Charles Riv­er Lab­o­ra­to­ries has been on an ac­qui­si­tion spree. But Tues­day, it of­floaded two as­sets

Fol­low­ing a sum­mer filled with merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, Charles Riv­er Lab­o­ra­to­ries has di­vest­ed its re­search op­er­a­tions in Japan and a CD­MO site in Swe­den, en­gi­neer­ing two sep­a­rate deals ex­pect­ed to cut down $20 mil­lion in rev­enue.

Tues­day, Charles Riv­er sold its gene ther­a­py CD­MO site to a pri­vate in­vestor group for about $52 mil­lion in cash, with the po­ten­tial for con­tin­gent pay­ments up to $25 mil­lion. The site was in the com­pa­ny’s pos­ses­sion for on­ly a few months, as it was ac­quired from Cog­nate BioSer­vices on March 29.

The site pri­mar­i­ly pro­duces plas­mid DNA for gene ther­a­pies. It has about 130 em­ploy­ees and gen­er­at­ed $10 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2020, and the sale re­duces earn­ings per share by about 10 cents in Q4 of this year. Charles Riv­er says it still will pro­duce pDNA in oth­er sites in the UK and US.

The two deals — done sep­a­rate­ly — gen­er­at­ed $98 mil­lion for Charles Riv­er. The sale of the RMS Japan op­er­a­tions to the Jack­son Lab­o­ra­to­ry will pro­vide the buy­er with 260 em­ploy­ees and a busi­ness that gen­er­at­ed $46 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2020. Charles Riv­er and the Jack­son Lab­o­ra­to­ry have had a dis­tri­b­u­tion agree­ment for more than 20 years, and Charles Riv­er will still have the Japan lo­ca­tion make and dis­trib­ute the com­pa­ny’s re­search mod­els in Japan. The site was sold for $63 mil­lion.

James Fos­ter

In mid-May, Charles Riv­er paid $292.5 mil­lion for Vi­gene Bio­sciences and its 52,000 square feet of man­u­fac­tur­ing space in Rockville, MD. In Feb­ru­ary, the com­pa­ny bought Cog­nate and pledged to dou­ble ca­pac­i­ty in Mem­phis and Eu­rope. It teamed up with Va­lence Dis­cov­ery in April, and ex­pand­ed its man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in Ire­land by ex­tend­ing its test­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in a deal worth near­ly $10 mil­lion that will add an­oth­er 90 roles to the team in the next three years. The deal will al­so help pro­vide test­ing and de­ploy­ment of As­traZeneca’s Covid-19 jab Vaxzevria and flu vac­cine Fluenz.

About 6% of Charles Riv­er’s Q2 growth was thanks to ac­qui­si­tions, ac­cord­ing to an earn­ings re­port. Year-over-year rev­enue was up 34% this year af­ter Q2, from $682.6 mil­lion in 2020 to $914.6 mil­lion. CEO James Fos­ter said in a press re­lease that the strength of the non-clin­i­cal con­tract re­search and man­u­fac­tur­ing port­fo­lios helped po­si­tion the com­pa­ny to re­spond well to the de­mands that came along with Covid-19.

In a May in­ter­view with End­points News, Bir­git Gir­shick — a 32-year Charles Riv­er vet­er­an and EVP of dis­cov­ery and safe­ty as­sess­ment — said that or­gan­ic in­vest­ment through M&As has helped the com­pa­ny nav­i­gate an area un­der con­stant change.

“Our guid­ing prin­ci­ple for ac­qui­si­tions is to ac­quire com­pa­nies with the best sci­ence and the best peo­ple,” she said. “This is how we en­hance the breadth and qual­i­ty of our ser­vices as we grow.”

M&A: a crit­i­cal dri­ver for sus­tain­able top-line growth in health­care

2021 saw a record $600B in healthcare M&A activity. In 2022, there is an anticipated slowdown in activity, however, M&A prospects remain strong in the medium to long-term. What are future growth drivers for the healthcare sector? Where might we see innovations that drive M&A? RBC’s Andrew Callaway, Global Head, Healthcare Investment Banking discusses with Vito Sperduto, Global Co-Head, M&A.

15 LGBTQ lead­ers in bio­phar­ma; Paul Stof­fels’ Gala­pa­gos re­vamp; As­traZeneca catch­es up in AT­TR; 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.

A return to in-person conferences also marks a return to on-the-ground reporting. My colleagues Beth Synder Bulik and Nicole DeFeudis were on-site at Cannes Lions, bringing live coverage of pharma’s presence at the ad festival — accompanied by photos from Clara Bui, our virtual producer, that bring you right to the scene. You can find a recap (and links to all the stories) below.

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AstraZeneca's new Evusheld direct to consumer campaign aims to reach more immunocompromised patients.

As­traZeneca de­buts first con­sumer cam­paign for its Covid-19 pro­phy­lac­tic Evusheld — and a first for EUA drugs

AstraZeneca’s first consumer ad for Evusheld is also a first for drugs that have been granted emergency use authorizations during the pandemic.

The first DTC ad for a medicine under emergency approval, the Evusheld campaign launching this week aims to raise awareness among immunocompromised patients — and spur more use.

Evusheld nabbed emergency authorization in December, however, despite millions of immunocompromised people looking for a solution and now more widespread availability of the drug.

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De­spite a slow start to the year for deals, PwC pre­dicts a flur­ry of ac­tiv­i­ty com­ing up

Despite whispers of a busy year for M&A, deal activity in the pharma space is actually down 30% on a semi-annualized basis, according to PwC’s latest report on deal activity. But don’t rule out larger deals in the second half of the year, the consultants said.

PwC pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting solutions leader Glenn Hunzinger expects to see Big Pharma companies picking up earlier stage companies to try and fill pipeline gaps ahead of a slew of big patent cliffs. Though a bear market continues to maul the biotech sector, Hunzinger said recent deals indicate that pharma companies are still paying above current trading prices.

Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Fol­low­ing SCO­TUS de­ci­sion to over­turn abor­tion pro­tec­tions, AG Gar­land says states can't ban the abor­tion pill

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision on Friday to overturn Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion after almost 50 years, Attorney General Merrick Garland sought to somewhat reassure women that states will not be able to ban the prescription drug sometimes used for abortions.

Following the decision, the New England Journal of Medicine also published an editorial strongly condemning the reversal, saying it “serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk.”

Joe Wiley, Amryt Pharma CEO

Am­ryt Phar­ma sub­mits a for­mal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion to the FDA over re­ject­ed skin dis­ease drug

The story of Amryt Pharma’s candidate for the genetic skin condition epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, will soon enter another chapter.

After the Irish drugmaker’s candidate, dubbed Oleogel-S10 and marketed as Filsuvez, was handed a CRL earlier this year, the company announced in a press release that it plans to submit a formal dispute resolution request for the company’s NDA for Oleogel-S10.

Kelly Martin, Radius Health CEO

VC firms take os­teo­poro­sis drug­mak­er Ra­dius Health pri­vate for al­most $900M

After attacks from activist investors and disappointing returns on share prices, Radius Health has now agreed to new ownership, a direction resulting in leaving the Nasdaq.

Radius Health, a biotech out of Massachusetts with one approved product in its arsenal, announced Thursday morning that it agreed to be acquired by two VC firms: Gurnet Point Capital and Patient Square Capital. The deal, worth around $890 million, will include debt assumption and the payout of $1 CVR per share for investors. And on top of that, OrbiMed is providing debt financing.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)

Phar­ma-friend­ly sen­a­tor calls on FDA for a third time to show patent pro­tec­tions should­n't be blamed for high drug prices

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis made a name for himself in the 2020 election cycle as the darling of the pharma industry, accepting hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions, even from the likes of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Those contributions have led Tillis to attempt to re-write patent laws in pharma’s favor, a move which failed to gain steam in 2019, and request for a third time since January that the FDA should help stop “the false narrative that patent protections are to blame for high drug prices.”

invoX Pharma CEO Ben Toogood (L) and F-star CEO Eliot Forster

F-star bought out in $161M all-cash deal as Hong Kong's Sino Bio­pharm looks to­ward in­ter­na­tion­al ex­pan­sion

After more than a decade and a half of charting its own course, F-star Therapeutics will now settle under a new umbrella company.

The UK biotech will be acquired by invoX Pharma, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Sino Biopharm, in a roughly $161 million all-cash deal, the companies announced Thursday morning. F-star’s buyout will value its shares $FSTX at $7.12 apiece, nearly an 80% premium above Wednesday’s closing price.

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