Vertex snares $75M windfall in revised CFF deal; Ex-Celgene R&D prez Daniel starts advisory group


Vertex and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics have revised the terms of their collaboration, which will now deliver a $75 million windfall for the biotech outfit. The foundation is handing the money over along with $6 million in annual research support for its work on cystic fibrosis, according to new docs filed with the SEC. The foundation had already given Vertex $150 million to help persuade the company to focus on CF. And that partnership led to a deal in 2014 in which the CFF sold its royalty rights in Vertex’s CF drugs for $3.3 billion.

Looking for a mid-stage drug for multiple sclerosis? The Belgian biotech Apitope may have a deal for you. Seven years after gaining the exclusive rights to its MS drug ATX-MS-1467, Merck KGaA is now handing it back, leaving the biotech free to dicker with whomever it chooses. Data from a Phase IIa study is due in a matter of weeks. Merck KGaA has renewed plans to gain an approval for its MS drug cladribine, looking to new data to make a case for the drug.

Bermuda-based Myovant says it plans to sell 13 million shares at $12 to $15 a share, looking to raise up to $195 million. This is the latest instant IPO created by Vivek Ramaswamy.

Michael Pellini, Foundation Medicine

Michael Pellini, Foundation Medicine

The White House is prepping a plan to push drug companies to share more data so that new blood tests can be developed to flag and monitor cancer. “This effort is about strongly encouraging individuals who might not otherwise be caught dead together to work together for the greater good,” Michael Pellini, the chief executive of Foundation Medicine, tells Forbes.

After leaving Celgene over the summer, former R&D chief Tom Daniel has started his own consultancy to work with biotech companies, according to a report in Xconomy. “I’m still in the game,” Daniel says, “just trying to create a bit of a different role.”

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