Novo Nordisk to research oral obesity treatment; Dana-Farber taps into Harbour BioMed's mice platform in multiyear deal
Novo Nordisk and Lumen Bioscience have entered a research collaboration to explore R&D and manufacturing within obesity and other metabolic disorders, the companies announced Wednesday.
The collaboration builds off of research surrounding an orally delivered drug for the GI tract that can be manufactured with more scalability and affordability than a typical small-molecule drug. The initial stages of research will last about a year, and the 2 companies will develop molecules using spirulina, a type of cyanobacteria.
“Novo Nordisk is a world leading metabolic disease company, and we are thrilled that they share our enthusiasm for new strategies for delivering oral biologics,” Lumen’s CEO Brian Finrow, said in a statement. “This collaboration brings the best of two worlds together: Lumen’s expertise in large-scale, affordable manufacturing of orally delivered biologic drugs and Novo Nordisk’s expertise in the clinical development and commercialization of treatments for cardiometabolic disease.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. — Josh Sullivan
Dana-Farber taps into Harbour BioMed’s mice platform in multiyear deal
Harbour BioMed has reached a multiyear agreement with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for the development of new CAR-T cell therapies and bispecific antibodies in cancer treatment, the company announced Wednesday.
The collaboration will combine Harbour’s transgenic mice platform with the expertise of Dana-Farber’s scientists in CAR-T cell development.
Harbour used its mice platform and discovered the antibody 47D11 in 2019, which has since been licensed out by AbbVie. In December, the company’s scientists said that the antibody showed promise fighting Covid-19 and variants of the virus.
The Harbour mice program is based on two proprietary transgenic mouse platforms that have the potential for generating bi and multi-specifics, CAR-Ts or VH domain delivered products.
Eric Smith of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said this in the press release:
“We are delighted to initiate this collaboration with Harbour BioMed. The complementary technology and expertise between Harbour and DFCI will dramatically shorten the interval from novel discovery to developing optimized antibody and cellular therapies for clinical translation.” — Josh Sullivan
As it looks to boost expansion into pet health, Elanco acquires San Francisco-based pet therapeutic company
Elanco Animal Health has announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based Kindred Biosciences and with it, three “potential blockbusters in the development phase.”
All of KindredBio’s outstanding stock will be acquired at $9.25 a share, making the deal worth a total of about $440 million. The company was founded in 2012, and brings three programs that Elanco calls potential dermatology blockbusters that are expected to launch through 2025. KindredBio also has a handful of R&D programs for chronic disorders and unmet needs, including canine parvovirus, a highly contagious virus that affects dogs’ gastrointestinal tract and spreads through contaminated stool.
Elanco believes that the acquisition will add another $100 million in revenue to its operations by 2025.
“This highly complementary combination is focused in one of the most exciting spaces in pet health, and one where we see a strategic imperative to build a differentiated competitive offering,” Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco, said in a press release. “It further accelerates our mix shift into pet health and advances our IPP strategy.”
Elanco and KindredBio’s existing relationship began when Kindred licensed out the rights of its late-stage canine parvovirus treatment. — Josh Sullivan
AbSci acquires antibody player Totient
A formerly unknown player that burst onto the scene with a Ginkgo Bioworks deal last September has found a new home. The antibody-focused startup Totient out of the Viva Biotech incubator was acquired by AbSci, the companies announced late Tuesday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Totient emerged from stealth in September with the Ginkgo partnership, in which they are trying to turn their alternate means of generating virus-neutralizing antibodies into a treatment that could potentially treat or temporarily prevent Covid-19 infection. The biotech derives its antibodies from what is known as tertiary lymphoid structures, or accumulations of immune cells that can form in places of heightened inflammation.
In a statement Tuesday, Totient said it had reconstructed more than 4,500 antibodies from over 50,000 patients. By combining these with AbSci’s platform, the pair are going after a new set of undisclosed diseases.
“We look forward to scaling our target discovery capabilities to comprehensively de-orphan antibodies and validate new opportunities for drug development,” Totient CEO Deniz Kural said in a statement.
The buyout comes less than three months after AbSci completed a $125 million crossover round and follows a similar acquisition of the AI company Denovium back in January. — Max Gelman