Chi­nese biotech Ever­est signs $550M+ li­cens­ing deal for BTK in­hibitors on heels of Covid-19 pact

Ever­est Med­i­cines is on a roll with two li­cens­ing deals in one week.

The Shang­hai-based biotech has paid Sinovent and SinoMab $12 mil­lion up­front for the rights to a BTK in­hibitor for re­nal dis­eases, the com­pa­ny an­nounced Thurs­day. The deal comes just days af­ter Ever­est came away with rights to a Covid-19 vac­cine in Chi­na, Tai­wan, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and In­done­sia.

Ever­est will pay Sinovent and SinoMab up to $549 mil­lion in mile­stone pay­ments and roy­al­ties. The agree­ment in­cludes tech trans­fer of Sinovent and SinoMab’s man­u­fac­tur­ing process for the can­di­date, named XNW1011.

The BTK in­hibitor has fin­ished a Phase I study in Chi­na so far. Chron­ic kid­ney dis­ease, Ever­est CEO Ker­ry Blan­chard said in a press re­lease, is a prob­lem world­wide, and B cell ab­nor­mal­i­ties can af­fect a num­ber of dis­eases that have a high preva­lence in Asia.

“We are im­pressed by the da­ta gen­er­at­ed from XNW1011 (or “SN1011″) to date and are com­mit­ted to mov­ing this com­pound quick­ly in­to phase 2 stud­ies to ex­plore a num­ber of re­nal dis­eases, of which rep­re­sent a few glob­al first-in-dis­ease op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ever­est,” he said. “This im­por­tant part­ner­ship with Sinovent and SinoMab not on­ly so­lid­i­fies Ever­est’s lead­er­ship in de­vel­op­ing nov­el ther­a­pies to com­bat re­nal dis­ease, but al­so un­der­scores our tran­si­tion to de­vel­op­ing nov­el ther­a­pies for the glob­al mar­ket by lever­ag­ing the vast pa­tient pop­u­la­tion in Greater Chi­na and Asia.”

This week, the com­pa­ny paid $100 mil­lion up­front to Prov­i­dence Ther­a­peu­tics, and could pay up to $400 mil­lion more for its mR­NA-based Covid-19 vac­cine. Ever­est will al­so gain the rights to any fu­ture Covid-19 vac­cine can­di­dates that are de­signed for a spe­cif­ic vari­ant, which are cur­rent­ly in the pre­clin­i­cal stage.

Aside from XNW1011, Ever­est has two drugs in its pipeline for car­dio-re­nal dis­ease: Ne­fe­con for the treat­ment of IgA nephropa­thy, and Ra­linepag for pul­monary ar­te­r­i­al hy­per­ten­sion. In to­tal, there are nine can­di­dates in the com­pa­ny’s pipeline, sev­en of which are ei­ther in Phase III tri­als or have a bi­o­log­ics li­cense agree­ment sub­mit­ted.

SinoMab’s flag­ship can­di­date SMO3 tar­gets CD22 to treat rheuma­toid arthri­tis, and is cur­rent­ly in Phase III tri­als in Chi­na. Sinovent’s fo­cus area is in on­col­o­gy, and meta­bol­ic and in­fec­tious dis­eases.

IDC: Life Sci­ences Firms Must Em­brace Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion Now

Pre-pandemic, the life sciences industry had settled into a pattern. The average drug took 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring to market, and it was an acceptable mode of operations, according to Nimita Limaye, Research Vice President for Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology at IDC.

COVID-19 changed that, and served as a proof-of-concept for how technology can truly help life sciences companies succeed and grow, Limaye said. She recently spoke about industry trends at Egnyte’s Life Sciences Summit 2022. You should watch the entire session, free and on-demand, but here’s a brief recap of why she’s urging life sciences companies to embrace digital transformation.

Martin Landray, Protas CEO (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Those big bil­lion-dol­lar PhI­II stud­ies? Mar­tin Lan­dray says they can be done for a tiny frac­tion of the cost

Martin Landray knows what controversy in clinical drug development feels like, from first-hand experience.

Landray was the chief architect of RECOVERY, a study that pitted a variety of drugs against Covid-19. And he offered some landmark data that would help push dexamethasone out into broader use as a cheap treatment, while helping ice hydroxy’s reputation as a clear misfire.

