partnering

Novartis takes aim at risky Parkinson’s target with $1.5bn UCB deal

Novartis has licensed a potential drug for Parkinson’s from Belgium’s UCB that it thinks could be the first oral, disease-modifying drug for the disease – if it can avoid the fate of earlier drugs in the class. The drug – called UCB0599 – targets a protein called alpha synuclein that tends to get misfolded and …

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GSK pumps £30m into a new Oxford University partnership

GlaxoSmithKline has formed a five-year partnership with Oxford University to set up a new institute that will apply machine learning and functional genomics to the discovery of new medicines. The Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational Medicine – based at Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine – is being set up with £30 million (around $40 …

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Dyno attracts $1.6bn gene therapy deal with Astellas

Astellas has signed another bolt-on deal to build its gene therapy pipeline, agreeing a deal with Dyno Therapeutics to tap into its adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector platform for delivering genes to skeletal and cardiac muscle. The Japanese drugmaker is paying $18 million upfront to exercise an option on the AAV platform – which my help …

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GSK aims at NASH target with $1bn-plus Arrowhead alliance

GlaxoSmithKline has joined the ranks of drugmakers trying to develop new drugs for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – a condition with no approved therapies and a lengthy list of failed drug candidates – via a deal with Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. The bolt-on deal comes – which includes an upfront payment of $120 million and up to $910 …

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Gilead foregoes buyout, but pledges $725m to Arcus’ cancer drugs

Gilead Sciences has forged closer ties to its cancer drug partner Arcus Biosciences , although a licensing deal doesn’t go as far as the takeover that some market commentators have been predicting. Gilead has exercised options on four drug candidates as part of its $2 billion, 10-year alliance that kicked off last year, with the …

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AI specialist Owkin snares $270m alliance with Sanofi in oncology

Sanofi has made another investment in artificial intelligence, taking a $180 million equity stake in Franco-US startup Owkin with another $90 million in funding for a program to seek out new cancer therapies. The three-year project will focus on four types of cancer, and will deploy Owkin’s predictive biomedical AI models to find new biomarkers …

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Pfizer strikes $1.2bn licensing deal for Biohaven migraine drug

Pfizer has bolstered its central nervous system (CNS) drugs portfolio with a $1.2 billion deal to claim rights outside the US to Biohaven’s Nurtec ODT, an oral therapy for migraine. The agreement includes a sizeable $500 million upfront payment, reflecting that Nurtec ODT (rimegepant) is already FDA-approved for treating acute migraine with and without aura …

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UK biotech Dunad inks $1.3bn Novartis deal for its protein degraders

In only its second year of operations, Cambridge, UK startup Dunad Therapeutics has already attracted a big pharma partner for its protein degradation platform. Swiss group Novartis has swooped in with a backloaded option deal that includes $24 million upfront in cash and equity – plus up to $1.3 billion in milestones – and covers …

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AZ/Daiichi partner with Merck on first-line lung cancer trial

The dominance of Merck & Co’s Keytruda in the treatment of previously-untreated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) means it will be hard to dislodge – so AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo have forged an alliance in the hope of piggy-backing on that success. AZ and Daiichi Sankyo have agreed to partner with Merck on a second …

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J&J bulks up in bispecifics with $1.3bn Xencor alliance

Fresh from claiming its first bispecific antibody approval, Johnson & Johnson has delved deeper into the category with a deal to license a drug for B-cell cancers developed by Xencor. J&J’s Janssen Biotech unit is paying $100 million upfront to Xencor and making a $25 million equity investment in the biotech in return for rights …

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Roche dives further into cancer cell therapy with Adaptimmune deal

Roche has largely been a spectator on the side lines as other drugmakers have embraced cell therapies for cancer, but it has made a big play now, pledging $150 million upfront to an alliance with Adaptimmune Therapeutics. The Swiss drugmaker is backloading the five-year deal with around $3 billion in milestones, as the two companies …

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Lilly taps Lycia for protein degrader tech in $1.6bn deal

