Amgen, Sanofi and Merck announce a string of deals at #JPM17; McDonough out at Sobi
• Amgen has tied the knot with Germany’s Immatics, paying $30 million upfront and offering hundreds of millions more in possible milestones for the development of bispecific T cell-engaging therapeutics for a range of cancers.
• Just weeks after ImmuNext signed Roche up as a partner, Sanofi has stepped on board to partner on a preclinical CD40L antibody for autoimmune disease that has potential in treating multiple sclerosis and lupus. The deal is worth a potential $500 million, though it likely starts out on the small side.
• Incyte and Merck are kicking off a slate of new pivotal studies for their combination of Keytruda and the IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat. They are expanding their pact to include non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
• Sweden’s Sobi has begun looking for a replacement for CEO Geoffrey McDonough, who’s planning to leave the company this summer. McDonough has been commuting from the Boston area to Stockholm for the job over the last few years, which apparently has been wearing on the board’s nerves. “Given the increasing demand and focus of our business in Europe, the Board has decided that Sobi needs more continuous presence in Stockholm than Geoffrey can sustain given his current location in Boston,” says Chairman Håkan Björklund.
• Biotech bad boy Martin Shkreli is back in hot water. Shkreli was kicked off Twitter over the weekend after stalking a female reporter online, posting doctored images pairing himself with Lauren Duca and writing mock commentary about a relationship that doesn’t exist. Duca has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, which evidently triggered the Twitter taunts Shkreli’s well known for. Shkreli is slated to go on trial on numerous allegations of fraud this summer.