Amgen’s drug portfolio boasts several biologic drugs that are blockbuster sellers. In acquiring ChemoCentryx for $3.7 billion, the pharmaceutical giant gains a company entirely focused on developing small molecule alternatives to biologic medicines.
Amgen’s drug portfolio boasts several biologic drugs that are blockbuster sellers. In acquiring ChemoCentryx for $3.7 billion, the pharmaceutical giant gains a company entirely focused on developing small molecule alternatives to biologic medicines.
Ipsen has been an active dealmaker lately, and it just struck another one that takes the pharmaceutical company into a new area of drug research. The Paris-based company is collaborating with Marengo Therapeutics on the development of two drugs that selectively activate T cells to fight cancer.
Technological advances are moving drug discovery work to computers, but experimental medicines still must be tested in animals. Startup Manifold Bio is developing technology that enables the testing of hundreds of molecules in a single mouse, bringing drug hunters valuable in vivo data much earlier in the drug discovery process.
Merck is partnering with Orion on the clinical development and potential commercialization of a new drug for advanced prostate cancer. Though Merck already has a piece of the prostate cancer drug market, Orion’s drug would offer a new approach for treating cancers that have become resistant to currently available hormone therapies.
New company Areteia Therapeutics launched with up to $350 million in financing and an asthma drug candidate from Knopp Biosciences. That drug, dexpramipexole, previously failed a pivotal test in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but more recent clinical testing found that the way the small molecule works has applications in eosinophilic asthma, a severe form of the […]
Summer weather is heating up but the market for IPOs remains cold. Bausch + Lomb’s successful return to the public markets in the second quarter proved to be an exception as the slowdown in IPO activity reached levels not seen in years.
In less than one year, ReCode Therapeutics has reeled in $200 million in financing. Big pharmaceutical companies are taking notice of the biotech startup’s technology, which enables lipid nanoparticles to go a wide range of organs and tissues, potentially broadening the reach of genetic medicines.
Ipsen is paying $247 million to acquire Epizyme, a cancer drug developer with one FDA-approved product: follicular lymphoma therapy Tazverik. The drug is a modest seller now, but more cash could be paid out if the small molecule hits sales targets in coming years.
Two private equity firms have reached an $890 million deal to buy Radius Health, a company whose main asset is the commercialized osteoporosis drug Tymlos. In other M&A news, cancer biotech F-star Therapeutics is being acquired in a $161 million deal.
Novartis is paying Precision Bio $75 million up front to begin a partnership aiming to develop in vivo gene-editing therapies for serious genetic blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease. One of the goals of the alliance is to make genetic medicines more globally accessible.
Human Longevity, Inc., a startup founded by genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter, plans to join the public markets via a SPAC merger. If the business combination closes, HLI would receive about $345 million for continued commercialization of its platform that uses genomics, AI, and other technologies for early disease detection and other strategies intended to […]
Ten biotech companies were able to raise more than $500 million in combined financing in the past week. Here’s a recap of the funding activity, which spanned AI-based drug discovery, cell therapy clinical research, cancer drug development, and more.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has big plans for cancer immunotherapy Libtayo and it believes it can better execute on them if it has full control of the drug, currently partnered with Sanofi. Regeneron struck a deal to pay Sanofi $900 million, plus another $200 million in milestones, to secure full global rights to the asset.
Roche’s deep oncology pipeline is adding a drug candidate from Repare Therapeutics that works by interfering with a DNA repair mechanism of cancer cells. Repare receives $125 million up front and it retains the right to share in the development and commercialization of the drug, camonsertib.
When consumer healthcare products joint venture Haleon spins out from GSK as an independent company next month, Pfizer will sell its minority stake in the business. Pfizer said that selling its ownership in Haleon is keeping with its focus on developing innovative new medicines and vaccines.
Pfizer and Merck have each won FDA approvals in the past year for new pneumococcal vaccines, but GSK aims to top both of them with its $2.1 billion acquisition of Affinivax. That biotech’s Phase 3-ready vaccine candidate addresses more bacterial strains than any pneumococcal vaccines currently available.
