Can Sanofi push a CVR on Acte­lion af­ter the Lem­tra­da fi­as­co?

The buzz this morn­ing is that Sanofi $SNY is mov­ing ahead steadi­ly on work­ing out a deal to buy Acte­lion. And Bloomberg re­ports that the phar­ma gi­ant has brought out its fa­vorite M&A tool — the CVR, or con­tin­gent val­ue right shares — to get the job done with­out hand­ing over too large a pre­mi­um.

Sanofi ob­servers will well re­mem­ber that the CVR is what clinched the $20 bil­lion deal for Gen­zyme. But those CVRs are now trad­ing at 38 cents af­ter Sanofi, not known for a very ef­fec­tive in-house R&D group, failed to hit any of the big mile­stones it laid out for in­vestors. Orig­i­nal­ly val­ued at $5.58, or $3.8 bil­lion, the CVR {GCVRZ} was built around Lem­tra­da, which was ini­tial­ly re­ject­ed by the FDA, de­rail­ing the com­mer­cial­iza­tion time­line. And that re­jec­tion was fol­lowed up with a law­suit.

The drug was fi­nal­ly ap­proved in late 2014 and went on to post dis­ap­point­ing 2015 sales, fur­ther dam­ag­ing the CVR.

Jean-Paul Clozel

Nev­er­the­less, Bloomberg re­ports that a CVR may be just what Acte­lion CEO Jean-Paul Clozel needs to give up his well known pref­er­ence for in­de­pen­dence. Clozel has seen off sev­er­al would-be suit­ors and ac­tivist in­vest­ment groups push­ing a sale. J&J $JNJ was the last to go a few days ago, of­fi­cial­ly sign­ing out of the deal room but re­port­ed­ly keep­ing an eye on the progress Sanofi makes on a buy­out that could weigh in around $30 bil­lion.

One rea­son why Sanofi would pre­fer a CVR is that Clozel has been the com­pa­ny’s biggest pipeline fan. He is par­tic­u­lar­ly pumped about the MS drug pones­i­mod — a sphin­go­sine-1-phos­phate 1 re­cep­tor ag­o­nist — just as Gen­zyme’s Hen­ri Ter­meer was pumped about Lem­tra­da. Sanofi is al­so well past its $20 bil­lion self-im­posed lim­i­ta­tion on new ac­qui­si­tions, which will fur­ther add to the at­trac­tive­ness of a CVR. But af­ter los­ing Medi­va­tion to Pfiz­er, Sanofi CEO Olivi­er Brandi­court needs to pro­duce a deal to help ap­pease in­vestors as its di­a­betes fran­chise wanes.

Sanofi’s bleak CVR past, cur­rent R&D ef­fort — as dis­tinct from its col­lab­o­ra­tions with Re­gen­eron — and trou­bled fu­ture are like­ly to keep Clozel fo­cused on the cash. The phar­ma gi­ant’s promis­es on re­search and CVRs look pret­ty thin at this stage.

The Big Phar­ma dis­card pile; Lay­offs all around while some biotechs bid farewell; New Roche CEO as­sem­bles top team; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

With earnings seasons in full swing, we’ve listened in on all the calls so you don’t have to. But news is popping up from all corners, so make sure you check out our other updates, too.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Raymond Stevens, Structure Therapeutics CEO

Be­hind Fri­day's $161M IPO: A star sci­en­tist, GPCR drug dis­cov­ery and a plan to chal­lenge phar­ma in di­a­betes

What does it take to pull off a $161 million biotech IPO these days?

In Structure Therapeutics’ case, it means having a star scientist co-founder paired with the computational drug discovery company Schrödinger, $198 million in private funding from blue-chip investors, almost six years of research work on G protein-coupled receptors and a slate of oral, small-molecule drugs, with an eye on the huge and growing diabetes and weight-loss market.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/Politico via AP Images)

In­fla­tion re­bates in­com­ing: Wyden calls on CMS to move quick­ly as No­var­tis CEO pledges re­ver­sal

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) this week sent a letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeking an update on how and when new inflation-linked rebates will take effect for drugs that see major price spikes.

The newly signed Inflation Reduction Act requires manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicare when they increase drug prices faster than the rate of inflation.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Trodelvy notch­es a win in most com­mon form of breast can­cer

Following a promise last year to go “big and fast in breast cancer,” Gilead has secured a win for Trodelvy in the most common form.

The drug was approved to treat HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer patients who’ve already received endocrine-based therapy and at least two other systemic therapies for metastatic cancer, Gilead announced on Friday.

Trodelvy won its first indication in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer back in 2020, and has since added urothelial cancer to the list. HR-positive HER2-negative breast cancer accounts for roughly 70% of new breast cancer cases worldwide per year, according to senior VP of oncology clinical development Bill Grossman, and many patients develop resistance to endocrine-based therapies or worsen on chemotherapy.

Af­ter 13 years, Ramy Mah­moud steps in­to CEO seat at Opti­nose; Ru­pert Vessey set to ex­it Bris­tol My­ers in Ju­ly

After 13 years as president and COO at Optinose, Ramy Mahmoud has stepped into a new role as its CEO. He is taking the place of Peter Miller, who stepped down earlier this week, though Miller is still staying with the company as a consultant.

In 2010, the two business partners joined Optinose to take it in a new direction, transforming it from a delivery platform to product company. They previously worked together at Johnson & Johnson, when Miller was president at Janssen and Mahmoud headed medical affairs. Miller said after he learned about Optinose, “I did what I always do, which is find people smarter than me to talk with about the idea. And the first person I called was Ramy … and I said, ‘Hey, Ramy, what do you think of this technology?’”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Ma­gen­ta halts stem cell work and may sell it­self fol­low­ing pa­tient death, clin­i­cal hold

Magenta Therapeutics said it is halting work on its stem cell transplant drug pipeline and may sell itself, a week after the company reported the death of a patient in an early stage trial of its antibody-drug conjugate.

The Cambridge, MA-based company said it will conduct a “review of strategic alternatives,” and that could include an “acquisition, merger, business combination, or other transaction.”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Goldfinch Bio CEO Tony Johnson (L) and Karuna Therapeutics CEO Bill Meury

Karuna li­cens­es Goldfinch as­sets to com­pete with Boehringer In­gel­heim in neu­ro­science

Karuna Therapeutics is looking to compete with Boehringer Ingelheim on depression and anxiety with a new license to Goldfinch Bio’s assets, starting with $15 million to the shuttered biotech.

Karuna steps into an arena already being tested by Boehringer in multiple Phase II studies — the two are targeting transient receptor potential canonical 4 and 5, or TRPC4/5, which is thought to have a role in neuroscience indications. Goldfinch’s asset went through a Phase II in kidney diseases, but Karuna’s sights are set on mood and anxiety disorders for now.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Te­va drops out of in­dus­try trade group PhRMA

Following in AbbVie’s footsteps, Teva confirmed on Friday that it’s dropping out of the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Teva didn’t give a reason for its decision to leave, saying only in a statement to Endpoints News that it annually reviews “effectiveness and value of engagements, consultants and memberships to ensure our investments are properly seated.”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 158,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Sanofi CFO Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon (L) and CEO Paul Hudson (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanofi sees downtick in flu sales as it preps for launch of RSV an­ti­body

Sanofi expects its RSV antibody jointly developed with AstraZeneca will be available next season, executive VP of vaccines Thomas Triomphe announced on the company’s quarterly call.

Beyfortus, also known as nirsevimab, was approved in the EU back in November and is currently under FDA review with an expected decision coming in the third quarter of this year. The news comes as the FDA plans to hold advisory committee meetings over the next couple months to review RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK.