Shov­ing Re­genxbio aside, Ul­tragenyx’s Emil Kakkis clos­es Di­men­sion buy­out deal with 400% pre­mi­um

Emil Kakkis, Ul­tragenyx

Ul­tragenyx $RARE has won its 11th-hour bid for the trou­bled gene ther­a­py biotech Di­men­sion Ther­a­peu­tics $DMTX, which is leav­ing Re­genxbio $RGNX at the al­tar.

Scut­tled by a clin­i­cal dis­as­ter for its he­mo­phil­ia B pro­gram, Di­men­sion was ready to hand over the rest of the pipeline to Re­genxbio for $3.41 a share, a hefty pre­mi­um for its bad­ly bat­tered stock.

But Ul­tragenyx CEO Emil Kakkis — an ad­vis­er to Di­men­sion — clear­ly felt it still looked like a bar­gain.

Kakkis ini­tial­ly of­fered $5.50 a share, then sweet­ened it to $6, with both boards sign­ing off on the switch. Now Ul­tragenyx will hand over $151 mil­lion in cash to com­plete the deal.

That’s a 400% pre­mi­um from what it had been val­ued at. But beau­ty is in the eye of the be­hold­er.

Ken Mills, Re­genxbio

Di­men­sion’s lead ther­a­py — DTX-101 — is out of the pic­ture af­ter a crit­i­cal flop fol­low­ing weak re­sults. Ul­tra­genxy is pri­mar­i­ly in­ter­est­ed in ex­pand­ing its rare dis­ease drug pipeline with two ear­ly-stage gene ther­a­py drugs.  DTX301 is de­signed to treat or­nithine tran­scar­bamy­lase (OTC), us­ing a vec­tor to de­liv­er the OTC gene to the liv­er. And the pre­clin­i­cal DTX401 de­liv­ers a copy of the glu­cose-6-phos­phatase (G6Pase) gene to liv­er cells for glyco­gen stor­age dis­ease type Ia.

Re­genxbio CEO Ken Mills said on Mon­day that he was stick­ing with a dis­ci­plined ap­proach to M&A, pre­fer­ring to take the $2.85 mil­lion ter­mi­na­tion fee and walk.

Kakkis had this to say in a state­ment:

The ac­qui­si­tion of Di­men­sion pro­vides a unique op­por­tu­ni­ty to ap­proach treat­ment of more rare dis­eases and ad­vance our de­vel­op­ment as a next-gen­er­a­tion rare dis­ease com­pa­ny. Specif­i­cal­ly, we look for­ward to lever­ag­ing our de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial skills in com­bi­na­tion with Di­men­sion’s gene ther­a­py tech­nol­o­gy, pro­grams and peo­ple to ac­cel­er­ate the process of ex­pand­ing treat­ment op­tions and bring­ing im­por­tant new ther­a­pies to mar­ket for pa­tients.

Op­ti­miz­ing Cell and Gene Ther­a­py De­vel­op­ment and Pro­duc­tion: How Tech­nol­o­gy Providers Like Corn­ing Life Sci­ences are Spurring In­no­va­tion

Remarkable advances in cell and gene therapy over the last decade offer unprecedented therapeutic promise and bring new hope for many patients facing diseases once thought incurable. However, for cell and gene therapies to reach their full potential, researchers, manufacturers, life science companies, and academics will need to work together to solve the significant challenges facing the industry.

Amid mon­key­pox fears, biotechs spring to ac­tion; Mod­er­na’s CFO trou­ble; Cuts, cuts every­where; Craft­ing the right pro­teins; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

It’s always a bittersweet moment saying goodbye, but as Josh Sullivan goes off to new adventures we are grateful for the way he’s built up the Endpoints Manufacturing section — which the rest of the team will now carry forward. If you’re not already, this may be a good time to sign up for your weekly dose of drug manufacturing news. Thank you for reading and wish you a restful weekend.

Bay­er sounds re­treat from a $670 mil­lion CAR-T pact in the wake of a pa­tient death

Two months after Atara Biotherapeutics hit the hold button on its lead CAR-T 2.0 therapy following a patient death, putting the company under the watchful eye of the FDA, its Big Pharma partners at Bayer are bowing out of a $670 million global alliance. And the move is forcing a revamp of Atara’s pipeline plans, even as research execs vow to continue work on the two drugs allied with Bayer 18 months ago, which delivered a $60 million cash upfront.

