Takeda explores computational chemistry leads from Schrödinger in $170M-plus pact; Aeterna Zentaris boots CEO, considers options

Stephen Hitchcock, Global Head of Research, Takeda

→ Takeda is including an in silico discovery pact with Schrödinger to augment its restructured R&D operations. Schrödinger stands to earn up to $170 million per program in the deal, looking to design new chemical entities that the pharma company can take into the clinic. “In this case, Schrödinger is taking the lead role in discovery, with Takeda playing a supporting role, leveraging its in-house structural biology team and therapeutic area expertise,” says Takeda’s Stephen Hitchcock.

→ Three months after Aeterna Zentaris $AEZS saw its shares crater on the news that its big Phase III study for Zoptrex had failed, the company has booted CEO David Dodd and replaced him with Michael Ward, a former exec for Sagent. The Charleston, SC-based biotech also formed a strategic review committee to see how best to go forward after falling into penny stock territory. Earlier in the week the biotech noted that the FDA had accepted its new NDA for Macrilen, overcoming its initial rejection.

→ Montreal-based Clementia Pharmaceuticals has set terms for its IPO, looking to raise about $100 million as it sells 7.2 million shares at $13 to $15 each. Insiders are arranging to buy $30 million of that, leaving the company – it hopes – with a $450 million valuation. The biotech will trade under the $CMTA symbol.

→ DARPA is alert to the possible threats posed by CRISPR and other gene editing technologies. So now it’s assembled some of the leading research organizations in the country to see what they need to do to responsibly “harness” the technology and guard against its misuse. And they’re spending $65 million on the initiative.

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