Jack Khattar, Supernus CEO

Su­per­nus ex­pands its port­fo­lio of Parkin­son's drugs with a $400M+ buy­out

Su­per­nus is mark­ing its ex­pan­sion in­to the Parkin­son’s dis­ease are­na, strik­ing a deal to buy out Adamas Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in a deal worth more than $400 mil­lion.

A year af­ter swoop­ing in on its first Parkin­son’s ac­qui­si­tion, the two com­pa­nies an­nounced that they had reached an agree­ment for Su­per­nus to pay up to $9.10 per share in cash as part of the ac­qui­si­tion — close to $450 mil­lion.

“This ac­qui­si­tion rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant step to fur­ther build a strong and di­verse Parkin­son’s dis­ease port­fo­lio, and aligns with our fo­cus of ac­quir­ing val­ue-en­hanc­ing, clin­i­cal­ly-dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed med­i­cines to treat CNS dis­eases,” said Su­per­nus CEO Jack Khat­tar in a state­ment.

This is not the bio­phar­ma’s first for­ay in­to CNS drugs and ther­a­pies. Just last year, the Mary­land phar­ma paid $300 mil­lion to pick up US WorldMeds’ CNS port­fo­lio of Apokyn, My­obloc and Xada­go, along with an apo­mor­phine in­fu­sion pump. Su­per­nus made head­lines ear­li­er this year when the FDA ap­proved the com­pa­ny’s AD­HD non-stim­u­lant treat­ment Qel­bree.

This lat­est ac­qui­si­tion pro­vides Su­per­nus with two more prod­ucts to mar­ket and sell: Go­cov­ri — an FDA-ap­proved treat­ment for off-time and dysk­i­ne­sia in Parkin­son’s pa­tients re­ceiv­ing lev­odopa ther­a­py, along with Parkin­son’s treat­ment Os­molex.

The deal goes down like this: $8.10 per share that must be paid at clos­ing, with two con­tin­gent val­ue rights (CVRs) col­lec­tive­ly worth $1.00 per share in cash. That brings the to­tal val­ue to $9.10 per share in cash.

The first CVR, worth $0.50 per share, is on­ly payable up­on reach­ing $150 mil­lion in an­nu­al (de­fined as four con­sec­u­tive quar­ters) net sales of Adamas’ Go­cov­ri be­tween now and the end of 2024. The sec­ond $0.50 CVR gets paid out once Su­per­nus sees $225 mil­lion in an­nu­al net sales of Go­cov­ri by the end of 2025. For con­text, net sales of Gov­ocri in all of 2020 and the first half of 2021 were $71.2 mil­lion and $37.7 mil­lion, re­spec­tive­ly.

While CVRs can be prof­itable, they can al­so be risky for in­vestors — as Cel­gene in­vestors can at­test to af­ter los­ing their pay­outs at the be­gin­ning of the year, af­ter one of their drugs failed to hit its sched­ule for an ap­proval.

Adamas’ stock price soared af­ter the an­nounce­ment, with $ADMS cross­ing $8 in a 73% jump af­ter the bell on Fri­day.

This new deal is ex­pect­ed to close by ear­ly next year, ac­cord­ing to Su­per­nus.

Biotech and Big Phar­ma: A blue­print for a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship

Strategic partnerships have long been an important contributor to how drugs are discovered and developed. For decades, big pharma companies have been forming alliances with biotech innovators to increase R&D productivity, expand geographical reach and better manage late-stage commercialization costs.

Noël Brown, Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investment Banking, and Greg Wiederrecht, Ph.D., Managing Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at RBC Capital Markets, are no strangers to the importance of these tie-ups. Noël has over 20 years of investment banking experience in the industry. Before moving to the banking world in 2015, Greg was the Vice President and Head of External Scientific Affairs (ESA) at Merck, where he was responsible for the scientific assessment of strategic partnership opportunities worldwide.

Peter Nell, Mammoth Biosciences CBO

UP­DAT­ED: Jen­nifer Doud­na spin­out inks a Mam­moth CRISPR deal with Ver­tex worth near­ly $700M

When a company gets its start in gene editing pioneer Jennifer Doudna’s lab, it’s bound to make headlines. But three years in, the fanfare still hasn’t died down for Mammoth Biosciences. Now, the Brisbane, CA-based company is cheering on its first major R&D pact.

Mammoth unveiled a nearly $700 million deal with Vertex on Tuesday morning, good for the development of in vivo gene therapies for two mystery diseases. The stars of the show are Mammoth’s ultra-small CRISPR systems, including two Cas enzymes licensed from Doudna’s lab over the past couple years, Cas14 and Casɸ.

