Astellas partners with Insilico, Harvard; Zambon gets FDA's fast track status for lung drug
→ Another day, another Insilico deal. Weeks after unveiling a tie-up with Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim — the prolific dealmaking powers-that-be at the Hong Kong-based AI startup have lured yet another high profile partner: Astellas.
As usual, no deal terms were disclosed. “Astellas itself is one of the leaders in computational chemistry and AI,” chief Alex Zhavoronkov told Endpoints News via email. “Many Big Pharma companies that are making a lot of noise saying that they are investing in AI often require a lot of work to educate them on generative chemistry and show the platform before closing a deal. But Astellas has some of the best people who understand how things work and have people we respect a lot.”
→ Milan-based drug developer Zambon said the FDA has granted its late-stage inhaled therapy, L‑CsA‑i, fast track status for the treatment of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome, a condition that can lead to respiratory failure and death.
→ Astellas is tying up with Harvard on a new research collaboration. Under the the three-year deal, Astellas — which has been on a dealmaking spree since new CEO Kenji Yasukawa took over in 2018 – will give specific “challenges” to Harvard faculty based on the pharma’s research goals. Faculty will submit project proposals and Astellas will select the best to fund. Projects can range in scope from basic research to generating new drugs.