David Meek, Mirati CEO (Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mi­rati gaug­ing sale in­ter­est of Big Phar­mas — re­port

Mi­rati Ther­a­peu­tics, mak­er of the ex­per­i­men­tal can­cer drug ada­gra­sib, is piquing the in­ter­est of Big Phar­mas, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Bloomberg.

On Tues­day, the biotech’s stock $MRTX rose by al­most 16%, jump­ing from just un­der $75 to over $86. Af­ter Wednes­day’s open­ing bell, Mi­rati’s stock con­tin­ued to climb near­ly $3 apiece. But that still leaves it down 43% from the be­gin­ning of this year, a re­flec­tion of the biotech mar­ket as a whole.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Mi­rati is work­ing with an ad­vi­sor, but no for­mal bids have been placed by Big Phar­ma com­pa­nies yet, and more da­ta from a com­bi­na­tion study with Keytru­da could be key to the pro­gres­sion of talks. Mi­rati did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment as of pub­li­ca­tion time.

The biggest of names in phar­ma could be in­ter­est­ed, Jef­feries an­a­lysts not­ed, in­clud­ing those with­out KRAS as­sets, like Bris­tol My­ers Squibb, Pfiz­er and John­son & John­son. Those al­ready in the KRAS pool, Mer­ck and Eli Lil­ly, could al­so be in­trigued, the an­a­lysts wrote.

Mi­rati’s ada­gra­sib in­hibits KRAS G12C, a tar­get once thought to be “un­drug­gable.” The FDA is set to make a de­ci­sion on whether to ap­prove the drug in non-small cell lung can­cer by Dec. 14.

Am­gen’s Lumakras was the first in that are­na, win­ning ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval near­ly a year and a half ago. But Mi­rati is hop­ing it can out­do Am­gen in oth­er in­di­ca­tions, tout­ing da­ta in ad­vanced colon can­cer at ES­MO.

While cross-tri­al com­par­isons come with caveats, Mi­rati’s drug was the “su­pe­ri­or op­tion and a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed KRAS G12C in­hibitor” com­pared to Lumakras, one an­a­lyst wrote at the time. Am­gen post­ed com­bi­na­tion da­ta on its drug plus the EGFR in­hibitor Vectibix with a 30% over­all re­sponse rate, but Mi­rati eclipsed that fig­ure with its da­ta on ada­gra­sib in com­bi­na­tion with EGFR in­hibitor Er­bitux, com­ing in at a 46% over­all re­sponse rate.

Up­dat­ed: FDA re­mains silent on or­phan drug ex­clu­siv­i­ty af­ter last year's court loss

Since losing a controversial court case over orphan drug exclusivity last year, the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development has remained entirely silent on orphan exclusivity for any product approved since last November, leaving many sponsors in limbo on what to expect.

That silence means that for more than 70 orphan-designated indications for more than 60 products, OOPD has issued no public determination on the seven-year orphan exclusivity in the Orange Book, and no new listings of orphan exclusivity appear in OOPD’s searchable database, as highlighted recently by George O’Brien, a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington, DC office.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanofi and Am­gen are bring­ing cash to cov­er the ta­ble stakes for the Hori­zon M&A game

With the market cap on Horizon Therapeutics $HZNP pushed up to the $23 billion mark today, one of the Big Pharmas in the hunt for a major league buyout deal signaled it’s playing the M&A game with cash.

Paris-based Sanofi, where CEO Paul Hudson has been largely focused on some risky biotech acquisitions to win some respect for its future pipeline prospects, issued a statement early Friday — complying with Rule 2.12 of the Irish takeover rules — making clear that while the certainty or size of an offer can’t be determined, any offer “will be solely in cash.” And Amgen CEO Robert Bradway came right in behind him, filing a statement on the London Stock Exchange overnight that any offer they may make will “likely” be in cash as well.

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Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

As mon­ey pours in­to dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics, in­sur­ance cov­er­age crawls



Talk therapy didn’t help Lily with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But a video game did.