“Lots of people told us we shouldn’t use it,” Landray says about dexamethasone and Covid-19. “It was dangerous. We shouldn’t even do a trial. They also cared about hydroxychloroquine and lots of people said we shouldn’t do a trial because it must be used. I’ve got the letters from both sets of people.”

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

FDA ap­proves one of the prici­est new treat­ments of all time — blue­bird's gene ther­a­py for be­ta tha­lassemia

The FDA on Wednesday approved the first gene therapy for a chronic condition — bluebird bio’s new Zynteglo (beti-cel) as a potentially curative treatment for those with transfusion-dependent thalassemia.

The thumbs-up from the FDA follows a unanimous adcomm vote in June, with outside experts pointing to extraordinary efficacy, with 89% of subjects with TDT who received beti-cel having achieved transfusion independence.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Geoffrey Porges, new Schrödinger CFO

Long­time an­a­lyst Ge­of­frey Porges de­parts SVB to lead fi­nances at a drug dis­cov­ery shop

Geoffrey Porges has ended his two-decade run as a biotech analyst, as the former SVB Securities vice chair began as CFO of Schrödinger on Thursday.

The long-running analyst, who previously headed up vaccines marketing at Merck before the turn of the millennium, will lead the financial operations of the 700-employee company as Schrödinger broadens its focus from a drug discovery partner to also building out an in-house pipeline, with clinical trial No. 1 set to begin next quarter.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

James Sabry, Roche global head of pharma partnering

Roche, Genen­tech plunk down $60M up­front to part­ner with Chi­nese phar­ma on PRO­TAC-based prostate can­cer drug

Roche and Genentech are always on the hunt for deals, and on Thursday they found their newest partner.

The pair will team up with the Chinese pharma company Jemincare to push forward a new program for prostate cancer, the companies announced. Roche is ponying up $60 million upfront to get its hands on the candidate and promising up to $590 million in biobucks, plus royalties, down the line.

In return, Genentech will get a worldwide license to develop the program, known as JMKX002992, and bring it to market.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division

GSK lands first-ever UNICEF con­tract for malar­ia vac­cine worth $170M

GSK has landed a new first from UNICEF the first-ever contract for malaria vaccines, worth up to $170 million for 18 million vaccine doses distributed over the next three years.

The vaccine, known as Mosquirix or RTS,S, won WHO’s backing last October after a controversial start, but UNICEF said these doses will potentially save thousands of lives every year.

“We hope this is just the beginning,” Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division, said. “Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market. This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programmes.”

Tom Barnes, Orna Therapeutics CEO

UP­DAT­ED: 'We have failed to fail': Mer­ck gam­bles $250M cash on a next-gen ap­proach to mR­NA — af­ter punt­ing its big al­liance with Mod­er­na

Merck went in deep on its collaboration with Moderna on new mRNA programs, and dropped them all over time, including their RSV partnership. But after writing off what turned out as one of the most successful infectious disease players in the business, Merck is coming in this morning with a new preclinical alliance — this time embracing a biotech that hopes to eventually outdo the famously successful mRNA in a new run at vaccines and therapeutics.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Andrew Hopkins, Exscientia CEO

Ex­sci­en­tia ter­mi­nates Bay­er pact half a year ear­ly, col­lect­ing small por­tion of €240M promised

Bayer and Exscientia are winding down their three-year collaboration, leaving the big German pharma to take the AI-designed compounds born out of the pact further.

London-based Exscientia revealed in its Q2 update that the partners have “mutually agreed to end” their collaboration, which kicked off in early 2020, after recently achieving a drug discovery milestone. In an SEC filing, Exscientia said it terminated the pact on May 30, about six months early.

Atomwise CEO and co-founder Abraham Heifets (left) and co-founder Izhar Wallach

A cou­ple bil­lion for Ex­sci­en­tia was on­ly part of Sanofi's AI am­bi­tions, as the Big Phar­ma adds Atom­wise to the ta­ble

Sanofi made clear its AI ambitions were real at the beginning of this year when the Big Pharma took its drug discovery collaboration with Exscientia to the next level, inking a pact that could birth 15 drugs and deliver $5.3 billion to the UK partner.

Seven months later, the AI blueprint is far from over at the French Big Pharma, as another of the much-hyped drug discovery startups is coming to the table in a five-drug deal. Sanofi will pay Atomwise $20 million to kick off the hunt for up to five targets, which are aimed at leading to the creation of new small molecules. Another $1 billion is on the line — as are royalties — and the companies kept mum on the specific diseases or broader therapeutic areas of interest.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.