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Siddhartha Mukherjee (Brian Ach/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

All Blue's $733M bid to ac­quire Zymeworks turns hos­tile as board bat­tles back — af­ter a biotech celebri­ty jumps in

Yesterday, the team at All Blue Capital — bent on the takeover of a badly battered Zymeworks — brought in celebrated oncologist, Pulitzer prize-winning writer and biotech exec Siddhartha Mukherjee to add some glitz to their proposed board. But they’re still not winning over any converts.

This morning, Zymeworks’ board officially turned this acquisition offer into a hostile showdown, rejecting the unsolicited offer and marshaling its forces to prevent a buyout at $10.50 per share.

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Saemundur 'Sam' Oddsson, Sidekick Health co-founder and CMO

Pfiz­er teams up with dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics part­ner for next prod­uct launch, this time in atopic der­mati­tis

Big Pharma has been slowly but surely warming up to the potential of digital therapeutics, as evidenced by Sanofi inking a deal two months ago with DarioHealth. And on Thursday, another Big Pharma will take a look at the space in what it deems as simply the next step in an ongoing partnership.

Icelandic biotech Sidekick Health announced the launch of its digital therapeutics product specifically geared for atopic dermatitis Thursday alongside Pfizer, its Big Pharma partner who collaborated on the indication. CMO and co-founder Saemundur “Sam” Oddsson told Endpoints News that this is not the first time that Pfizer and Sidekick Health have worked together — in fact, it is the fourth digital therapeutics product that the pair have co-launched.

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Paul Chaplin, Bavarian Nordic president and CEO

Bavar­i­an Nordic se­cures BAR­DA con­tract for small­pox vac­cine

It seems that smallpox vaccination production is weighing on the mind of the US government. And manufacturer Bavarian Nordic is the latest company to benefit.

Just a few days after Emergent, a company that has made government contracts its lifeblood, acquired the exclusive rights to Tembexa from Chimerix, with a $225 million cash payment and an expected BARDA contract, the agency has offered a contract for smallpox vaccine production.

Sanofi and Re­gen­eron clear the fin­ish line in an in­flam­ma­to­ry esoph­a­gus dis­ease, leav­ing Take­da in the dust

With atopic dermatitis rivals breathing down Dupixent’s neck, Sanofi and Regeneron on Friday secured a first win in new territory in what Sanofi’s head of immunology and inflammation Naimish Patel called the fastest approval he’s ever seen.

The FDA approved Dupixent on Friday to treat patients 12 years and older with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an inflammatory condition that causes swelling and scarring of the esophagus. The approval came just a couple months after regulators granted Dupixent priority review, and months ahead of its PDUFA date on Aug. 3.

Fu­ji­film con­tin­ues its biotech build­ing spree with new fa­cil­i­ty in Chi­na

A Japanese conglomerate is making a big play in China with the opening of a new facility, as it continues to expand.

Fujifilm Irvine Scientific has opened its new Innovation and Collaboration Center in Suzhou New District, China, an area in Jiangsu province specifically designated for technological and industrial development.

According to Fujifilm, the 12,000-square-foot site will be responsible for the company’s cell culture media optimization, analysis and design services. Cell culture media itself often requires customization of formulas and protocols to achieve the desired quantity and quality of therapeutic desired. Fujifilm Irvine Scientific is offering these services from its headquarters in California and Japan to its customers globally, as well as in China now.

Try­ing to shake up the Parkin­son's par­a­digm, Ab­b­Vie sub­mits NDA for con­tin­u­ous, 24-hour in­fu­sion ther­a­py

AbbVie is approaching the FDA with a new therapy to potentially treat Parkinson’s disease, using prodrugs of two medications commonly used for the condition.

The Big Pharma submitted its NDA for ABBV-951, a solution of levodopa and carbidopa prodrugs being evaluated in advanced Parkinson’s patients who don’t respond well to oral therapy, AbbVie announced Friday morning. Researchers are hoping a positive Phase III study that reads out in late October will help move things along quickly at the agency.