Bayer, Elanco could lock up animal health merger next week

FiercePharma | August 08, 2019

When rumors emerged nearly a year ago that Bayer might be planning to exit the animal-health business, Eli Lilly spinoff Elanco was not at the top of any market-watchers list of potential buyers especially not after it became clear that several private equity players were interested in the asset. Turns out Elanco was interested, and the two companies could announce an agreement to merge as soon as next week, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. Elanco would pay for the deal partly in stock, and it could be aiming to time the announcement with its quarterly report next week, the sources said. A spokesperson for Elanco declined to comment to FiercePharma. A spokesperson for Bayer said in an email that the company is “on track” to exit animal health. “Following a strategic review of exit options, the primary focus is on a sale. However, Bayer also continues to consider all value-maximizing options,” he said. Although combining two companies would create an animal-health giant rivaling Pfizer spinoff Zoetis and Merck’s animal health business, Elanco isn’t in the best shape financially to execute a big deal. It did pull off an upsized $1.5 billion initial public offering last September, but it’s still carrying a lot of debt—$2.5 billion, according to its most recent annual report. The report warned that Elanco may not be able to generate enough cash to service that debt.

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Brentwood offers a manufacturing environment of over 30,000 square feet to support our medical device customers. Our ISO Class 7 (10,000) clean room is equipped with the latest technology available for both our thermoforming and injection molding operations.

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EditForce and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Enter into License Agreement

EditForce, Inc. | July 06, 2022

EditForce, Inc. has entered into a License Agreement with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation to research, develop and commercialize potential gene therapy products for a specific target disease in the field of CNS by utilizing EditForce's proprietary PPR protein platform technology. In this alliance, MTPC and EditForce aim to create potential novel pharmaceuticals for the specific CNS disease by utilizing the drug R&D know-how and global business experience of MTPC and the novel biotechnology of EditForce. MTPC will acquire the exclusive right to conduct the selection of drug candidate molecules, preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization worldwide. Under the terms of the Agreement, EditForce will receive an upfront payment and milestone payments amounting to over 20 billion yen depending on the development stage and commercialization progress, and royalties based on worldwide sales after the launch. "I am so delighted to reach the agreement with MTPC, which has an interest in our proprietary PPR protein platform technology. We look forward to working closely with MTPC to develop and deliver breakthrough pharmaceutical products with our technology to patients suffering from diseases." Takashi Ono, President and CEO of EditForce About EditForce, Inc. EditForce, Inc., a Kyushu University-originated venture company developing a unique DNA/RNA editing technology (PPR platform technology (*)), was established in May 2015 by KISCO Ltd. and Prof. Takahiro Nakamura of Kyushu University (former president of EditForce and currently its scientific advisor) and funded by companies and funds that have track records of investing in life sciences and biotechnology. EditForce aims for drug discovery that applies the PPR technology through joint research with universities and private companies. Pentatricopeptide repeat protein platform technology PPR is a protein discovered in plants that regulates gene expression by binding to DNA and RNA in a sequence-specific manner. The PPR proteins are also found in humans and yeasts, and they have similar functions. Prof. Takahiro Nakamura and Dr. Yusuke Yagi, CTO of EditForce, have focused on the PPR proteins and elucidated the mechanism that determines sequence specificity, and established a technology for creating various PPR proteins, each of which binds to a specific target DNA or RNA sequence. Furthermore, it is possible to manipulate and modify the target genome and RNA both inside and outside the cell by fusion with effector proteins. About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation the pharma arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Group is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world, founded in 1678, and focusing on ethical pharmaceuticals. MTPC is headquartered in Doshomachi, Osaka, the birthplace of Japan's pharmaceutical industry. MCG has positioned health care as its strategic focus in its management policy, "Forging the future." MTPC sets the MISSION of "Creating hope for all facing illness." To that end, MTPC is prioritizing work on "precision medicine" to provide drugs with high treatment satisfaction by identifying patient populations with high potential for efficacy and safety, focusing on the disease areas of the central nervous system and immuno-inflammation. In addition, MTPC is working to develop "around the pill solutions" to address specific patient concerns based on therapeutic medicine, including prevention of diseases, pre-symptomatic disease care, prevention of aggravation and prognosis.

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PHARMA TECH

Cadence Expands into Molecular Simulation with Acquisition of OpenEye Scientific, a Pioneering Leader in Computational Molecular Design

