Protocols channel feed

Re­struc­tured Melin­ta now wants to buy fel­low an­tibi­ot­ic mak­er Tetraphase; TA As­so­ci­ates mulls $500M deal for a stake in CD­MO

→ Yet another buyer has emerged in what is shaping up to be a bidding war for Tetraphase and its marketed antibiotic. Melinta — a fellow antibiotics maker that’s freshly restructured under Chapter 11 and now privately owned by Deerfield — is offering to buy it all for $27 million, more than double the original offer by AcelRx that the Tetraphase board had recommended back in March. Since then, La Jolla has also proposed a $22 million deal.

Eu­ro­pean reg­u­la­tors ac­cept Fi­bro­Gen's ane­mia drug for re­view; Pas­sage Bio's lead gene ther­a­py gets more love from the FDA

→ It’s approved in China and Japan, the FDA plans to make its decision by December and now the EMA has accepted FibroGen‘s anemia drug, roxadustat, for review. The development triggered a milestone payment of $130 million by partner Astellas to FibroGen. The drug is engineered to stimulate the production of red blood cells by mimicking the effect of high altitude in humans.

Passage Bio, which works closely with Jim Wilson’s Gene Therapy Program at the University of Pennsylvania, has secured the FDA‘s rare pediatric disease designation for its lead experimental therapy, PBGM01, broadly for the treatment of a lysosomal storage disease called GM1 gangliosidosis. The therapy has also been granted orphan drug status by the agency. A Phase I/II study in infantile GM1 patients is expected to kick off in the fourth quarter, Passage Bio said.

Si­lence Ther­a­peu­tics wants to list on Nas­daq while pur­su­ing new deals; Sur­face On­col­o­gy inks lat­est Keytru­da col­lab­o­ra­tion

Surface Oncology $SURF has joined the long lineup of biotechs to match one of their drugs with Merck’s powerhouse franchise therapy Keytruda. The biotech will collaborate with Merck on combining Surface’s CD39-targeted SRF617 with the checkpoint in a Phase I/Ib in solid tumors.

Silence Therapeutics — listed in London as $SLN — is jumping the Atlantic to Nasdaq. The biotech struck a deal with AstraZeneca recently, and now wants to add to its list of collaborations. In a statement today, the company noted: “Following the recent announcement of the multi-target AstraZeneca collaboration in March, the Company continues to hold discussions with a number of third parties regarding possible partnership and collaboration opportunities. Accordingly, the Company is strengthening its Business and Alliance Management capability under the leadership of John Strafford, VP, Business Development, with a view to accommodating an expansion of its existing third-party relationships and, as appropriate, additional collaborations.”

Kin­tor Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals com­pletes $240 mil­lion IPO; WuXi Bi­o­log­ics is open­ing a Boston plant

→ A China-based cancer drug developer, looking to pip J&J and Pfizer in castration-resistant prostate cancer, has completed a $240 million IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, marking the fifth oversubscribed IPO on the HKEX since December, the South China Morning Post reported. Jiangsu-based Kintor Pharmaceuticals‘ lead drug, proxalutamide, is an androgen receptor antagonist now in Phase III trials in China and Phase II in the United States.

SEC backs Sino­vac's case against ac­tivist in­vestor who tried to take over; Blue­bird pen­cils in $400M raise

→ An activist investor in Sinovac — one of the Chinese biotechs leading the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine — has been charged by the SEC for cooking up a secret plan to take control of the company without disclosing his ownings. Jiaqiang “Chiang” Li and his firm, 1Globe Capital, agreed to pay civil penalties totaling $290,000 without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings. Sinovac and Li have been entangled in lawsuits since 2018, which is still ongoing in Antigua and Barbuda.

J&J jumps in­to gam­ma delta field with La­va col­lab­o­ra­tion; Myokar­dia guns for $605M raise

→ Jumping into the erupting field of gamma delta T cells, J&J has signed a collaboration with Lava Therapeutics. Like a series of other biotechs that have emerged in recent years, Netherlands-based Lava develops bispecific antibodies that grab gamma delta T cells, which are involved in recognizing cancers and other types of antigens, to attack evasive tumors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ADC up­sizes IPO of­fer­ing in search of a $175M-plus haul; No­vo presents en­cour­ag­ing GLP-1 da­ta from obe­si­ty study

→ Swiss biotech ADC Therapeutics is upsizing its IPO offering by about 3 million shares. The latest update includes new plans to sell 10.3 million shares at $16 to $18 a pop. That could take the cash harvest to around $175 million, depending on the final price. Biotechs have continued to line up on Wall Street for IPOs despite the pandemic, which has severely disrupted a variety of industries. Biopharma R&D seems relatively well-positioned to push ahead.

Mer­ck pours $400M in­to flea drugs for Fi­do; Avro­bio shows dura­bil­i­ty; Rhythm gets pri­or­i­ty re­view

Merck has found its newest $400 million, just don’t expect to ever personally receive a drug from it. The NJ-based pharma giant has acquired Sentinel, a maker of drugs that protect dogs and other companion animals from ticks, fleas and other parasites. Merck already makes a line of pet anti-parasitics called Bravecto. “These products will target different parts of the flea lifecycle and will offer broad-spectrum, internal parasite protection in the SENTINEL brand and the extended duration flea and tick protection of BRAVECTO,” Rick DeLuca, president of Merck Animal Health said in a statement.

Chi­nese biotech aims $232M in IPO cash to push next-gen prostate can­cer drug; Im­munomedics rais­es near­ly a half-bil­lion off ap­proval

→ A Chinese cancer-focused biotech looking to one-up J&J and Pfizer in castration-resistant prostate cancer has launched its IPO in Hong Kong, looking to raise more than $232 million (HK$1.86 billion) on the HKEX. Three cornerstone investors have laid claims to $98 million worth of Kintor Pharma’s shares, while others are free to bid on the rest for between HK$17.8 and HK$20.15 apiece. The Jiangsu-based company’s lead drug, proxalutamide, is an androgen receptor antagonist now in Phase III trials in China and Phase II in the US. The stock is scheduled to debut on May 22.

Fritz Ger­ber, who led Roche for 2 decades, dies; ADC Ther­a­peu­tics tries again for an IPO, sets terms

Fritz Gerber, the 92-year-old ex-Roche CEO who steered the company to a majority stake in Genentech, has died. Gerber was CEO from 1978 to 1998, and chairman for a few years after that. The company credits him with taking a leading role in acquiring a majority stake in Genentech, a foundational move that led to the full buyout 11 years ago. Deals to acquire PCR technology and the takeover of Boehringer Mannheim also set up a big play in diagnostics, where Roche is a world leader today.