Sonata Therapeutics is developing drugs that reprogram cellular microenvironments to send signals intended to have curative effects. Cancer is the initial focus of the biotech, which Flagship Pioneering formed by combining two of its preclinical portfolio companies.
Bristol Myer Squibb is getting rights to BBP-398, a contender in the chase for drugs that address difficult-to-target KRAS mutations. Meanwhile, BridgeBio Pharma receives some needed cash as it restructures in the wake of the Phase 3 failure of its lead program late last year.
Pfizer is turning to M&A to get its next blockbuster, buying Biohaven six months after the two companies began a commercialization pact centered on the oral migraine drug Nurtec. The acquisition will lead to the spinout of Biohaven’s other assets into a new, publicly traded company capitalized with $275 million.
Aspen Neurosciences is developing a cell therapy that uses a patient’s own stem cells to develop a personalized treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The approach is slightly different than that of Bayer, whose experimental Parkinson’s cell therapy is made from stem cells sourced from healthy donors.
Satellite Bio has emerged from stealth with technology for bioengineering tissue to restore organ function. The regenerative medicine startup, based on research from MIT and Boston University, is backed by $110 million in financing.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is paying $250 million cash to acquire Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotech developing drugs that activate the innate immune system. The biotech’s lead drug candidate is currently in pivotal testing in melanoma.
GlaxoSmithKline is further building out its cancer drug portfolio by acquiring Sierra Oncology, a biotech whose FDA-ready myelofibrosis drug has clinical data showing advantages over a blockbuster product marketed by Incyte. The deal comes as GSK prepares a spinoff of its consumer products as part of a broader strategy to hone its focus on specialty […]
Oral delivery of messenger RNA is one of the capabilities of Matinas BioPharma’s technology. BioNTech will explore that feature among others under a new research alliance with Matinas, a clinical-stage biotech that also has an ongoing collaboration with Genentech.
Pfizer is already in the mix of companies pursuing vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus. The pharma giant is now broadening its scope with a deal to acquire ReViral Therapeutics, a biotech with two clinical-stage antivirals, each taking a different approach to stopping the potentially deadly pathogen.
Evozyne uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to design novel proteins that can be used in gene therapies. The new agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical covers the development of proteins that can be used in gene therapies for rare diseases.
Affini-T Therapeutics is developing new cell therapies for cancer that could overcome limitations of the first generation of cell therapies. The initial genomic cancer targets of the startup are mutations of KRAS and p53, both of which have proven difficult to drug.
Antibody drug conjugates have made scientific and regulatory progress in recent years. Sanofi is partnering with ADC specialist Seagen in a multi-drug alliance that keeps the pharmaceutical giant in the mix of this growing field of cancer therapies.
ARCH Venture Partners led the Series C round of financing for Nutcracker Therapeutics, a company developing new RNA drugs. The company’s process for developing and manufacturing RNA therapies borrows from techniques used in the technology sector.
Targeting mutations isn’t the only way to treat genetically driven diseases. Scenic Biotech is developing molecules to target genes that suppress disease, and it has raised $31 million to advance its pipeline of potential therapies for cancer and rare diseases.
Novartis is paying Voyager Therapeutics $53 million up front to begin a partnership focused on the discovery of capsids for central nervous system disorder gene therapies. Depending on the progress of the research, Voyager could earn up to $1.5 billion in milestone payments.
Diagnostics developer Sherlock Biosciences has advanced its molecular diagnostic capabilities, which can now produce faster results on low-cost devices. The startup will use its Series B round of funding to expand the reach of its technology, potentially placing it directly in the hands of consumers around the world.
Rondo Therapeutics is developing bispecific antibody drugs capable of treating solid tumors, which have eluded this type of cancer therapy. Led by co-founders and Teneobio veterans Shelley Force Aldred and Nathan Trinklein, the biotech startup has emerged from stealth backed by a $67 million Series A round of funding.
AbbVie has acquired Syndesi Therapeutics, an early clinical neuroscience startup developing drugs that have potential applications in a range of cognitive disorders. Syndesi is based on research from Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB.
