Deal-Making

Novo Nordisk in $1.8bn deal for oral biologic tech

Novo Nordisk to acquire Emisphere Technologies and take ownership of Eligen drug delivery technology. The two companies have been partners since 2007, which culminated in the approval of Rybelsus (semaglutide). The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) treatment for adults with type 2 diabetes became the first such treatment to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for oral delivery last year. Rybelsus was created by Novo Nordisk under a license agreement with Emisphere, using the Eligen SNAC drug delivery…

CRISPR, reagents, cell lines: PerkinElmer buying Horizon Discovery

PerkinElmer will buy Horizon Discovery Group for $383 million to add CRISPR gene editing and RNAi tech to its offering. As well as gene editing, the deal will also add Horizon’s reference standards, screening technologies and manufacturing cell lines to PerkinElmer’s portfolio. Buying Horizon will enable PerkinElmer to better address market needs says Alan Fletcher, vice president and general manager of life sciences. “A combined PerkinElmer Horizon offering positions the Combined Group as a provider of complete workflows for researchers…

Natural killer deal: Sanofi buying Kiadis for $358m

Once the deal goes through, the French pharma giant will add an allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapy platform to its immune-oncology capabilities. In cell therapy development, industry has seen some success with T-cells, most notably in the approvals of the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies Kymriah and Yescarta. T cells work by spurring patients’ adaptive immune system, which learns to remember threats and eliminates them when they return. However, NK cells, which are part of our innate immune system,…

Lonza to support AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 antibody combo

Lonza will provide drug substance manufacturing for a potential COVID-19 monoclonal antibody combination therapy from its mid-scale facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The deal, financials of which have not been disclosed, will see Swiss contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lonza make two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for AstraZeneca’s candidate AZD7442, currently in Phase I clinical studies as a potential treatment of COVID-19. The project will be one of the first from Lonza’s latest facility in Portsmouth, commissioned in 2018, with…

Catalent bones up on CGTs with Skeletal Cell Therapy buy

Catalent has agreed to buy Bone Therapeutics’ manufacturing unit – Skeletal Cell Therapy Support SA – and make trial supplies of the candidate bone disease cell therapy, ALLOB. The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) will pay €12 million ($14 million) for Skeletal Cell Therapy Support SA (SCTS), which operates a 3,800 square meter manufacturing facility, development lab and warehouse at the Brussels South Charleroi Biopark, in Belgium. The site produces Bone’s allogenic cell therapy candidate ALLOB, which has been…

Amyris and IDRI agree RNA vaccine platform deal

The two partners will collaborate to develop an RNA vaccine against COVID-19, as well as vaccines for three additional indications. Amyris will license the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI)’s novel ribonucleic acid (RNA) vaccine platform. Alongside the vaccine platform, Amyris will gain access to IDRI’s nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) platform, which will be combined with its own semi-synthetic squalene technology to develop RNA vaccines against various infectious disease targets, potentially including influenza and certain cancer treatments. The first project will…

Repligen strengthens downstream offering with $200m ARTeSYN acquisition

Repligen says it has established itself as a premier player in single-use systems, integrated flow paths, and assemblies following a triumvirate of bolt-on acquisitions. According to Repligen Corporation, ARTeSYN Biosolutions’ single-use chromatography and filtration systems are considered “the gold standards in downstream bioprocessing.” The technologies – along with three manufacturing facilities in Ireland, Estonia, and California – are soon to become part of Repligen’s offering after the firm entered a definitive agreement to buy ARTeSYN for $130 million cash and…

Bayer adds AAV-based gene therapy tech in $2bn AskBio buy

The deal – which could be worth up to $4 billion – bolsters Bayer’s gene therapy ambitions through the addition of an AAV manufacturing platform, clinical-stage candidates, and a CDMO unit. German pharma giant Bayer is paying $2 billion up front with potential milestone payments up to another $2 billion for Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio). Founded in 2001 by Jude Samulski, the company’s present chief scientific officer, AskBio is developing gene therapies for neuromuscular diseases, central…

Roche enlists Dyno to bring AI to liver, CNS gene therapies

Roche hopes to bolster its capabilities in liver and central nervous system (CNS) disorder gene therapies by turning to Dyno Therapeutics. Roche made a splash with its acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, whose Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec), a gene therapy for an inherited form of vision loss, was the first such therapy to win FDA approval. Dyno, a two-year-old startup based in Cambridge, Massachusetts meanwhile, has never brought a gene therapy to the market, nor does it currently have its own drug…

Vaxart ups production as oral COVID-19 vaccine dosing begins

Vaxart agrees deal with Kindred Biosciences to expand manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Yesterday, Vaxart announced that the first subject had been dosed in a Phase I study for its oral tablet COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Prior to this, the biotech had agreed with Kindred’s contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) subsidiary, Centaur Biopharmaceutical Services, to increase the scale of production. As a result, Centaur will manufacture clinical trial material for the prospective vaccine out of its Elwood, Kansas, plant at…