J&J jumps into gamma delta field with Lava collaboration; Myokardia guns for $605M raise
→ Jumping into the erupting field of gamma delta T cells, J&J has signed a collaboration with Lava Therapeutics. Like a series of other biotechs that have emerged in recent years, Netherlands-based Lava develops bispecific antibodies that grab gamma delta T cells, which are involved in recognizing cancers and other types of antigens, to attack evasive tumors. Financial terms were not disclosed.
→ Following positive results from a Phase III study on its lead drug, Myokardia is trying to raise $605 million in a stock offering. The offering comes after the trial results almost doubled the biotech’s stock price from $61.09 to $120.16 as of this morning, and with Myokardia preparing to ask the FDA for approval early next year. The drug treats hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disorder that interferes with the ability of the heart to pump blood through the body. Peak sale estimates are for over $2 billion.
→ The FDA has approved Pomalyst – the thalidomide-derivative developed by Celgene for multiple myeloma and now owned by Bristol Myers Squibb – for AIDS-related and HIV-negative Kaposi’s Sarcoma. Bristol Myers said this is the first new approved treatment in over 20 years for Kaposi’s Sarcoma and the first oral agent.