Sanofi and digital therapeutics company DarioHealth will work together to promote the tech firm’s offerings for the management of chronic diseases. Under the $30 million, multi-year agreement, the partners will also develop new technology tools.
Biocon Biologics is acquiring the biosimilars business of its longtime partner, Viatris. The deal gives Biocon a biosimilars presence in both emerging and developed markets, while Viatris sheds non-core assets as part of a broader strategic review.
Neuroscience drug developer Biohaven Pharmaceuticals is expanding its pipeline to include epilepsy and spinal muscular atrophy. The drug developer is acquiring Channel Bioscience and licensing global rights to a Phase 3-ready drug from Bristol Myers Squibb.
New startup hC Bioscience is developing therapies based on transfer RNA, molecules that can be leveraged to address disease-causing proteins. The biotech joins several companies that are developing tRNA therapies in this emerging class of genetic medicines.
BioNTech is acquiring a preclinical T cell receptor program (TCR) from Medigene, as well as licenses to the biotech’s TCR technologies. The agreement helps BioNTech expand its scope in cancer immunotherapy with a new approach for addressing solid tumors.
Several biotech companies are rising to the challenge of developing small molecules to drug RNA. Remix Therapeutics is joining the chase, but its different approach has drawn the interest of Johnson & Johnson, which has inked an R&D alliance spanning cancer and immunology.
Terray Therapeutics uses tiny microarrays to test molecules against targets of interest, then applies artificial intelligence to build large chemical datasets. The startup’s Series A financing will support R&D initially in immunology; the first Terray molecule is expected to reach the clinic in 18 months.
Natural killers cells are the focus of a growing number of companies pursuing next-generation cell therapies for cancer. Indapta Therapeutics focuses on a subset of this class of cancer-killing cells, and it aims to use them in combination with antibody drugs to boost efficacy.
Eli Lilly is among the new investors joining the Series B round of Arkuda Therapeutics, a biotech developing a drug to treat a rare, inherited form of dementia. If the biotech’s approach works, it could also have applications in other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Clinical-stage Arcellx raised $123.8 million from its IPO, which the company will use to advance to a pivotal test for its lead program, a CAR T-cell therapy for multiple myeloma. Though Arcellx trails its large pharmaceutical rivals, the biotech contends its technology produces cell therapies with key advantages.
Gene-editing medicines developer Intellia Therapeutics is paying $45 million up front to acquire Rewrite Therapeutics. The startup’s technology brings Intellia another tool for its genetic medicines toolbox, one that could enable even more precise edits.
Dewpoint is developing drugs targeting biomolecular condensates, tiny droplets in cells that contain proteins and nucleic acids. Dysfunction of these organelles can play a role in a wide range of diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Leyden Labs is developing nasal spray medicines to prevent respiratory viral infections. The company’s Series B round of funding follows a licensing deal that gives the biotech rights to a Janssen antibody designed to address the two types of influenza that cause seasonal flu.
BenchSci’s technology uses artificial intelligence to make drug R&D faster and more efficient. Big pharmaceutical companies and clinical-stage biotechs are current users of the software, and BenchSci said it will use its new funding to expand the technology.
Eleusis is developing a formulation of the psychedelic compound psilocybin that overcomes limitations of pill versions of the drug. Depression is Eleusis’s lead disease target but the biotech notes that its research has shown the potential to bring psychedelic drugs beyond psychiatry.
Despite the targeted approach of some cancer treatments, tumors can find ways to escape, leading patients to relapse. ImmPACT Bio will apply its Series B financing toward the development of cell therapies designed to prevent tumor escape.
Epilepsy is a small part of UCB’s neurology pipeline, but its proposed Zogenix acquisition would broaden the Belgium-based drugmaker’s ability to address that market. Zogenix’s Fintepla is approved in the U.S. and Europe for a rare type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, and is in development for other rare epilepsies.
ProKidney is going public in a SPAC merger that infuses the biotech with $825 million for Phase 3 tests and manufacturing of its autologous cell therapy for chronic kidney disease. More than slowing the decline in organ function, ProKidney says its cell therapy offers the potential to reverse injury caused by the condition.
