Yumanity chairman Tony Coles (L) and CEO Richard Peters

Af­ter clin­i­cal hold quashed its hopes, Yu­man­i­ty field­ed 10 bid­ders be­fore land­ing on two-way deal with J&J, Kine­ta

What sends a biotech down the dread­ed jour­ney of ex­plor­ing “strate­gic al­ter­na­tives”?

In the case of Yu­man­i­ty, af­ter steadi­ly los­ing its val­ue since a re­verse merg­er that took it on Nas­daq in 2020 — plus an abort­ed plan for an of­fer­ing — it was an FDA clin­i­cal hold on its lead Parkin­son’s pro­gram that trig­gered the shift in di­rec­tions, ac­cord­ing to new­ly filed SEC doc­u­ments.

The play-by-play al­so re­veals that Yu­man­i­ty, which axed 60% of its staff in Feb­ru­ary in the wake of the hold, asked J&J mul­ti­ple times about a whole­sale ac­qui­si­tion. But J&J de­clined, choos­ing to stick with spe­cif­ic pro­grams. Ul­ti­mate­ly, Yu­man­i­ty agreed to sell off most of its pipeline to J&J’s Janssen for $26 mil­lion and merge what’s left with Kine­ta, a Genen­tech-part­nered on­col­o­gy drug de­vel­op­er and one of eight com­pa­nies in con­tention for the deal.

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