Alan Hirzel, Abcam

Ab­cam brings a long­time col­lab­o­ra­tor in house as part of $340M buy­out pact

Bio­Vi­sion has sup­plied Ab­cam with re­search tools since 1999, and now the two are mak­ing it of­fi­cial as part of a merg­er un­veiled Mon­day.

Ab­cam will buy­out Bio­Vi­sion as part of a $340 mil­lion ac­qui­si­tion deal to bring aboard the sup­pli­er’s bio­chem­i­cal and cell-based as­says for bi­o­log­i­cal re­search, as well as re­com­bi­nant pro­teins, an­ti­bod­ies and en­zymes.

The deal will give Ab­cam con­trol of Bio­Vi­sion’s port­fo­lio and al­low for both the ex­pan­sion of re­search ex­ist­ing ar­eas of fo­cus such as on­col­o­gy, neu­ro­science and epi­ge­net­ics and prepa­ra­tion to ex­pand in­to new prod­ucts. As a part of the deal, Ab­cam will de­vel­op and sup­ply prod­ucts and ser­vices to NKY, the pre­vi­ous own­er of Bio­Vi­sion and re­ceive sup­port for on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of in vit­ro di­ag­nos­tic prod­ucts.

In a con­fer­ence call with man­age­ment Mon­day, Ab­cam’s CEO Alan Hirzel said that the trans­ac­tion is right in line with the com­pa­ny’s goals go­ing for­ward.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing the reg­u­la­to­ry ap­provals come through so we can be­gin to shape and dri­ve the growth from the busi­ness in the way that we hope, and we look for­ward to pro­vid­ing a bit more de­tail when the mar­ket re­views al­low us to do so,” he said.

Bio­Vi­sion brought on $33.9 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2020, the com­pa­ny said in a re­lease, and has near­ly $22 mil­lion in as­sets and an op­er­at­ing prof­it of $12.6 mil­lion. Of that rev­enue, $5 mil­lion of it comes from Covid-19 re­lat­ed prod­uct sales, which are not pro­ject­ed to oc­cur again, the com­pa­ny said again.

Ab­cam bought the an­ti­body com­pa­ny Epit­o­mics in 2018, and Ex­pe­deon AG’s pro­teomics and im­munol­o­gy ac­tiv­i­ties for $142.5 mil­lion in 2019.

MedTech clinical trials require a unique regulatory and study design approach and so engaging a highly experienced CRO to ensure compliance and accurate data across all stages is critical to development milestones.

In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

Mathai Mammen (Rob Tannenbaum, Endpoints News at BIO 2018)

Math­ai Mam­men makes an abrupt ex­it as head of the big R&D group at J&J

In an after-the-bell shocker, J&J announced Monday evening that Mathai Mammen has abruptly exited J&J as head of its top-10 R&D group.

Recruited from Merck five years ago, where the soft-spoken Mammen was being groomed as the successor to Roger Perlmutter, he had been one of the top-paid R&D chiefs in biopharma. His group spent $12 billion last year on drug development, putting it in the top 5 in the industry.

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Ted Love, Global Blood Therapeutics CEO

Up­dat­ed: Pfiz­er scoops up Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics and its sick­le cell ther­a­pies for $5.4B

Pfizer is dropping $5.4 billion to acquire Global Blood Therapeutics.

Just ahead of the weekend, word got out that Pfizer was close to clinching a $5 billion buyout — albeit with other potential buyers still at the table. The pharma giant, flush with cash from Covid-19 vaccine sales, apparently got out on top.

The deal immediately swells Pfizer’s previously tiny sickle cell disease portfolio from just a Phase I program to one with an approved drug, Oxbryta, plus a whole pipeline that, if all approved, the company believes could make for a $3 billion franchise at peak.

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Samantha Du, Zai Lab CEO

Any­one still look­ing for a CD47? Zai Lab shelves PhI pro­gram af­ter re­view­ing 'com­pet­i­tive land­scape'

Over the past few years, the promise of blocking CD47 — a “don’t eat me” signal co-opted by cancer cells — has sent drugmakers big and small into a frenzy. But one biotech is now bowing out.

Zai Lab is deprioritizing ZL-1201, its CD47 inhibitor, scrapping plans for a Phase II trial. It will now “pursue out-licensing opportunities,” the company said in its Q2 update. The decision was based on a review of the competitive landscape, it added, without going into further details.

Illustration: Kim Ryu for Endpoints News

Why non-opi­oid pain drugs keep fail­ing — and what's next for the field

In 1938, Rita Levi-Montalcini was forced to move her lab into her bedroom in Turin, as Mussolini’s facist government expelled Jewish people from studying or working in schools in Italy. Levi-Montalcini, then just a few years out of medical school and using sewing needles as scalpels in her makeshift lab, would soon discover nerve growth factor, or NGF, in chicken embryos.

Her discoveries formed the basis of our understanding of the peripheral nervous system and how cells talk to each other, and Levi-Montalcini went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1986. Much later, NGF was hailed as a promising target for new pain therapies, with some analysts quoting an $11 billion market. However, the latest anti-NGF candidate, Pfizer and Eli Lilly’s tanezumab, was rejected by the FDA last year because of a side effect that dissolved bone in some of its patients.

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Craig Thompson, Cerevance CEO

UP­DAT­ED: Mer­ck makes first big splash for Alzheimer’s drug R&D since 2017 fail, ink­ing re­search pact with Cere­vance

For the first time since discontinuing its late-stage Alzheimer’s program, Merck has found promise on the path forward in the memory-robbing disease.

After a Phase III flop of its drug verubecestat, the New Jersey Big Pharma axed the study in early 2018. More than four years later, the company is ready to sign up for another pact to test the waters of the befuddling disease.

This time, there’s $1.1 billion in biobucks on the line and a target that its partner says no other biopharma is looking at en route to finding the next treatment for Alzheimer’s, a neuroscience field that has hit hurdle after hurdle for decades.

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Joachim Kreuzburg, Sartorious CEO

On an ex­pan­sion spree, Ger­man man­u­fac­tur­er Sar­to­rius makes $500M+ pur­chase of cell cul­ture me­dia play­er

Over the past year, the German-based life science group Sartorius has made several moves to grow the company in the cell and gene therapy space, and its latest move sees the company continuing that track as it is committing to a nine-figure deal to bring UK-based Albumedix under its wing.

The deal will have Sartorius acquiring 100% of the company from private investors for £415 million, or around $502 million. Albumedix, based in the city of Nottingham, UK, is a manufacturer of albumin-based products. Albumin serves as a major ingredient in cell culture media and is used as an animal-free additive in the manufacturing of vaccines, cell therapies and viral therapies. The transaction is expected to close before the end of Q3 of 2022.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Break­ing: Pfiz­er in hot pur­suit of a $5B buy­out of Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics — re­port

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has vowed to leave no stone unturned in the search for new biotech deals, and the BD team is not letting him down.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Pfizer is in the final stages of acquiring Global Blood Therapeutics for $5 billion. According to the Journal report, though, Pfizer is not the only buyer at the deal table and while the pharma giant may be close to clinching it, there are no guarantees it will continue.

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HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (Patrick Semansky/AP Images)

US weighs new route of ad­min­is­tra­tion for mon­key­pox vac­cine as cas­es climb — re­port

Less than a week after HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox a national health emergency, reports have emerged that the US plans to extend its vaccine supply by opting for a different route of administration.

Officials are expected to call for intradermal injection of Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos vaccine — the only shot approved specifically for monkeypox in the US — as opposed to subcutaneous injection, unnamed sources told both the New York Times and Washington Post on Tuesday.