Deals channel feed

Roche inks $308.6M col­lab­o­ra­tion deal with Lead Phar­ma, fo­cus­ing on im­mune-me­di­at­ed dis­ease

Roche is wading deeper into the field of immune-mediated disease with a €260 million ($308.6 million) collaboration deal with Netherlands-based biotech Lead Pharma.

The giant pharma is putting down €10 million ($11.8 million) upfront to work with Lead over the next few years on researching a small molecule candidate that inhibits portions of the T helper 17 (TH17) cell pathway, which could treat a variety of autoimmune diseases. Once a preclinical candidate is chosen, it’ll be up to Roche to develop and commercialize it.

Myrtle Potter, Sumitovant CEO (Sumitovant)

An ex-Vant fur­ther im­mers­es it­self in a new um­brel­la, cash­ing out in a $584M M&A deal with Sum­it­o­mo Dainip­pon sub­sidiary

A former Vivek Ramaswamy biotech is being brought closer into its new owner’s family of companies.

Sumitovant, the umbrella subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon that bought five of Ramaswamy’s “Vants” in September 2019, is planning on fully acquiring Urovant Sciences $UROV for $584 million in an all-cash deal, the companies announced Thursday afternoon. The merger values Urovant at $16.25 per share, a 96% premium on the biotech’s closing price of $8.28 on Thursday.

No thanks: Roche backs out of EGFR-re­lat­ed pro­tein de­graders in re­vised deal with C4

Roche and C4 Therapeutics have been collaborators since 2016, and the relationship has proved fruitful for the biotech that just went public a little over a month ago.

But the Swiss Pharma is now punting on one of the protein degradation programs in the partnership. Roche is handing back the program targeting EGFR to C4, the biotech said Thursday in reporting its third-quarter financials. C4 was originally notified by Roche in June.

UCB is beef­ing up its gene ther­a­py ops with back-to-back deals to buy a start­up and sign up a uni­ver­si­ty spin­out for dis­cov­ery work

Belgian pharma player UCB is adding AAV gene therapy programs to the R&D menu through a pair of deals struck in Europe and the US.

The Brussels-based company has acquired a fledgling gene therapy startup in nearby Leuven — Handl Therapeutics — that was launched by longtime Novartis vet Florent Gros, one of two companies he’s co-founded in the last 2 years. And UCB inked a separate research deal with University of Florida spinout Lacerta.

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Cit­ing tox­i­c­i­ty con­cerns, Boehringer In­gel­heim drops short-lived IPF pact — keep­ing $1B+ in its pock­et

Boehringer Ingelheim has quietly killed a short-lived deal that it was prepared to spend $1.25 billion on, returning an early-stage drug to its Korean biotech partner.

When the German pharma paid Bridge Biotherapeutics $50 million last July, it hailed BBT-877 — an autotaxin inhibitor — as a potential next-generation treatment option for fibrosing interstitial lung diseases. But toxicity concerns have cropped up, triggering the decision to drop the program, according to Korea Biomedical Review.

Vivek Ramaswamy (Jeff Rumans/JPM 2020)

Vivek Ra­maswamy eyes an I/O vant with up to $2B li­cens­ing deal

Has Vivek Ramaswamy found the seed of his next vant?

On Monday, Roivant announced a rare partnership deal, signing an agreement with the German immuno-oncology small-cap Affimed worth $60 million upfront and up to $2 billion in milestones. For all the company’s sprawling tentacles, it’s the first time since their 2018 pact with Daiichi Sankyo that Roivant itself has announced a licensing agreement with another developer and one of the largest deals, in terms of biobucks, they’ve ever disclosed.

No­vo Nordisk bolts on a ‘holy grail’ oral de­liv­ery plat­form in $1.8B buy­out

A little over a year after Novo Nordisk shook up the big diabetes market with the approval of oral semaglutide, the pharma major is grabbing the tech used to convert the drug from a biologic into a ‘holy grail’ oral treatment in a $1.8 billion buyout.

Novo says it is paying $1.35 billion in cash for all shares of Emisphere with another $450 million being shelled out to buy the royalty stream due to MHR Fund Management — Emisphere’s biggest shareholder.

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What do the top 10 biotech M&A deals of 2020 tell us? Pre­mi­ums are in, bolt-ons rule and the ADC come­back is on

Last year the M&A spotlight in biopharma centered on big money and some large appetites for pipeline and portfolio restructuring. This year is all about bolt-ons and the careful devouring of new pipeline assets.

A few weeks ago we asked the incomparable Chris Dokomajilar, who heads DealForma, to run a cut of the numbers on all the biotech M&A deals of any consequence for 2020. Below, you’ll find everything above the $50 million low-water mark.

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In­spired by ASH da­ta, Mer­ck­'s Roger Perl­mut­ter swoops in with a $2.75B ROR1 buy­out aimed at beef­ing up the can­cer pipeline

Roger Perlmutter has a few more moves to make before he exits the top job in Merck R&D.

The pharma giant is buying VelosBio for $2.75 billion in cash, grabbing a promising ROR1 antibody drug conjugate that is now in Phase I and Phase II studies for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

Perlmutter, who will leave at the end of the year after building Keytruda into a monster drug franchise, clearly likes the data he’s seen from the biotech. And the oncology group sees plenty of opportunities for the rest of the pipeline at VelosBio, which raised a crossover round of $137 million just a few months ago in an apparent move toward an IPO.

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Eye­ing com­mer­cial­iza­tion, a Shang­hai-based CAR-T start­up nabs a $186M megaround

Three years after its last financing and with six programs now in the clinic, Shanghai-based CARsgen therapeutics has raised $186 million to push forward a broad platform of CAR-T therapies for liquid and solid tumors.

The Series C mega-round drew from both marquee and lesser-known regional investors, with the well-heeled Chinese private equity firm Loyal Valley Capital leading the raise and Lilly Asia Ventures, Shiyu Capital, and Summer Capital chipping in. The company will use that cash in part to transition, advancing trials on three continents and laying the basis for an eventual commercial launch, founder and CEO Zonghai Li said in a statement.