Kelly Martin, Radius Health CEO

VC firms take os­teo­poro­sis drug­mak­er Ra­dius Health pri­vate for al­most $900M

Af­ter at­tacks from ac­tivist in­vestors and dis­ap­point­ing re­turns on share prices, Ra­dius Health has now agreed to new own­er­ship, a di­rec­tion re­sult­ing in leav­ing the Nas­daq.

Ra­dius Health, a biotech out of Mass­a­chu­setts with one ap­proved prod­uct in its ar­se­nal, an­nounced Thurs­day morn­ing that it agreed to be ac­quired by two VC firms: Gur­net Point Cap­i­tal and Pa­tient Square Cap­i­tal. The deal, worth around $890 mil­lion, will in­clude debt as­sump­tion and the pay­out of $1 CVR per share for in­vestors. And on top of that, Or­biMed is pro­vid­ing debt fi­nanc­ing.

Ra­dius Health’s sole ap­proved prod­uct is Tym­los, an os­teo­poro­sis drug ap­proved by the FDA back in 2017.

In­vestors ap­peared hap­py with the news, send­ing the stock $RDUS up 21% when the stock mar­ket opened Thurs­day and more than 45% over the last week. Ra­dius Health de­clined to com­ment.

Ra­dius out­lined in a state­ment an­nounc­ing the ac­qui­si­tion how it will ul­ti­mate­ly go down: An un­named en­ti­ty — joint­ly owned by Gur­net Point and Pa­tient Square — will buy all shares of Ra­dius for $10 each, tak­ing the com­pa­ny pri­vate. The of­fer in­cludes an ad­di­tion­al $1 CVR (con­tin­gent val­ue right), which will get paid out once Tym­los reach­es $300 mil­lion in net sales in any 12-month pe­ri­od be­fore the end of 2025.

The deal is ex­pect­ed to close some­time in Q3 this year.

Owen Hugh­es

Ra­dius Health chair­man Owen Hugh­es added in a press re­lease that the ac­qui­si­tion was unan­i­mous­ly ap­proved by the biotech’s board, adding, “We are con­fi­dent that this trans­ac­tion max­i­mizes val­ue for share­hold­ers and pro­vides the clear­est path for­ward for Ra­dius.”

In­clud­ing the CVR pay­ment, Ra­dius share­hold­ers will re­ceive up to $547 mil­lion ag­gre­gate in cash.

This is the lat­est step for a com­pa­ny that has un­der­gone a re­cent ex­ec­u­tive team shake­up in 2020 and has been un­der fire by ac­tivist in­vestors, who had been call­ing for Ra­dius to add three new mem­bers to the board. Ve­lan Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Man­age­ment and Reper­toire Part­ners, col­lec­tive­ly own­ing more than 7%, had al­leged ear­li­er this month that the di­rec­tors ex­e­cut­ed a bad com­mer­cial strat­e­gy for Tym­los and are un­qual­i­fied to serve be­cause they own close to no shares in the com­pa­ny.

Ve­lan and Reper­toire said in a state­ment about the ac­qui­si­tion that “we are con­tin­u­ing to eval­u­ate whether this deal rep­re­sents a fair price for stock­hold­ers. We look for­ward to dis­cussing the terms of this trans­ac­tion with oth­er stock­hold­ers and re­view­ing fur­ther dis­clo­sures about the ra­tio­nale and process lead­ing up to this de­ci­sion.”

Just a few months ear­li­er in De­cem­ber last year, a poor da­ta read­out show­ing that a drug did not achieve non-in­fe­ri­or­i­ty sent the share price crash­ing by more than 40%.

CEO Kel­ly Mar­tin joined the com­pa­ny back in 2020, a few years af­ter sell­ing his pre­vi­ous biotech Elan for $8.6 bil­lion in 2013 to Per­ri­go Com­pa­ny, the phar­ma that fea­tured now-ex chair at Bausch Health Joe Pa­pa as its chair­man for al­most a decade.

An­a­lysts hopped on­to the re­cent news, with an­a­lysts from both Jef­feries and SVB Se­cu­ri­ties pre­dict­ing a price tar­get of $10 a share. From Jef­feries:

The up­front cash & net debt as­sump­tion rep­re­sents ~3.3x RDUS’ FY22 guid­ed Tym­los sales, which we view as rea­son­able giv­en slow­ing Tym­los US sales. How­ev­er, it does not seem to of­fer much val­ue in Tym­los po­ten­tial in Japan & pipeline as­sets. We view a coun­ter­bid as un­like­ly at present.

SVB Se­cu­ri­ties con­curred with Jef­feries, adding:

Share­hold­er val­ue to be re­al­ized via ex­it elim­i­nates un­cer­tain­ty re­lat­ed to three key as­sets. Tym­los growth prospects could con­tin­ue to be con­strained by com­pet­i­tive and pay­er pres­sures.

