The catalyst junkies have been buzzing for days about the possibility that Biogen would use its Q4 report Thursday to fire off a long anticipated transformational deal. They got a deal today, but it was more of a careful seed move than a market groundbreaker.
Biogen is paying $10 million upfront to buy the XPO1 inhibitor KPT-350 from Karyopharm $KPTI. The drug is designed to guard against neurotoxicity and inflammation in the brain, which could provide some help for the neurodegeneratively focused Biogen’s $BIIIB pipeline.
Karyopharm is also in line for $207 million in development and commercial milestones.
Back-to-back acquisitions by Celgene for more than $10 billion in cash and an $11.6 billion Bioverativ buyout by Sanofi have inspired high hopes that the long awaited M&A splurge is now underway. And Biogen is one of the prime suspects for a near-term deal as CEO Michel Vounatsos looks to position the company for the future.
Those hopes remain intact.
Karypoharm’s web site notes that KPT-350 is an IND-ready program, which explains the small upfront, with applications in DMD, MS, traumatic brain injury, ALS, and more.
Karyopharm CEO Michael Kauffman said:
This transaction is part of our broader strategy of partnering our non-oncology assets while we focus on our primary objective of executing the development of oral selinexor, our lead oncology candidate, pursuing regulatory approval in the United States and European Union, and transitioning toward a commercial-stage enterprise.
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