News briefing: Bausch Health closing in on deal to acquire Allegro assets; PharmAbcine strikes deal with Samsung Biologics to develop antibody program
Bausch Health is closing in on a deal that would allow it to buy out all of Allegro Ophthalmics’ eye-related assets — including the rights to lead candidate risuteganib — for $50 million.
The payment would be made in two tranches: $10 million at signing, and $40 million in 2021.
Risuteganib is in clinical development for intermediate dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It’s expected to enter two concurrent Phase III trials for that indication in the next year. The drug is also being tested in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), and last year met the primary endpoint in a Phase II study, with 48% of patients gaining 8 or more letters in visual acuity from baseline at week 28, compared to 7% in the control group at week 12.
The deal aligns with Bausch’s plan to build up its eye health business, Bausch + Lomb. “The addition of the ophthalmic assets of Allegro would significantly enhance our comprehensive portfolio of products for AMD,” Bausch Health CEO and chairman Joseph Papa said in a statement. “If approved, risuteganib may be the first treatment indicated to help reverse vision loss due to dry AMD and would address a significant unmet medical need affecting millions of people globally.” — Nicole DeFeudis
PharmAbcine strikes deal with Samsung Biologics to develop antibody program
PharmAbcine has inked a deal with Samsung Biologics to help get its PMC-403 pipeline off the ground. Samsung will provide the “full scope of its CDO services,” including cell line development, process development, cGMP clinical manufacturing and IND filing support, according to the companies.
PMC-403, an agonistic antibody, binds to the human Tie2 receptor. It’s in development for both non-ocular and ocular pathological vessel-related diseases. If all goes well, PharmAbcine expects to enter it in a global clinical trial in ophthalmology in 2022. The company is also collaborating with the NIAID, which is assessing the drug as a potential systemic capillary leak syndrome treatment.
“This marks a significant turning point for PharmAbcine because we are finally taking the actual steps to expand the indications of our angiogenesis assets beyond oncology,” PharmAbcine CEO Jin-San Yoo said in a statement. “We expect to use PMC-403 molecules produced under this contract in not only preclinical research collaboration with NIAID for SCLS therapeutics but also our own R&D efforts to treat various vascular diseases.” — Nicole DeFeudis