An­a­lysts from SVB al­so added that they did not in­clude val­ue for the CVR as they mod­el Tym­los sales in the US and Japan to be be­low $300 mil­lion through the 2025 dead­line.

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Ted Love, Global Blood Therapeutics CEO

Up­dat­ed: Pfiz­er scoops up Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics and its sick­le cell ther­a­pies for $5.4B

Pfizer is dropping $5.4 billion to acquire Global Blood Therapeutics.

Just ahead of the weekend, word got out that Pfizer was close to clinching a $5 billion buyout — albeit with other potential buyers still at the table. The pharma giant, flush with cash from Covid-19 vaccine sales, apparently got out on top.

The deal immediately swells Pfizer’s previously tiny sickle cell disease portfolio from just a Phase I program to one with an approved drug, Oxbryta, plus a whole pipeline that, if all approved, the company believes could make for a $3 billion franchise at peak.

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BREAK­ING: Math­ai Mam­men makes an abrupt ex­it as head of the big R&D group at J&J

In an after-the-bell shocker, J&J announced Monday evening that Mathai Mammen has abruptly exited J&J as head of its top-10 R&D group.

Recruited from Merck 5 years ago, where the soft spoken Mammen was being groomed as the successor to Roger Perlmutter, he had been one of the top-paid R&D chiefs in biopharma. His group spent $12 billion last year on drug development, putting it in the top 5 in the industry.

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No­vavax shares shred­ded as Covid vac­cine sales fall more than 90% in Q2

Months after Novavax celebrated its first profitable quarter as a commercial company, the Gaithersburg, MD-based company is back in the red.

Sales for Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine slipped to $55 million last quarter, down from $586 million in Q1, CEO Stanley Erck revealed on Monday after market close. The company’s stock $NVAX plummeted more than 32% in after-hours trading.

Upon kicking off the call with analysts and investors, Erck addressed the elephant in the room:

Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Break­ing: Pfiz­er in hot pur­suit of a $5B buy­out of Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics — re­port

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has vowed to leave no stone unturned in the search for new biotech deals, and the BD team is not letting him down.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Pfizer is in the final stages of acquiring Global Blood Therapeutics for $5 billion. According to the Journal report, though, Pfizer is not the only buyer at the deal table and while the pharma giant may be close to clinching it, there are no guarantees it will continue.

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Anna Protopapas, Mersana CEO

In $1.36B biobuck deal with GSK, Mer­sana touts 'biggest pre­clin­i­cal ADC deal ever'

Days after Enhertu reeled in another FDA nod, with the first-ever green light for HER2-low breast cancer, another antibody drug conjugate biotech claims it has secured the largest preclinical ADC pact to date for a single asset.

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo made waves with their nearly $7 billion collaboration back in spring 2019, but at that point, Enhertu was already nearing the FDA’s doors with clinical data. The latest ADC tie-up to enter the biopharma fray centers around a preclinical asset, Mersana Therapeutics’ XMT-2056.

Uğur Şahin, BioNTech CEO (Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

De­spite falling Covid-19 sales, BioN­Tech main­tains '22 sales guid­ance

While Pfizer raked in almost $28 billion last quarter, its Covid-19 vaccine partner BioNTech reported a rise in total dose orders but a drop in sales.

The German biotech reported over $3.2 billion in revenue in Q2 on Monday, down from more than $6.7 billion in Q1, in part due to falling Covid sales. While management said last quarter that they anticipated a Covid sales drop — CEO Uğur Şahin said at the time that “the pandemic situation is still very much uncertain” — Q2 sales still missed consensus by 14%.

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FDA commissioner Rob Califf (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

With drug pric­ing al­most done, Con­gress looks to wrap up FDA user fee leg­is­la­tion

The Senate won’t return from its summer recess until Sept. 6, but when it does, it officially has 18 business days to finalize the reauthorization of the FDA user fee programs for the next 5 years, or else thousands of drug and biologics reviewers will be laid off and PDUFA dates will vanish in the interim.

FDA commissioner Rob Califf recently sent agency staff a memo explaining how, “Our latest estimates are that we have carryover for PDUFA [Prescription Drug User Fee Act], the user fee funding program that will run out of funding first, to cover only about 5 weeks into the next fiscal year.”

Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO (David Zorrakino/Europa Press via AP Images)

As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi Sankyo sprint to mar­ket af­ter FDA clears En­her­tu in just two weeks

Regulators didn’t keep AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo waiting long at all for their latest Enhertu approval.

The partners pulled a win on Friday in HER2-low breast cancer patients who’ve already failed on chemotherapy, less than two weeks after its supplemental BLA was accepted. While this isn’t the FDA’s fastest approval — Bristol Myers Squibb won an OK for its blockbuster checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo in just five days back in March — it comes well ahead of Enhertu’s original Q4 PDUFA date.