Deal-Making

COGs factor in Amgen’s exit from $540m Advaxis deal

Advaxis says Amgen’s withdrawal from a 2016 personalized immuno-oncology partnership is due to portfolio rationalization, high cost of goods, and the high-risk of commercialization. In 2016, Amgen teamed up with New Jersey-based Advaxis to co-develop and commercialize Advaxis’ investigational cancer immunotherapy ADXS-NEO in a deal worth up to $540 million (€475 million). But after paying out $78 million, Amgen sent written notice last month alerting Advaxis it is terminating the partnership, effective from February 8, said Advexis in an SEC…

Lilly’s speedy $8bn Loxo buy ‘not competitive,’ says analyst

It took Eli Lilly 18 days from expressing its interest in Loxo Oncology to executing an $8 billion merger agreement. Being a “significant premium over the market price” and with no other bidders, the deal’s competitiveness has been questioned. Earlier this month, Eli Lilly announced it had agreed to buy Loxo Oncology for $235 (€206) per share in cash, totaling around $8 billion. The deal increases Lilly’s oncology portfolio, including lead candidate LOXO-292, an oral RET inhibitor being studied across…

Boehringer expanding China CDMO plant

Boehringer Ingelheim has begun an expansion at its biomanufacturing facility in Shanghai as it looks to tap the “great potential in China.” The expansion at the site in Shanghai covers an additional bioreactor and will include the necessary utility and infrastructure to support GMP operations of two 2,000 L single use bioreactor manufacturing lines. When asked, the Germany-headquartered firm did not divulge further details on the specifics of the investment. Boehringer Ingelheim spent more than €70 million in the first-phase…

Sanofi licensing deal validates Ab platform, says Biomunex

Sanofi has licensed the plug-and-play BiXAb platform to generate multi-specific antibodies. The deal validates the technology and will help fund Biomunex’s internal pipeline, says CEO Pierre-Emmanuel Gerard. Under terms of the deal, Biomunex will receive an initial upfront payment from fellow French firm Sanofi, and will be eligible to receive future milestone payments. Specific figures have not been disclosed. This is the first licensing deal for Biomunex’s BiXAb bi- and multi-specific antibody generation and optimization technology, and according to CEO…

Phage of consent: AmpliPhi and C3J agree to merge

AmpliPhi Biosciences will combine with C3J Therapeutics to create what it says will be a leader in targeted bacteriophage therapeutics. The combined NYSE American-listed company will boast a broad clinical-stage pipeline, including a Phase I/II-ready natural phage candidate targeting bacteremia, and a synthetic phage candidate targeting respiratory infections expected to enter Phase I later this year. In a conference call discussing the planned merger, Paul Grint, CEO of San Diego, California-based AmpliPhi Biosciences, said the joint entity will be “a…

Solentim and ATUM team partner for cell line development service

The collaboration brings together instrumentation with expression technology to create what the firms say is “the most efficient cell line development solution for biotherapeutic drug developers yet.” The collaboration – financials of which have not been divulged – aims at overcoming the bottlenecks in biomanufacturing by establishing and isolating the most suitable cell lines for a drug candidate. The combined offering will appeal to “pharmaceutical and biopharma companies wanting to shorten their cell line development timelines and make sure they…

Sanofi turns to high titer E. Coli platform in AbSci deal

The SoluPro E.coli manufacturing platform will be applied to two of Sanofi’s biologic candidates under a partnership deal with AbSci. Financial details of the deal have not been divulged, but the French Big Biopharma firm will use AbSci’s SoluPro expression platform on two of its molecules. The work will be undertaken at AbSci’s facilities in Vancouver, Washington, USA. According to AbSci, the platform can accelerate the time it takes to get new drugs to market through ultra-high titers of soluble,…

Selexis and Agenus expand immune-oncology cell line deal

After an initial collaboration in 2015, Selexis has signed commercial license agreements with Agenus to develop research cell banks for additional antibody programs. In 2015, clinical-stage immuno-oncology firm Agenus selected cell line development firm Selexis to collaborate on its lead anti-CTLA4 (AGEN1884) and anti-PD1 (AGEN2034) programs. Four years on and the firms have extended the deal to include the use of Selexis’ SUREtechnology platform with additional novel single agent and combination therapies. “Under the expanded collaboration, Selexis will continue to…

Lack of large M&A not for the lack of trying, says Merck CEO

Robust competition and a lack of willing sellers has stifled Merck’s M&A ambition, but CEO Ken Frazier says with valuations coming down possibilities are being created. Large mergers and acquisitions have dominated the start of 2019: Takeda has completed its $62 billion (€54 billion) takeover of Shire, Bristol-Myers Squibb is set to merge with Celgene in a $74 billion deal, and Eli Lilly has bought Loxo Oncology (albeit for a relatively low $8 billion). Therefore, it was no surprise that…

JPM 2019: Lilly buys Loxo, Pfizer’s biosimilar bundle and $22 coffee

The 37th JP Morgan Healthcare Conference took place this week. If the extortionate hotel prices kept you away, then BioProcess Insider you some of the highlights from San Francisco. It’s that time of year again where investors and healthcare executives flock to San Francisco for four days of dealmaking, financial forecasting and – if rumors are to be believed – intense partying. If other commitments and the decision not to take out a second mortgage (some hotel rooms reached $30,000…