Deal-Making

Roche and Avista ink deal to develop AAV gene therapy vectors for eyes

Avista will apply its single-cell adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering scAAVengr platform to advance intravitreal AAV capsids, which match capsid profiles defined by Roche. The deal, of which Avista Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment of $7.5 million and potentially receive further payments that exceed $1 billion if certain milestones are met, aims to co-develop AAV vectors for use in gene therapies that can treat eye diseases. “Under the terms of the agreement, Avista will be responsible for the design, screening…

Study results led to the acquisition of GeneTx, says Ultragenyx

Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals has acquired GeneTx Biotherapeutics for $75 million after a program update on GTX-102, an investigational antisense oligonucleotide, revealed promising data. Ultragenyx and GeneTx partnered in 2019 to advance GTX-102, an investigational antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) that has been designed to target and prevent of expression UBE3A-AS to hinder the paternally inherited allele of the UBE3A gene and reactivate the deficient protein. It is delivered as an intrathecal infusion and aims to treat Angelman syndrome, a rare, neurogenetic disorder that is…

BeiGene teams with InnoRNA to develop mRNA therapeutics

Beijing-headquartered BeiGene has formed a global strategic collaboration with InnoRNA to develop mRNA therapeutics. Shenzhen, China-headquartered InnoRNA uses its LNP (liquid nanoparticle) delivery technology and mRNA drug discovery program to discover novel mRNA candidates. The collaboration will see InnoRNA receive an upfront cash payment and will be eligible to receive milestones and royalties on sales. BeiGene will hold exclusive global development and commercialization rights for the collaboration’s mRNA-LNP therapies. InnoRNA will receive an additional upfront cash payment and milestones for…

Solvias boosts CGT testing with Cergentis acquisition

Contract development firm Solvias has bought gene sequencing firm Cergentis to feed the expected growth in cell and gene therapy testing demand. The deal, financials of which have not been divulged, will see Swiss pharmaceutical testing and manufacturing firm Solvias absorb Utrecht, Netherlands-based Cergentis, bolstering its biologics and cell and gene therapy (CGT) testing solutions. Cergentis uses its genomic analysis platform for the characterization and QC of genetically engineered models, biopharmaceutical cell line development, and cell and gene therapy products.…

Emergent to make Ebola mAb for Ridgeback

Emergent BioSolutions will manufacture, sell, and distribute Ebanga (ansuvimab)  in the US and Canada through its partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The deal, of which financial details have not been divulged, sees Emergent and Ridgeback Bio collaborate to expand the availability of Ebanga, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020 December 2020 to treat Ebola. Ebanga was developed to treat Ebola by Ridgeback Bio under license from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious…

LG Chem licensing electroporation tech from MaxCyte

LG Chem will have non-exclusive clinical and commercial rights to use MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation technology and ExPERT platform. According to MaxCyte, the partnership will support LG Chem’s CAR-T programs for solid tumors, including LR19023, which is in the pre-clinical stage and being developed as a solid cancer therapeutic. In return, MaxCyte, will receive platform licensing fees and program-related revenue. “This announcement marks our 17th strategic platform license (SPL) partnership,” Doug Doerfler, CEO at MaxCyte told BioProcess Insider. “It represents our…

Vertex to tighten grip on diabetes islet cell space with $320m ViaCyte buy

Vertex will bolster its inhouse manufacturing capabilities while adding three cell therapy approaches to type 1 diabetes through the acquisition of ViaCyte. In 2019, Vertex Pharmaceuticals entered the diabetes cell therapy space through the $950 million acquisition of Semma Therapeutics. The deal brought Vertex a stem cell-derived islet platform and VX-880, an allogeneic candidate for type 1 diabetes (T1D), entering the firm into the relatively small islet cell space. Now the firm plans to remove its main competition, ViaCyte, through…

ABL and KaliVir collaborate to advance oncolytic viruses

ABL will provide materials and manufacture KaliVir Therapeutics’ oncolytic viruses for its forthcoming clinical trial. Financial details of the partnership have not been disclosed but contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) ABL will produce KaliVir’s oncolytic viruses and provide the  material required to perform its first-in-human- clinical study with oncolytic vaccinia virus. The oncolytic vaccinia virus is derived from KaliVir’s VET platform, which has been optimized for systemic delivery as well as expression of therapeutic transgene in the tumor. Furthermore, the…

Exothera selected by Vaccizone to fast-track COVID-19 vax

The collaboration will see Exothera use its scale-X technology to develop Vaccizone’s COVID-19 vaccine to produce clinical material for clinical trials and toxicological studies. The deal will see Exothera provide Vaccizone its full-service offering, which includes upstream and downstream process development, plasmid supply, and production. Additionally, the single partnership approach will facilitate small scale to drug substance and drug product manufacturing, paired with analytical toolkit assays set-up, CMC support, control validation, and DSP process development. “Clinical manufacturing is expected to…

Portage targets adenosine pathway with Tarus acquisition

Portage Biotech will gain four assets targeting various aspects of the adenosine pathway through the acquisition of Tarus Therapeutics. The agreement to acquire adenosine receptor development firm Tarus for an upfront payment of $21 million “will allow Portage to expand [its] capabilities of developing first-in-class immuno-oncology treatments for patients with cancer,” Ian Walters, CEO of Portage told BioProcess Insider. Under the terms of the deal, Portage will gain four new assets acquired from Tarus: TT-10 (now PORT-6):an adenosine receptor type…