Cadence | July 26, 2022

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held OpenEye Scientific Software, Inc., a leading provider of computational molecular modeling and simulation software being widely and increasingly used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for drug discovery. The addition of OpenEye’s technologies and experienced team with its deep scientific expertise accelerates Cadence’s Intelligent System Design™ strategy and expands its total addressable market bringing Cadence’s computational software expertise to apply proven algorithmic, simulation and solver advances to life sciences. Technological advancements, coupled with the rising demand for new drugs across a range of diseases, are driving increased demand for computational drug design. The growing utilization of computational techniques in drug discovery for pharmacology, chemical synthesis and drug screening to study the 3D structure of molecules is a major factor fostering the growth of the global biosimulation market, which has an estimated TAM of $2B and predicted to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 15% over the next five years. Biosimulations are a critical tool for pharmaceutical research as they provide atomic-level insight into molecular interactions, and there’s a growing demand for high-performance simulation of larger biological systems over longer time scales. Cadence continues executing its Intelligent System Design strategy and has successfully leveraged its computational software expertise to expand into the system analysis space to address the electromagnetics, thermal and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) challenges in the high-tech electronics, aerospace and defense, and automotive sectors. Cadence is now extending that computational software core competency to molecular modeling and simulation that is targeted to life sciences. OpenEye, an industry leader in computational molecular design, has pioneered physics-based approaches and the cloud-native Orion® software platform to accelerate advances in human health. The acquisition allows pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to benefit from more robust drug discovery solutions that combine OpenEye’s innovative molecular modeling and simulation software solutions for drug discovery with Cadence’s algorithmic and solver expertise, efficient large data management infrastructure, and leading AI/ML and cloud solutions. OpenEye’s products are used by 19 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies globally—including Pfizer and AstraZeneca—as well as numerous biotechnology companies and academic institutions. Orion, OpenEye’s market-leading cloud-native software-as-a service (SaaS) platform, is growing rapidly as pharmaceutical and biotechnology users embrace its flexibility and scalability to perform complex molecular calculations on a large scale. “Drug discovery is an increasingly complex process that requires significant investment in research and development. The pending acquisition of OpenEye, with its scientifically tested methodologies and expertise, accelerates Cadence’s Intelligent System Design strategy with our entry into a new system domain of life sciences. Cadence’s deep computational software expertise drives further innovation in algorithms that enhance the reliability, efficiency and speed of molecular simulations. We look forward to welcoming such an accomplished team and are delighted to accelerate innovation and improve research and development productivity in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.” Dr. Anirudh Devgan, president and CEO of Cadence “We founded OpenEye to stretch the boundaries of what’s possible in computational drug discovery,” said Dr. Anthony Nicholls, CEO of OpenEye Scientific. “Our 3D search technology, programming toolkits, and more recently, our cloud platform, Orion, have led the industry for more than 25 years, and this opportunity to join with Cadence to pursue even greater scale and accuracy is simply amazing. We foresee a time when pharmaceutical design, no matter the modality, is predominantly computational. The realization of that goal with our skills and Cadence’s resources and expertise is going to have a profound impact on human health.” Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Cadence will pay approximately $500 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to contribute immaterial revenue this year and about $40 million in fiscal 2023. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to completion of Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory review and customary closing conditions. About Cadence Cadence is a pivotal leader in electronic systems design, building upon more than 30 years of computational software expertise. The company applies its underlying Intelligent System Design strategy to deliver software, hardware and IP that turn design concepts into reality. Cadence customers are the world’s most innovative companies, delivering extraordinary products from chips to boards to complete systems for the most dynamic market applications, including hyperscale computing, 5G communications, automotive, mobile, aerospace, consumer, industrial and healthcare. For eight years in a row, Fortune magazine has named Cadence one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. About OpenEye Scientific OpenEye Scientific is an industry leader in computational molecular design through rapid, robust and scalable software, toolkits, technology and design services, and Orion®, the only cloud-native fully integrated software-as-a-service molecular modeling platform that runs on Amazon Web Services. Combining unlimited computation and storage with powerful tools for data sharing, visualization and analysis in an open development platform, Orion offers unprecedented capabilities for the advancement of pharmaceuticals, biologics, agrochemicals, and flavors and fragrances. Founded in 1997, OpenEye Scientific is a privately held company headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M., with offices in Boston, Mass.; Cologne, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

ERS Genomics and Lepton Pharmaceuticals LTD Enter CRISPR/Cas9 License Agreement

ERS Genomics | July 27, 2022

ERS Genomics Limited is pleased to announce a new license agreement with Lepton Pharmaceuticals LTD. This is a non-exclusive licensing agreement granting Lepton access to the ERS CRISPR/Cas9 patent portfolio for certain applications. ERS, co-founded by Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, 2020 Nobel Prize winner for gene-editing, provides access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property. Over 90 patents are held in over eighty countries. Lepton Pharmaceutical LTD is a biotechnology company developing a proprietary, breakthrough technology to substantially improve adaptive cell-mediated immune response. "We are very pleased to establish this relationship and license agreement with ERS Genomics. It will greatly assist us to develop our innovative Castling technology to significantly improve immune cells efficiency and longevity to fight cancer." Dr. Daniel Zurr, CEO of Lepton Eric Rhodes, CEO at ERS Genomics added: "Lepton's Castling technology has great potential to impact the field of immunotherapies and we are pleased to help enable Lepton in pursuing this exciting approach." The Castling technology is a proprietary, miRNA-based general technology platform, essentially consisting of the manipulation of miRNA expression to achieve enhanced efficacy and longevity (reduced exhaustion) of cell-based therapies. miRNAs are noncoding RNAs that each affects the expression of hundreds of coding genes. The Castling technology allows, in a single gene editing event in the immune cell (either allogeneic or autologous), to impact the expression of a multitude of genes in the immune cells, once such miRNAs penetrate the microenvironment of cancer cells. This technology aims to revolutionize the immune cell cancer therapy field. About ERS Genomics ERS Genomics is a biotechnology company based in Dublin, Ireland. The company was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property held by Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. Non-exclusive licenses are available for research and sale of products and services across multiple fields including: research tools, kits, reagents; discovery of novel targets for therapeutic intervention; cell lines for discovery and screening of novel drug candidates; GMP production of healthcare products; companion animal and livestock health; production of industrial materials such as enzymes, biofuels and chemicals; and synthetic biology. About Lepton Pharmaceuticals Lepton Pharmaceuticals LTD. is based in Israel. Lepton focuses on subtle and precise silencing of coding RNA expression by small non-coding RNA molecules, working via the DROSHA/DICER/RISC pathways, small interfering RNA and microRNA (miRNA), to develop products and services to, ultimately, improve therapies for underserved diseases and improve and change patients' lives.

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