Eli Lilly has bolstered its position the fast-emerging area of protein degrader drugs, agreeing a $1.6 billion-plus deal with Lycia Therapeutics spanning up to five drug targets. The drugmaker has looked close to home for its latest entry into the category, as Lycia’s founder Prof Carolyn Bertozzi has held a seat on its board of …

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Third strike for GSK/Merck as bintrafusp alfa flubs again

GlaxoSmithKline’s big gamble on Merck KGaA’s bintrafusp alfa has gone from bad to worse, after the drug failed yet another mid-stage trial. The latest disappointment has come from the phase 2 [email protected] BTC 055 study of the drug alongside chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced or metastatic biliary tract cancer (BTC), …

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BMS buys into AI-designed immune drug from Exscientia

Bristol Myers Squibb has exercised an option on an immune-modulating drug candidate developed by UK artificial intelligence specialist Exscientia, paying $20 million for the buy-in as part of their $1.2 billion alliance. The unnamed drug candidate acts on an immunological kinase enzyme, which has proven hard to target using conventional drug discovery techniques because challenges …

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Ipsen forges $1bn alliance with Exicure on neurodegenerative diseases

Ipsen’s new chief executive David Loew pledged to ramp up spending on the company’s pipeline when he took the helm last year, and a flurry of licensing deals in the last few weeks shows that push is starting to gather momentum. The French company – which focusing on cancer, neuroscience and rare diseases – has …

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AbbVie, Calico raise their age-related disease alliance funding to $3.5bn

AbbVie and Alphabet spin-out Calico Life Sciences have agreed to fund their seven-year-old partnership seeking treatments for diseases of ageing with another $500 million apiece. The collaboration with Google sister company Calico – formed in 2014 with $1.5 billion in funding and extended in 2018 with another $1 billion top up – has already resulted …

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AbbVie, Calico raise their age-related disease alliance funding to $3.5bn

AbbVie and Alphabet spin-out Calico Life Sciences have agreed to fund their seven-year-old partnership seeking treatments for diseases of ageing with another $500 million apiece. The collaboration with Google sister company Calico – formed in 2014 with $1.5 billion in funding and extended in 2018 with another $1 billion top up – has already resulted …

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Regeneron, AZ team up on drugs for obesity “superpower” gene

AstraZeneca has formed a partnership with Regeneron to investigate the potential of treating obesity using drugs directed at GPR75, a protective gene identified by scientists at the Regeneron Genetics Centre. AZ’s buy into the programme comes a few weeks after Regeneron published findings in the journal Science suggesting that people with certain GPR75 mutations have …

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Biogen builds MS pipeline via $125m deal with China’s InnoCare

Biogen has moved to shore up its besieged multiple sclerosis franchise by licensing a BTK inhibitor from Chinese biotech InnoCare currently in mid-stage clinical testing. InnoCare gets $125 million upfront in return for sharing rights to orelabrutinib, an orally-active BTK drug that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and penetrate the central nervous system. …

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Novo Nordisk bulks up in rare diseases with $1.2bn Prothena deal

Diabetes giant Novo Nordisk has opened a new front in its rare disease R&D, thanks to an acquisition agreement with Prothena focusing on drugs for ATTR amyloidosis. The Danish drugmaker is paying $100 million upfront for rights to antibody drug PRX004, which is heading for phase 2 trials in cardiomyopathy associated with ATTR amyloidosis, a …

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Almirall kicks off another hunt for skin disease therapy partnerships

Spanish drugmaker Almirall has launched another search for early-stage research projects that it can partner in dermatology, its core area of expertise. The latest edition of its AlmirallShare competition – which will take submissions until 31 October this year – is hunting for innovative therapies for skin diseases that are in the research or preclinical …

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Nestle gets closer to Seres, pledging $525m for microbiome C. diff drug

Swiss food giant Nestle has firmed up its five-year-old alliance with US microbiome specialist Seres, paying $175 million upfront for North American co-marketing rights to its lead drug for Clostridium difficile infections. Under the terms of the new deal, Nestle’s Health Sciences unit will pay Seres another $125 million if the FDA approves the drug …

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BMS pays $650m upfront for Eisai’s first ADC candidate for cancer

