Insights+: Key Deals of JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2021

  • This year J.P. Morgan 39th Annual Healthcare Conference was conducted virtually and we witnessed multiple announcements from numerous Biopharma companies
  • An analysis of events and catalysts that were announced at the conference during these days are included in the report. Most of the deals occurred in the first two days of the conference
  • Our PharmaShots team summarized the key deals which took place during the conference from Jan 11 to Jan 14, 2020

Day 1

Bluebird bio to Spin-Off its Oncology Business into Independent Company

  • Bluebird bio spun off its genetic disease and oncology business into a new company
  • The company will retain focus on SGD and will launch its oncology business (“Oncology Newco”) as a new entity
  • Current CEO, Nick Leschly will assume as the CEO of the new company and the anticipated completion date is Q4’21

Sanofi to Acquire Kymab for ~$1.45B

  • Sanofi to acquire Kymab for $1.1B up front and ~$350M following the achievement of certain milestones. The transaction is expected to be completed in H1’21
  • The acquisition will add KY1005 to Sanofi’s pipeline and will expedite its presence in the field of immunology
  • Sanofi will receive the global rights of KY1005 which is a mAb targeting OX40-ligand, currently being evaluated in early P-I/II study as monothx. and in combination with an anti-PD-L1 for immune-mediated diseases and inflammatory disorders

BeiGene Signed a Development and Commercialization Agreement with Novartis

  • BeiGene will receive $650M up front and is eligible to receive up to $1.3B in development and regulatory milestones and up to $250M in sales milestones, plus royalties
  • BeiGene granted Novartis exclusive rights to develop and commercialize tislelizumab for the treatment of cancer in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Russia, and Japan
  • BeiGene will be responsible for ongoing clinical study and Novartis will fund the new clinical studies. The partners will retain the right to commercialize its proprietary products in combination with tislelizumab
  • Tislelizumab is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody specifically designed to minimize binding to FcγR on macrophages

Illumina Signed a Research Pact with Bristol Myers Squibb

  • Illumina signed a research partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb to develop a microsatellite instability CDx and liquid biopsy assay based on Illumina’s TruSight Oncology 500 ctDNA

Illumina Signed a Research Pact with Kura Oncology

  • Illumina signed a research partnership with Kura Oncology to develop CDx for HRAS mutations in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas (HNSCC)

Myriad Genetics Signed a Development and Commercialization Agreement with Illumina

  • Myriad Genetics granted Illumina an exclusive right to develop and commercialize kits for the assessment of HRD by combining TruSight Oncology content and Myriad’s myChoice CDx test

Illumina Signed a Clinical Trial Agreement with Merck

  • Illumina collaborates with Merck to evaluate TruSight Oncology 500 for HRD offering

Boehringer Ingelheim Signed a Research Pact with Google

  • Boehringer Ingelheim signed a research partnership with Google to develop therapies by applying Boehringer’s expertise in computer-aided drug design and in-silico modeling with Google’s quantum computers and algorithms. T
  • The research was conducted in Boehringer’s newly established Quantum Lab and the terms of the research are for three years

Broad Institute of MIT, Harvard, and Verily Signed a Contract Service Deal with Microsoft

  • Broad Institute of MIT, Harvard, and Verily signed a contract service deal with Microsoft to accelerate innovations in biomedicine through the Terra platform

Apple Signed a Research Pact with Biogen

  • Apple signed a research partnership with Biogen to identify digital biomarkers that can serve as early indicators of cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer

Komodo Health to Acquire Mavens

  • The acquisition strengthens Komodo’s Healthcare Map and software suite with the integration of Mavens’ Cloud-based Platform with a Suite of Software

Day 2

Enara Bio Signed a Research Pact with Boehringer Ingelheim

  • Enara Bio collaborates with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop TCR-directed immunotherapies and therapeutic vaccines by combining Enara Bio’s dark antigen platform technology and expertise in cancer antigen identification and Boehringer’s immune-oncology platforms, including oncolytic viruses and cancer vaccines
  • Enara Bio will lead the discovery and validation of dark antigens. Boehringer Ingelheim will get an exclusive option to license 3 dark antigens for lung and gastrointestinal cancers and will be responsible for preclinical, clinical development, and commercialization
  • Enara Bio retain the rights to cell therapy-based products and will receive an up front and option fee and is eligible for research & preclinical milestones per target and up to $1.06B in clinical, regulatory, and sales milestones, plus royalties

Gilead Signed a Clinical Trial Agreement with Vir Biotechnology

  • The companies collaborated to evaluate Gilead’s TLR-8 agonist, selgantolimod in combination with Vir’s siRNA VIR-2218 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection
  • The partners planned to conduct P-II multi-arm study
  • The participants in the study will also receive Gilead’s Vemlidy. The partners will own their proprietary drug

Biond Biologics Signed a Development and Commercialization Deal with Sanofi

  • Biond Biologics granted Sanofi exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize BND-22 for the treatment of solid tumors
  • Biond will lead the P-Ia development of BND-22 as monotherapy and in combination with other agents while Sanofi will be responsible for all further development and commercialization
  • Biond Biologics will receive $125M up front and is eligible to receive ‘more than’ $1B in milestone payments, plus royalties

Steris to Acquire Cantel for $4.6B

  • Cantel to receive $16.93 in cash and 0.33787 shares of Steris, valued at ~$84.66 with an enterprise value of $4.6B including $3.6B in equity and $1B in Cantel’s net debt and convertible notes
  • The acquisition strengthens Steris’ infectious disease business with the addition of endoscopy and dental solution

Related Post: Insights+: Key Deals Updates of JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2020

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Boehringer to investigate ‘dark antigens’ with UK cancer specialist Enara

Boehringer Ingelheim has signed a strategic collaboration with UK biotech Enara Bio, focused on finding ways to fight cancer using “dark antigens” in a deal worth up to €876 million ($1.07bn).

Dark Antigens represent a new class of cancer-associated antigens that derive from the genomic “dark matter” – the portion of the human genome that is normally not expressed as protein.

These sequences are usually silenced in healthy cells but are activated and presented on tumour cells.

This makes them good targets for targeted therapies that will attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Dark antigens are associated with specific cancers and are shared across patients and since typically not visible to the immune system, they represent a large potential repertoire of novel antigens that can be developed as targets for new immunotherapies.

In the new collaboration, Boehringer wants to combine Enara’s expertise in antigen identification with its immune-oncology technology such as oncolytic viruses and cancer vaccines.

The discovery of shared antigens could lead to the development of vaccines that can be readily used to help a broader group of cancer patients.

Enara Bio’s proprietary technology will be used to discover and validate novel dark antigens in up to three tumour types in lung and gastrointestinal cancer.

Under the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim has the option to license dark antigens discovered and validated by Enara Bio.

Boehringer will also be responsible for all non-clinical and clinical development, as well as marketing of associated cancer immunotherapies, including therapeutic vaccines and T-cell redirecting biologics.

Enara Bio retains rights to use any discovered antigens for use in cell therapy-based products.

Enara is eligible to receive an undisclosed upfront payment, together with research/preclinical milestones and licensing fees for each tumour type that is explored.

The Oxford-based biotech is also eligible to receive more than €876 million in clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones, in addition to royalties on future product sales.

Boehringer has been particularly active in cancer deal making, buying Swiss cancer biotech NBE-Therapeutics for €1.16bn ($1.43bn) in December, snapping up antibody-drug conjugate technology.

In the same week it bought cancer vaccine and oncolytic virus specialist Labor Dr. Merk & Kollegen.

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