Minerva shares jump as J&J hands over $30M, revises insomnia drug pact; Iroko lays off 122

→ Minerva Neurosciences saw its shares $NERV jump on Thursday, after it announced revised terms to its collaboration with J&J on its orexin 2 receptor antagonist MIN-202. In a deal contingent on the closing of J&J’s acquisition of Actelion, Minerva is getting back the shares J&J purchases along with global rights to the drug. Janssen is giving up its rights to royalties on the drug and is paying a $30 million upfront and two payments totaling $40 million for late-stage milestones. And J&J is forgiving what Minerva owes it for mid-stage development. Minerva will now fund Phase III for insomnia on its own.

→  Iroko laid off 122 mid-level managers in facilities, program management, sales operations, and data management planning.  “Right now, we’re really focusing on developing our products,” Iroko spokesman Rand Walton said. “We are reidentifying how we can best reach our patients. That was the primary reason for the reduction in staff.”

→  Touchstone rejected a £500m takeover deal from IP Group. Three of the firm’s largest shareholders – Invesco, Woodford and Lansdowne, have said that they want the two companies to strike a deal, but Touchston’s chairman, David Newlands believes the proposed deal would risk Touchstone losing key staff and relationships and that the firm “has the platform and portfolio to drive overall returns and generate cash over the next five years to deliver self-sustainability”.



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