Digital health company Verana Health has raised $150 million. The company said it will use the new capital to expand its technology, which is used by physicians and pharmaceutical companies.
AstraZeneca’s partnership with Scorpion Therapeutics will focus on transcription factors that are known to play a role in cancer but have been difficult to target with small molecule drugs. Depending on the progress of the research, Scorpion could receive up to $1.5 billion in option fees and milestone payments.
Sanofi is the latest company to strike a deal for a Parkinson’s disease drug candidate that targets the protein alpha synuclein. The asset from ABL Bio is a bispecific antibody designed to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
A month after Freenome closed $300 million in financing, Roche has invested another $290 million in the diagnostics developer. The cash infusion comes as Freenome continues a pivotal test in colorectal cancer while it also readies for clinical trials in other types of cancer.
Bristol Myers Squibb is partnering with Century Therapeutics, placing a $150 million bet that the biotech’s technology for engineering stem cells can produce new off-the-shelf cell therapies for cancer. If the four potential programs covered under the pact reach the market, milestone payments could bring Century more than $3 billion.
Sanofi’s new alliance with artificial intelligence biotech Exscientia spans up to 15 small molecule drugs in cancer and immunology. If drugs from the partnership reach the market, Exscientia could earn as much as $5.2 billion in milestone payments.
Biotech startup Ambagon Therapeutics is taking a new approach to making elusive protein targets “druggable” by using molecular glues. The biotech has a pipeline of preclinical cancer drugs and it has raised $85 million to support their development.
Pfizer is paying BioNTech $225 million to kick off a new alliance aiming to develop a shingles vaccine based on the same messenger RNA technology that is the basis of the partners’ Covid-19 vaccine. It’s the third alliance between the two companies, but this time Pfizer brings something more to the table.
Ovid Therapeutics is acquiring global rights to AstraZeneca molecules that address a novel target to treat epilepsy. The AstraZeneca deal comes 10 months after Takeda Pharmaceutical paid $196 million up front to acquire Ovid’s rights to a Phase 3 ready molecule for two rare forms of epilepsy.
Novartis is acquiring gene therapy developer Gyroscope Therapeutics and its lead program, a potential treatment for the vision loss disorder geographic atrophy. It’s the latest in a series of M&A moves made by Novartis to build up its gene therapy pipeline.
Three life science companies unveiled Series B rounds of funding Thursday, early Christmas gifts that top $219 million combined. Along with Verge Genomics, the other companies that raised new capital are Tasso and Brainomix.
CSL Limited makes many of its therapies from donated plasma, which posed a challenge as pandemic lockdowns led to a steep drop in plasma collections. In acquiring Vifor Pharma, CSL not only diversifies, it also expands its presence in the fast-growing nephrology market.
Bristol Myers Squibb is paying $150 million up front for global rights to an Immatics biologic drug designed to recruit a patient’s T cells to go after cancer cells. It’s the latest deal in the field of cancer drug developers aiming for off-the-shelf treatments intended to be easier and less expensive to manufacture, distribute, and […]
Sales of blockbuster Pfizer drug Xeljanz are under pressure from a stronger safety warning placed across that drug’s entire class. In acquiring Arena Pharmaceuticals for $6.7 billion, Pfizer gets a lead compound with a different and potentially safer approach to treating inflammatory conditions.
Eli Lilly is building its cancer drug pipeline via a research alliance with Foghorn Therapeutic, a biotech whose technology discovers drugs addressing targets in a cellular system that regulate the way genes are turned on and off. In paying its new partner $380 million up front, Lilly is also placing yet another bet on targeted […]
Nabla Bio emerged from the lab of famed Harvard scientists George Church last year, and its antibody discovery technology has already led to five partnerships with pharma and biotech companies. The startup just closed an $11 million seed financing that will support further development of its technology.
AviadoBio’s gene therapies are designed to achieve widespread distribution throughout the central nervous system. The company’s lead program on track to begin human testing as a treatment for frontotemporal dementia.
