GSK vet named CEO of China CAR-T JV with Kite; Coherus fights back against Amgen claims it stole trade secrets
→ Richard Wang, the former site chief for GSK in Shanghai, is taking the CEO’s job at Fosun Kite, a joint venture established by Kite Pharma and Shanghai Fosun to advance Kite’s CAR-T $KITE to the market.
→Amgen $AMGN has filed a lawsuit against Coherus BioSciences $CHRS claiming theft of trade secrets, according to a statement from the biotech. And the Redwood City, CA-based Coherus says it plans to defend itself vigorously, adding that Amgen is solely interested in fending off competition to pegfilgrastim by mounting a delaying action in state court. “Coherus remains committed to the important goal of bringing much-needed biosimilar drugs to the marketplace,” said CEO Denny Lanfear in a statement. “We are confident that we will prevail in this action and achieve our goals of increasing patient access, introducing competition and offering biosimilar products at prices competitive with and lower than those maintained by Amgen and other large pharmaceutical companies.”
→ Israel’s Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics has recruited a top scientist from Biogen. Ralph Kern has been named chief medical officer of the biotech, which is working on adult stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. Brainstorm is prepping for a Phase III in ALS.
→ Sanford Health has invested $20 million in InGeneron, a Houston-based regenerative medicine company. “This significant investment demonstrates Sanford’s commitment to be an active participant in InGeneron as well as being our clinical trial site of choice,” said Ron Stubbers, MBA, President of InGeneron. “Our joint efforts will enable the company to make regenerative cell therapies available to clinical practice and to establish a leading position in the application of adipose-derived regenerative cells.”
→ Vernalis and Servier have struck a new two-year discovery collaboration focused on oncology. Vernalis has scored €2 million upfront along with fees and milestones to go to work seeking new drugs for Servier. “This new collaboration further validates our fragment-based drug discovery platform and the strength and success of our relationship with Servier. We look forward to working together to develop exciting new cancer treatment opportunities to add to the already disclosed success in targeting Bcl-2 and Mcl-1”, commented Ian Garland, CEO of Vernalis.
→ Boehringer Ingelheim is at work on a new collaboration with Vanderbilt University, focusing on the research and development of small molecule compounds targeting the protein SOS (Son Of Sevenless). “This molecule activates KRAS, a molecular switch that plays a central role in the onset of some of the deadliest cancers.”