Daiichi Sankyo forges $12M pact for GPCR pain program with Heptares; Incyte shares jump on latest takeover chatter

→ Heptares struck a $12 million deal to partner with Daiichi Sankyo on a new GPCR pain drug. The UK biotech gets $4 million upfront and $8 million in research support along with an unspecified set of milestones for the deal, in which the Sosei subsidiary will search for new drugs that can be developed for pain. Said CEO Malcolm Weir: “We are confident that the unique structural insights of the receptor that our technologies can deliver combined with expertise on its role in pain from the Neurosciences team at Daiichi Sankyo will yield new, differentiated molecules that can be advanced into development.”

→ Everybody loves a good takeover rumor. On Friday, it was Incyte’s turn again. The biotech’s shares jumped Friday on buzz that Gilead was interested in acquiring the company, fast on the heels of an analyst’s report insisting that Gilead needed to do a deal, fast.

→ Belgium’s TiGenix says that it gained some positive data in a Phase I/II cardiac stem cell study. Investigators say that a pre-specified subset of patients demonstrated a larger reduction in infarct size. “This is the first trial in which it has been demonstrated that allogeneic cardiac stem cells can be transplanted safely through the coronary tree, and in the worst possible setting represented by patients with an acute heart attack with left ventricular dysfunction,” commented Professor Fernández-Avilés, head of the Department of Cardiology at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón.

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