Specialty drugs represent a growing share of overall pharmaceutical sales, and Omnicell is acquiring specialty pharmacy technologies company ReCept Pharmacy to enter into this market. Omnicell is paying $100 million cash to buy ReCept.
Novartis is paying UCB $150 million up front to share in the development of two clinical-stage Parkinson’s disease drugs that offer new approaches to treating the disease. Depending on the progress of those drugs, UCB could earn up to $1.5 billion in milestone payments.
Sanofi’s strategy to develop new messenger RNA vaccines is adding another piece. The pharmaceutical giant struck a deal to acquire Origimm Biotechnology, a startup developing therapeutic vaccines to treat skin diseases and infections.
Quell Therapeutics’ $156 million Series B round comes as it prepares to advance to a clinical trial testing its lead regulatory T cell therapy candidate as way to prevent organ rejection in liver transplant patients. The progress comes as the field of Treg cell therapy research becomes increasingly competitive.
Blueprint Medicines is paying $250 million up front to acquire Lengo Therapeutics, developer of targeted cancer therapies. The startup’s lead drug candidate is on track to begin human testing in non-small cell lung cancer, and Blueprint believes the small molecule has advantages over new targeted therapies from Johnson & Johnson and Takeda Pharmaceutical.
GlaxoSmithKline sees enough promise in the early clinical data of a novel NASH drug to pay its developer, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, $120 million up front for rights to the experimental therapy. The Arrowhead drug uses RNA interference to “silence” an enzyme associated with the progression of the fatty liver disease.
AbbVie returned the rights to the drugs to Sosei Heptares earlier this year. Now Neurocrine Biosciences has agreed to pay the Japanese drug company $100 million to license the rights to these preclinical and clinical-stage compounds that address muscarinic receptors to potentially treat a range of neurological disorders.
Nephrology products company Vifor Pharma is shelling out about $252 million combined up front to acquire Sanifit Therapeutics and Inositec, developers of drugs for a blood vessel complication affecting some chronic kidney disease patients. Both biotechs are in clinical trials with their respective lead drug candidates.
The sum represents Sanofi’s equity investment in Owkin, plus a payment to begin a research partnership covering four types of cancer. Meanwhile, Owkin said the Sanofi investment boosts the startup into unicorn status and marks the start of its Series B funding round.
Generate Biomedicines applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to protein analysis, which it uses to program its protein therapies for particular applications. The startup now has $370 million in financing to rapidly scale up operations, with a goal of reaching the clinic within two years.
The acquisition agreement comes exactly two years after the two companies began a wide-ranging alliance focused on developing RNA interference drug for metabolic disorders. The most advanced therapy from that alliance is on track to reach the clinic in 2022.
Organon’s proposed acquisition of Forendo Pharma is the company’s third the company since spinning out of Merck in the summer. Clinical-stage Forendo is developing a new, potentially more targeted approach to treating endometriosis.
Biohaven Pharmaceuticals has seen strong U.S. market uptake for its oral migraine drug, Nurtec. With regulatory decisions looming around the world, the company has landed the marketing muscle of Pfizer, which is paying $500 million up front for the right to market that drug and another clinical-stage compound outside of the U.S.
Sanofi is committing up to $60 million to Gyroscope Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech whose lead program could become the first gene therapy for a particular vision loss disorder. The deal also gives the pharma giant right of first refusal on that gene therapy in certain geographies.
Novartis’s equity stake in Roche, shares acquired 20 years ago in a strategy to build up to a potential mega-merger, will be sold back to the company in a $20.7 billion deal. The cash proceeds could fuel Novartis R&D, as well as potential dealmaking.
In less than two years, Egle Therapeutics launched, partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical, and found its first cancer targets. Now the startup has €40M in Series A financing to further develop its new approach to modulating regulatory T cells as a way of treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.
ReCode Therapeutics closed an $80 million Series B round of financing that included Pfizer and Sanofi as investors. The startup’s technology uses lipid nanoparticles to deliver genetic medicines, and its two lead programs are for rare lung disorders.