Japan’s Eisai has hit the jackpot with its first ever antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) drug candidate, attracting a licensing deal from Bristol-Myers Squibb that could top out at more than $3.1 billion.  BMS is making a hefty $650 million upfront payment to Eisai for global co-development and co-commercialisation rights to MORAb-202, which couples an anti-folate receptor …

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GSK joins ant-TIGIT push with $625m upfront iTeos deal

GlaxoSmithKline has staked a claim to the fast-moving category of cancer therapies targeting the TIGIT immune checkpoint, agreeing a $2 billion plus licensing agreement with iTeos Therapeutics for an antibody candidate in early clinical development. The deal includes $625 million in upfront fees to secure rights to EOS-448, which is currently in a phase 1 …

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J&J backs out of $1.6bn blood cancer antibody alliance with Argenx

Belgian biotech Argenx has lost its development partner for acute myeloid leukaemia antibody cusatuzumab, after Johnson & Johnson backed away from the alliance after two and a half years. J&J’s Cilag unit – part of its Janssen pharma division – said this morning that it had decided not to continue the collaboration after a “review …

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Genmab takes aims at immuno-oncology antibody conjugates with Bolt Bio

Genmab has enlisted the help of Bolt Biotherapeutics to develop a new class of immune-boosting antibody conjugates for cancer in a deal that could be worth up to $880 million. Denmark-based Genmab is paying $10 million upfront to its US counterpart and making a $15 million equity investment to get the project started, funding R&D …

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Healios raises £7m to expand digital mental health services

Digital therapy specialist Healios has raised £7 million in new financing that will be used to expand its suite of mental health services, at a time when demand is soaring in the NHS. The London-based company has developed a virtual care platform that delivers a range of services targeted at children and young people with …

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Lilly buys into MiNA’s protein-boosting RNA tech in $1.25bn deal

UK biotech MiNA Therapeutics has signed up another big pharma partner for its small activating RNA (saRNA) platform, which upregulates the activity of proteins, with Eli Lilly the latest to get in on the action.  While most RNA-based drugs are intended to reduce the activity of proteins that are over-expressed, saRNAs work in the opposite …

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Vertex eyes controllable genetic drugs with $1.3bn Obsidian alliance

Vertex Pharma has ramped up its involvement in gene-editing medicines for the second time in a week, paying Obsidian Therapeutics $75 million upfront to access its technology platform.  Vertex is also offering up to $1.3 billion in milestone payments in the deal, which will focus on using small-molecule compounds to “fine tune” the effects of …

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Novartis expands in radio-oncology again with $1.3bn Artios alliance

In its second licensing deal in the radio-oncology area in consecutive weeks, Novartis has agreed a $1.3 billion-plus alliance with UK biotech Artios Pharma to develop precision medicines for cancer. The collaboration will focus on combining Artios’ DNA damage response (DDR) drug candidates with Novartis’ radioligand therapies, which consist of tumour-targeting molecules carrying radioactive isotopes …

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Lilly cuts a $960m deal with Rigel on RIP kinase

Eli Lilly has become the latest drugmaker to have a go at developing RIP kinase inhibitors, a new class of drugs with potential in autoimmune and inflammatory disease, paying $125 million upfront for rights to a lead candidate from Rigel Pharma. Rigel’s clinical-stage R552 is the main asset in the deal – which also includes …

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Roche and PatchAi partner on digital tool for cancer patients

Roche’s Italian subsidiary has joined forces with digital health startup PatchAi to roll out an app that aims to support people diagnosed with cancer. Roche and PatchAi have been working together on the Smart Health Companion (SHC), which was launched to oncology and haematology patients in July 2020, and will now step up their collaboration …

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Lilly bolts on cancer bispecifics with $1.6bn Merus alliance

Always a big player in oncology, Eli Lilly has fallen behind some of its rivals when it comes to cancer immunotherapy, but a new R&D alliance with Dutch biotech Merus is further evidence of its fightback. Lilly is tapping into Merus’ expertise in bispecific antibodies, specifically antibodies that target cancer cells with one end of …

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