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Credit: Shutterstock

How Chi­na turned the ta­bles on bio­phar­ma's glob­al deal­mak­ing

Fenlai Tan still gets chills thinking about the darkest day of his life.

Three out of eight lung cancer patients who received a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed by his company, Betta Pharma, died in the span of a month. Tan, the chief medical officer, was summoned to Peking Union Medical College Hospital, where the head of the clinical trial department told him that the trial investigators would be conducting an autopsy to see if the patients had died of the disease — they were all very sick by the time they enrolled — or of interstitial lung disease, a deadly side effect tied to the TKI class that’s been reported in Japan.

No­var­tis' sec­ond at­tempt to repli­cate a stun­ning can­cer re­sult falls flat

Novartis’ hopes of turning one of the most surprising trial data points of the last decade into a lung cancer drug has taken another setback.

The Swiss pharma announced Monday that its IL-1 inhibitor canakinumab did not significantly extend the lives or slow the disease progression of patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer when compared to standard of-care alone.

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Vas Narasimhan, Novartis CEO (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

With San­doz con­tin­u­ing to drag on No­var­tis, Vas Narasimhan says he may fi­nal­ly be ready for a sale or spin­off

After years of rehab work aimed at getting Sandoz in fighting trim to compete in a market overshadowed by declining prices, CEO Vas Narasimhan took a big step toward possibly selling or spinning off the giant generic drug player.

The pharma giant flagged plans to launch a strategic review of the business in its Q3 update, noting that “options range from retaining the business to separation.”

Analysts have been poking and prodding Novartis execs for years now as Narasimhan attempted to remodel a business that has been a drag on its performance during most of his reign in the CEO suite. The former R&D chief has made it well known that he’s devoted to the innovative meds side of the business, where they see the greatest potential for growth.

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James Peyer, Cambrian CEO

Brent Saun­ders joins $100M Se­ries C for a com­pa­ny out to be the Bridge­Bio of ag­ing

About a year ago, James Peyer, a CEO and co-founder of the little known longevity biotech Cambrian Biopharma, was trying to find some R&D talent last year when he met with more than a bit of experience in that department: David Nicholson, the former R&D chief of the erstwhile pharma giant Allergan.

It turned out Nicholson already had an interest in Peyer’s field. In their Allergan days, he and COO Brent Saunders held weekly meetups where they tried to figure out how to take the company’s dominance in aesthetics — which, until recently, was often what people meant by anti-aging science — and expertise with more traditional drug development, and use it to make drugs that extend people’s lifespan.

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Peter Greenleaf, Aurinia CEO

Af­ter pass­ing on Ac­celeron, Bris­tol My­ers eyes bolt-on ac­qui­si­tion of au­toim­mune spe­cial­ist — re­port

Bristol Myers Squibb is looking to beef up its autoimmune portfolio by scooping up Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Bloomberg reported.

The recent overtures to Aurinia, relayed by anonymous insiders, came just as Bristol Myers turned down buyout talks with partners at Acceleron — which Merck ultimately struck a deal to acquire for $11.5 billion. Bristol Myers has reportedly decided to cash out on its minority stake, likely bagging $1.3 billion in the process, while keeping the royalty deals on two of Acceleron’s blood disorder drugs.

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An­gion's or­gan dam­age drug strikes out again, this time in high-risk kid­ney trans­plant pa­tients

After flopping a test in Covid-19 earlier this year, Angion’s lead organ damage drug has now hit the skids again in kidney transplant patients.

Angion and partner Vifor Pharma’s ANG-3777 failed to beat out placebo in terms of improving eGFR, a measure of kidney function, in patients who had received a deceased donor kidney transplant and were at high risk of developing what is known as delayed graft function, according to Phase III results released Tuesday.

(Photo courtesy Pfizer)

FDA's vac­cine ad­comm votes al­most unan­i­mous­ly in fa­vor of Pfiz­er's Covid-19 vac­cine for younger chil­dren

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Tuesday voted 17-0, with one panelist abstaining, that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outweigh the risks for children between the ages of five and 12.

The vote will likely trigger a process that could allow the shots to begin rolling out as early as next week.

The vaccine, which is one-third of the adult Pfizer dose, proved to be about 90% effective in a placebo-controlled trial in which about 1,500 kids in this age range received the vaccine, and only about 12% of those receiving the vaccine had any adverse event. All serious adverse events in the trial were unrelated to the vaccine.