ShouTi Pharmaceuticals, a startup that brings computational techniques to drug discovery, has raised $100 million in Series B financing. The clinical-stage biotech designs small molecules intended to do the work of biologic and peptide drugs.
Biomanufacturing technologies company Resilience is partnering with Harvard in a deal that could see innovations from the university’s labs commercialized under new businesses. Resilience has committed $30 million in funding to support Harvard biomanufacturing research.
Biotech startup Tentarix Biotherapeutics has come out of stealth with $50 million and technology that develops biologic drugs endowed with multiple functions. The company aims to develop new multispecific biologic drugs for cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Takeda Pharmaceutical is partnering with startup Immusoft in a research alliance aiming to develop B cell therapies that cross the blood-brain barrier to treat rare neurometabolic disorders. Depending on the progress of the research, Takeda could pay its new partner more than $900 million.
Bionano Genomics is acquiring genomics software firm BioDiscovery in a $90 million cash and stock deal. While both companies provide genomics analysis solutions, Bionano said combining its technology with BioDiscovery’s software will provide the integrated offering that many labs want.
The progress of gene therapies continues to be stymied by safety risks associated with the viruses used to deliver them. Takeda Pharmaceutical is partnering with Poseida Therapeutics in a bet that the biotech’s non-viral technologies could offer a safer alternative.
The gene therapy pipeline of Voyager Therapeutics has hit several setbacks in the past year, but a strategy shift to its capsid technology is now showing promise. Pfizer has signed on as partner in a wager that Voyager’s tech holds the key to delivery of gene therapies for cardiovascular and neurological disorders.
Clinical-stage Xencor is receiving $100 million up front and a $25 million equity investment, while Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech subsidiary gets global rights to plamotamab, a bispecific antibody. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Roche are also developing bispecific antibodies against the same targets, but Xencor’s drug has a feature that could be a competitive advantage.
Amicus Therapeutics is spinning its gene therapy pipeline into a separate entity that will go public via a SPAC merger. Executives say the transaction puts Amicus on a path to profitability while simultaneously securing the cash needed to develop the gene therapy assets.
Bioprocessing technologies company Repligen is acquiring Avitide, and its biologics purifying technology, in a $150 million cash and stock deal. Repligen said Avitide will help it meet growing demand for gene therapy solutions.
AbbVie will take the lead on commercializing Regenxbio’s gene therapy in wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy. It’s AbbVie’s second major gene therapy deal this year, coming months after it committed $90 million to preclinical-stage Capsida Biotherapeutics.
Mammoth Biosciences is applying CRISPR technology to both diagnostics and therapeutics. With the new financing, CEO Trevor Martin said that the company is looking ahead toward clinical trials and perhaps partnerships with larger companies.
The cash deal brings to Sanofi the Kadmon Holdings drug Rezurock, which the FDA approved in July as a treatment for chronic graft versus host disease. The French pharmaceutical giant will add Rezurock to a lineup of older products marketed globally for transplant procedures.
Roche is partnering with Adaptimmune Therapeutics to develop allogeneic cell therapies based on Adaptimmune’s technology. In addition to these “off-the-shelf” products, the partners will also develop a personalized allogeneic cell therapy designed specifically for a patient’s cancer.
Five months after raising $55 million to back a new technology and a promising lead cancer immunotherapy, Asher Biotherapeutics has reeled in $108 million more. CEO Craig Gibbs said investors were enticed by encouraging new data suggesting Asher Bio’s lead program is superior to a competitor’s.
Tie-ups of candy makers and nutritional product companies into a single firm called Bettera has culminated in a $1 billion acquisition by Catalent. The global contract manufacturing giant plans to leverage Bettera’s ability to produce gummies and chewables as a way to offer its customers new formulation options for nutraceutical products.
Atavistik Bio is one of several companies discovering and developing drugs that work by allostery, binding to less obvious sites of a target protein. Acting CEO John Josey said the startup aims to stand apart with its focus on understanding metabolic interactions, a path less trodden by others in allosteric drug discovery.