As the 10-year-old zooms through icy waters and targets flying creatures on the snow-capped planet Frigidus, she builds attention skills, thanks to Akili Interactive Labs’ video game EndeavorRx. She’s now less anxious and scattered, allowing her to stay on a low dose of ADHD medication, according to her mom Violet Vu.

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Eli Lil­ly’s Alzheimer’s drug clears more amy­loid ear­ly than Aduhelm in first-ever head-to-head. Will it mat­ter?

Ahead of the FDA’s decision on Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug donanemab in February, the Big Pharma is dropping a first cut of data from one of the more interesting trials — but less important in a regulatory sense — at an Alzheimer’s conference in San Francisco.

In the unblinded 148-person study, Eli Lilly pitted its drug against Aduhelm, Biogen’s drug that won FDA approval but lost Medicare coverage outside of clinical trials. Notably, the study didn’t look at clinical outcomes, but rather the clearance of amyloid, a protein whose buildup is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, in the brain.

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Matt Gline, Roivant Sciences CEO (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for GLG)

Pfiz­er and Roivant team up again for an­oth­er 'Van­t', set­ting up an­ti-in­flam­ma­to­ry show­down with Prometheus

Pfizer and Roivant are teaming up to launch a new ‘Vant’ aimed at bringing a mid-stage anti-inflammatory drug to market, the pair announced Thursday.

There’s no name for the startup yet, nor are there any employees. Thus far, the new company and Roivant can be considered “one and the same,” Roivant CEO Matt Gline tells Endpoints News. But Pfizer is so enthusiastic about the target that it elected to keep 25% of equity in the drug rather than take upfront cash from Roivant, Gline said.

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Thomas Gad, Y-mAbs Therapeutics founder and interim CEO

FDA re­jects Y-mAbs’ neu­rob­las­toma drug af­ter tak­ing is­sue with clin­i­cal tri­al de­sign

Uncertainty about clinical trial evidence has led the FDA to hand down a complete response letter for Y-mAbs’ neuroblastoma drug, casting a cloud on the future of a candidate that had gone through a long development journey in a rare pediatric cancer.

Y-mAbs said it’s disappointed “but not surprised” given that the agency’s oncology drug advisory committee had voted 16-0 against its drug’s approval a few weeks ago.

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Philip Tagari switch­es Am­gen's dis­cov­ery lab for in­sitro's ma­chine learn­ing tools; CEO Joaquin Du­a­to to chair J&J's board

In February, Philip Tagari will take a few days of retirement and then immediately return to industry. He won’t be leading the therapeutics discovery unit for a large biopharma, though.

He’ll trade in his Amgen hat for chief scientist at a machine learning startup that has reeled in hundreds of millions in capital to lay the groundwork for a much-hyped new model of drug discovery that aims to speed up the time to new clinical assets.

Raul Rodriguez, Rigel Pharma CEO

Rigel Phar­ma scores FDA ap­proval for leukemia, kick­ing off show­down with Servi­er in IDH1

When Rigel Pharma bought olutasidenib from Forma Therapeutics, it acquired a drug that already secured a PDUFA date at the FDA — for February 2023. But regulators are ready to give their OK sooner than that.

The FDA has approved the IDH1 inhibitor as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia who have a susceptible IDH-1 (isocitrate dehydrogenase-1) mutation as detected by an FDA-greenlit test. Rigel will market it as Rezlidhia.

Tim Pearson, Carrick Therapeutics CEO

Pfiz­er backs $60M in­fu­sion in­to Car­rick, teams up on breast can­cer treat­ment

In a big week for Carrick Therapeutics, the company announced $60 million in funding for its lead breast cancer drug and development of a second program, as well as a collaboration with Pfizer for combo development.

The $35 million from Pfizer comes with an agreement under which Pfizer will support Carrick’s Phase II study of samuraciclib in combination with Pfizer’s Faslodex for advanced breast cancer. Along with the investment, Adam Schayowitz, vice president and development head of breast cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma at Pfizer global product development, will join Carrick’s scientific advisory board.

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