Deal-Making

‘Impressive roster of participants’ brings $42m to PureTech affiliate

Vor Biopharma, founded by PureTech, has raised $42 million to support its hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-based candidate through Series A financing round. Vor Biopharma, co-founded by biopharma firm PureTech, will use the $42 million (€37 million) to advance its lead HSC-based preclinical candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and to further build its pipeline to treat hematologic malignancies. According to Jefferies equity analyst Peter Welford, the Series A financing round included an “impressive roster of participants,’ led…

Big Pharma and CAR-T: Testing the water or in at the deep end?

Following Novartis and Gilead’s success, others are “scrambling to build up their T-Cell capabilities,” say venture capitalists. We look at where Big Pharma stands in this blossoming sector. Big Pharma firms will be looking at strategies to enter the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell space, if they have not already, spurred on by the approvals in 2017 of Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) . This was the view of commentators and analysts at Phacilitate in Miami, Florida last month. Anna…

Dual sourcing drives global network as WuXi inks Amicus deal

WuXi Biologics will harness its growing global network to supply the commercial drug substance and product for Amicus Therapeutics’ Pompe biologic ATB200. Amicus Therapeutics is developing a therapy consisting of recombinant human acid alpha-glucosidase (rhGAA) enzyme with an optimized carbohydrate structure, administered with a small molecule pharmacological chaperone. The product, ATB200, will be made by contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics. The firm, which has been working with Amicus to scale-up the product over the past few years,…

Samsung Bioepis inks biosimilar deals to enter China

Samsung Bioepis has teamed with C-Bridge Capital to bring its third-wave biosimilars to the Chinese market. C-Bridge will establish a new company, AffaMed Therapeutics, under terms of the deal, and will license multiple biosimilar candidates from Samsung Bioepis to commercialize in China. These include the third-wave biosimilar candidates SB11 and SB12 – versions of Roche/Novartis’ Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Alexion’s Soliris (eculizumab) – and SB3, a biosimilar of Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab). The deal comes weeks after a partnership deal with 3SBio…

Takeda post-Shire could divest 25% of its business

Having acquired Shire last month, Takeda is planning to divest non-core assets, representing up to 25% of its business. Takeda closed the $62 billion (€55 billion) acquisition of Shire on January 8th and according to Takeda CFO Costa Saroukos, the “integration of the two companies is now progressing as planned.” Shire brings Takeda greater geography and scale, creating a company with around 35 manufacturing sites, but on a call last week to discuss third quarter FY2018 results, up to a…

GSK boosts oncology pipeline through Merck and Tesaro deals

The acquisition of Tesaro and a codevelopment deal with Merck KGaA has helped double the size of GlaxoSmithKline’s clinical oncology pipeline from eight to 16. Earlier this week, GSK formed an alliance with Germany’s Merck to codevelop and commercialize a bifunctional fusion protein immunotherapy intended to treat multiple cancers. Merck has received an upfront payment of €300 million ($340 million) from GSK and could receive a further €500 million in development milestone payments. The candidate, M7824 (proposed International Nonproprietary Name…

Janssen enters $440m retinal gene therapy partnership

J&J has licensed a clinical stage inherited retinal disease portfolio from MeiraGTx in a deal that could be worth $440 million (€385 million). Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division has paid $100 million upfront to MeiraGTx, a London-UK based clinical stage company, to access and codevelop the firm’s gene therapy programs. Development and sales milestones for MeiraGTx’s could net the firm a further $340 million. Under terms of the deal, the two firms aim to develop, manufacture and commercialize several candidates…

Hitachi brings cell therapy biz to Europe through $86m apceth buy

Hitachi Chemical will add two production plants and 600m2 of cleanroom through the acquisition of German cell therapy manufacturing firm apceth Biopharma. The deal, expected to close in April, sees Japanese firm Hitachi acquire all shares of apceth for JPY 9.4 billion ($86 million) from Santo Holding GmbH, FCP Biotech Holding GmbH and other individual shareholders. apceth has around 120 employees operating from its site in Munich, Germany. The site includes two GMP/BSL2 cell and gene therapy production facilities, including…

Life after Lonza: Sartorius looks to build inhouse culture media biz

After a six-year partnership with CDMO Lonza ended, Sartorius Stedim Biotech says it is looking to build its own cell culture media business. In November 2018, bioprocessing vendor Sartorius and contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza ended a supply and distribution partnership forged in December 2012 for media and buffers used in the manufacture of protein-based therapeutics and vaccines. Under terms of the deal, Lonza manufactured the media and Sartorius had the exclusive sales and marketing rights. Customers of…

Anatomical Pathology sale ups Thermo Fisher’s M&A war chest, analyst

Thermo Fisher Scientific will divest its anatomical pathology business for $1.1 billion to PHC Holdings. The sale leaves Thermo Fisher in a competitive M&A position among bioprocessing peers, says an analyst. The business unit, part of Thermo Fisher’s Specialty Diagnostics Segment, includes microscope slides, instruments and consumables and will be taken over by Japan’s PHC Holdings Corporation – formerly Panasonic Healthcare Holdings – if the deal goes through in the second quarter of 2019. The unit generates about $85 million…