The royalty agreement with HealthCare Royalty Partners will support ADC Therapeutics’ plans to commercialize its newly approved cancer drug and develop the next one in its pipeline. The biotech’s drug Zynlonta is the first of its type approved by the FDA as a treatment for diffuse large cell B-cell lymphoma
Eli Lilly is entering the field of protein-degrading drugs through a partnership with Lycia Therapeutics, a startup whose technology goes further than the first wave of such drugs. Lilly paid $35 million to begin the alliance, which spans up to five drugs.
Vigil Neuroscience led the way with a $90 million round of funding, one of four biotech companies to close Series B financing rounds in the past week. The fresh capital comes as each of the companies looks ahead to bringing their respective drugs into the clinic.
In closing its Grail acquisition before U.S. and European regulators sign off, Illumina is taking a chance the deal will pass regulatory muster. It’s a potentially pricey gambit, as Illumina could face fines for its early action and there are no assurances that regulators will agree that the deal is not anticompetitive.
Startup HiberCell has acquired Genuity Science, a marriage that brings together two companies that apply AI and machine learning to drug research. HiberCell says Genuity will help the company identify and validate new pathways in how cancer starts and progresses.
Sanofi is acquiring Translate Bio, its messenger RNA R&D partner for the past three years, in a $3.2 billion deal. The pharmaceutical and vaccines giant said the acquisition will speed up development of partnered vaccine programs and spark work on new ones in areas such as cancer, immunology, and rare diseases.
Ipsen is shoring up its neuroscience pipeline via a deal that gives it the option to license drugs that Exicure is developing for Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome. The programs are based on Exicure’s proprietary technology that produces nucleic acid therapies capable of delivery deep into the brain.
Eli Lilly is beginning a research alliance discovering and developing small molecules that stimulate immune responses against cancer. If drugs from the partnership reach the market, Kumquat could earn up to $2 billion in milestone payments.
AC Immune is bolstering the Parkinson’s disease portion of its drug pipeline with a deal to acquire a therapeutic vaccine that Affiris is developing for the disorder. Switzerland-based AC Immune plans to advance its new asset to Phase 2 testing.
Arvinas’ early clinical data for its targeted protein degradation drug for breast cancer drew partnering interest from several companies. Pfizer beat them all with a deal that pays the biotech $1 billion to share in the development and commercialization of this therapy.
An amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals is being prepared for Phase 3 clinical testing on track to begin later this quarter. To support that research, the biotech has raised $135 million in financing.
Cancer drug developer Frontier Medicines already has a research partnership with AbbVie. Now the preclinical-stage biotech has raised $88.5 million for its own pipeline, including a drug that could offer advantages over a recently approved Amgen cancer therapy.
Cancer drug developer Erasca, whose mission is to “erase cancer,” has raised $300 million from its IPO. The clinical-stage biotech addresses a single elusive cancer target; it has multiple programs taking multiple approaches, two of them in human testing and the rest on track to join them.
Startup PAQ Therapeutics is developing drugs work like Pac Man, gobbling up components of a cell associated with disease. The biotech has closed $30 million in financing to continue its research, with a neurodegenerative disorder as its lead disease target.
Eli Lilly has Protomer Technologies, a preclinical startup developing next-generation insulin that senses blood glucose levels and adjusts its activity accordingly. The technology could eliminate the need for multiple insulin injections throughout the day.
By paying $125 million up front for rights to multiple sclerosis drug candidate orelabrutinib, Biogen secures a place among those companies trying to treat the disease by targeting a particular enzyme highly expressed in the central nervous system. But Biogen still has some catching up to do.
ProfoundBio is developing a type of targeted cancer therapy called antibody drug conjugates. As the biotech looks ahead to clinical trials, it has raised more than $55 million in Series A funding.
Novo Nordisk is paying $100 million up front to acquire an experimental Prothena drug being developed to treat heart problems stemming from a misfolded protein. The deal is part of a broader strategy to expand into drugs for cardiovascular disease.
Eli Lilly is partnering with startup Verge Genomics in a move intended to add ALS drugs to its neuroscience pipeline. To date, Verge’s artificial intelligence technology has produced programs internal programs in ALS, Parkinson’s, and frontotemporal dementia.
