its stock and is on the hook for up to $1.1 billion in milestones for a 50% interest in U.S. rights to the CD19-targeting antibody tafasitamab (MOR-208) and for 100% of the rights in all other territories.
A closely watched bid by Incyte Corp. to tackle acute graft-vs.-host-disease (GVHD) with the JAK1 inhibitor itacitinib has fallen flat in pivotal testing, leaving analysts skeptical about the drug's future and pessimistic about the company's R&D chops.
It appears that the spirit of giving has come early, with leading biopharmaceutical companies providing investors with a surprise present of a significant jump in their share prices in October. The reversal in the sector's fortunes was catalyzed by an outpouring of positive news, including strong third-quarter financial results that has spilled over into early November.