Nobody but Deerfield wants Melinta; Novartis finds a new drug discovery partner
→ Melinta Therapeutics — one of the myriad of companies that crashed and burned in the ‘broken’ market for antibiotics — will be officially swallowed by Deerfield. Melinta had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year and had signed a deal to turn over control to Deerfield in exchange for the $140 million of senior debt it holds in the company. The plan was to complete a reorganization in bankruptcy, and wait for better offers — but on Wednesday Melinta said the auction scheduled for March 6 would not proceed, as no party submitted a higher and better bid than Deerfield.
→ Drug discovery company Orionis Biosciences has found a partner in Swiss giant Novartis. “Our proprietary genome-wide discovery and drug design technologies may enable identification and development of small molecules and biologics with high specificity and selectivity against targets at a scale, speed and efficiency,” Nikolai Kley, CEO of Orionis, said in a statement.
→ Seasoned entrepreneur John Flavin — who most recently helped launch Pyxis Oncology based on science out of the University of Chicago — is starting a new incubator to hatch more startups in the Midwest. Portal Innovations will seed and accelerate life sciences, medtech and bioinformatics ventures. The real estate developer Trammell Crow Company is on board to design and develop wet and dry lab space for these companies.
→ Years before the CAR-T therapies Kymriah and Yescarta hit the market, two French companies joined forces in a quest to bring off-the-shelf immunotherapies based on gene-edited allogeneic CAR-T cells to fruition. The players Cellectis and partner Servier, in February, announced they were amending the terms of their collaboration, originally inked in 2014. On Wednesday, the two partners announced the execution of the binding term sheet.