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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