Two months after Eli Lilly began an alliance with MiNA Therapeutics, a startup developing a new type of RNA therapy, the pharmaceutical giant is making a $15 million equity investment in its partner. MiNA is developing a new class of medicines called small activating RNA therapies.
Four years after a private equity acquisition took Parexel private, the contract research organization is being acquired by two private equity firms for $8.5 billion. It’s the latest in a series of acquisitions to hit the CRO sector this year.
GlaxoSmithKline is paying Alector $700 million up front to share in the development of the biotech’s two lead drugs, which offer potentially broad application in treating neurological disorders. Alector’s approach addresses the role immune cell dysfunction plays in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Fresh off its first FDA approval, Apellis Pharmaceuticals is teaming up with Beam Therapeutics, a partnership that will use Beam’s base-editing technology to develop new therapies for complement system disorders. Apellis has committed to pay Beam $75 million to kick off the alliance.
Led by former Viela Bio CEO Bing Yao, ArriVent Biopharma secures rights to drugs from emerging biotech hubs, then develops them for Western markets. The biotech’s first asset is a cancer drug licensed from Shanghai-based Allist Pharmaceuticals.
GlaxoSmithKline is paying iTeos Therapeutics $625 million up front to share in the development of an antibody that targets the TIGIT protein, a hot target in cancer immunotherapy R&D. The deal comes less than a month after rival Bristol Myers Squibb inked its own deal securing rights to a TIGIT-targeting Agenus drug.
Senda Biosciences is developing drugs based on an understanding of intersystems biology—the way that humans interact with bacteria and plants. The startup, founded by Flagship Pioneering, has added $55 million to advance its three lead programs to clinical testing next year.
Auris Medical has acquired Trasir Therapeutics, a startup developing technology that expands the delivery of RNA medicines to tissues beyond the liver. Going forward, Auris will sell or spin off its programs in hearing disorders and allergies and focus exclusively on RNA therapies.
MorphoSys is acquiring Constellation Pharmaceuticals and its late-stage myelofibrosis drug in a deal that values the epigenetics biotech at $1.7 billion. Germany-based MorphoSys will finance the acquisition with cash from a separate $2 billion deal with drug royalty acquirer Royalty Pharma.
Amgen is paying Kyowa Kirin $400 million to share in the development of a drug that could offer a new approach to treating atopic dermatitis, a form of eczema. The deal comes months after Japan-based Kyowa Kirin reported positive preliminary Phase 2 data for its antibody.
IQVIA is paying nearly $200 million to purchase a Myriad Genetics subsidiary that provides pharmaceutical contract services , a deal that will put the new acquisition in the company’s Q2 Solutions unit, The deal follows IQVIA’s April announcement that it had secured full ownership of Q2, which had been a joint venture with Quest Diagnostics.
Biogen is reaching across the Charles River, striking up a gene therapy manufacturing alliance with synthetic biology firm Ginkgo Bioworks. Ginkgo will use its technology to accelerate and make more efficient the process of manufacturing the AAV viral vectors used in gene therapies.
BlueRock Therapeutics, a Bayer subsidiary, is teaming up with Opsis Therapeutics and Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics in an R&D pact focused on developing stem cell therapies for eye diseases. BlueRock is paying its new partners $30 million up front to kick off the alliance.
Biogen paid $18 million to acquire a drug that TMS Co. of Japan tested in patients with acute ischemic stroke. The acquisition follows the report of preliminary mid-stage data showing the drug led to no cases of a potentially fatal complication associated with currently available stroke therapies.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Obsidian Therapeutics to develop up to five new gene editing therapies. Obsidian’s technology precisely controls protein expression, a capability the partners plan to apply to several undisclosed serious diseases.
Though the number of merger and acquisition deals in the first quarter of 2021 fell below historical averages, the size of the deals was far bigger than the same period last year, a new report from Kaufman Hall shows. The total transacted revenue was $8.8 billion, the second-highest Q1 figure in the last five years.