When Amgen Inc. won approval of the oncolytic virus (OV) therapy Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec, t-vec) for melanoma in late October 2015, hopes ran high for the space. The mood has since faded in some quarters – but hardly all.
Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co. Ltd. could receive an aggregate $1.1 billion from Coherus Biosciences Inc. for the rights to develop and commercialize Junshi’s anti-PD-1 antibody toripalimab in the U.S. and Canada. The deal is powered by Coherus’ core biosimilar business and is designed to steer the company into the business of immuno-oncology.
By combining synthetic biology and RNA therapy, the team at startup Strand Therapeutics Inc. hopes to make mRNA therapy more effective. Strand recently announced an immuno-oncology deal with Beigene Ltd. that netted the company $5 million to begin with and could end up being worth more than $250 million. Beyond immuno-oncology, the company’s basic technology could be broadly useful for both mRNA- and cell-based therapies.