Johnson & Johnson seals biggest European pharma deal in 13 years as it snaps up Actelion

Telegraph Media Group | January 26, 2017

Johnson & Johnson is buying blood pressure specialist Actelion in an all-cash deal that values the company at $30bn (£23.8bn), following months of complex negotiation and marking the first big pharmaceuticals transaction of the year.

Spotlight

Pharmaceutical companies are already coping with the patent cliff and the pressures of a changing healthcare system, and now face potential disruption from real world evidence as a factor in evaluating new drugs. Strategy& Partner Volker Roenicke and Senior Associate Thomas Solbach introduce a recent survey of pharmaceuticals industry leaders, explain the potential risks and opportunities that real world evidence presents, and discuss ways in which pharmaceutical companies can overhaul their R&D model and build the capabilities system they need to survive and thrive in the future…

Spotlight

Pharmaceutical companies are already coping with the patent cliff and the pressures of a changing healthcare system, and now face potential disruption from real world evidence as a factor in evaluating new drugs. Strategy& Partner Volker Roenicke and Senior Associate Thomas Solbach introduce a recent survey of pharmaceuticals industry leaders, explain the potential risks and opportunities that real world evidence presents, and discuss ways in which pharmaceutical companies can overhaul their R&D model and build the capabilities system they need to survive and thrive in the future…

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PHARMA TECH

Apollomics Inc., a Late-Stage Clinical Biopharmaceutical Company to be Listed on Nasdaq Through Business Combination

Apollomics, Inc. | September 15, 2022

Apollomics Inc. a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company, and Maxpro Capital Acquisition Corp. announced a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in Apollomics becoming a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq Global Market. The business combination is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 and Apollomics is expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “APLM.” Apollomics’ broad pipeline of drug candidates includes late-stage clinical assets for the treatment of patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. Apollomics’ mission is to develop assets in critically important areas of unmet need. The Company’s leading drug candidates address certain subpopulations within lung cancer and leukemia. Globally, both lung cancer and leukemia affect over 2 million people annually. The Company is dedicated to discovering and developing oncology therapies of different mechanisms of action to inhibit cancer. Its diverse portfolio of innovative drug candidates for treating difficult-to-treat cancers includes precision therapy targeting tumors with specific mutations, as well as assets addressing broader cancer conditions. The Company’s pipeline of nine clinical, preclinical and discovery drug candidates has the potential to improve treatment of a number of tumor types. Upon the closing of the transaction, Apollomics will continue to be led by current Chairman and CEO, Dr. Guo-Liang Yu, Ph.D., a serial entrepreneur, and his team. Dr. Yu is a pharmaceutical researcher with more than 300 patents. “Apollomics’ announcement represents the next major milestone on our journey to provide solutions for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers,” Dr. Yu said. “We anticipate that the funds available to us from this transaction will help us accelerate development of our oncology pipeline.” Apollomics expects results from its global Phase 2 multi-cohort clinical trial of vebreltinib in NSCLC and other solid tumors with cMET dysregulation in 2023, which the Company believes may support its first New Drug Application (“NDA”) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) while generating clinical data for different indications. In addition, the Company expects to complete patient recruitment of its uproleselan Phase 3 study in China in 2023. “Our goal was to find an exciting company with a growing pipeline of innovative product candidates that could positively affect the lives of millions of people. Our team is excited to combine with Apollomics as it has met and exceeded all our key selection criteria. Together with Apollomics, Maxpro will do everything we can to support the Company’s vision of treating patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.” Moses Chen, CEO of Maxpro About Apollomics Inc. Apollomics Inc. is an innovative clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of oncology therapies with the potential to be combined with other treatment options to harness the immune system and target specific molecular pathways to inhibit cancer. Apollomics currently has a pipeline of nine drug candidates across multiple programs, six of which are currently in the clinical stage of development. Apollomics’ lead programs include investigating its core product, vebreltinib (APL-101), a potent, selective c-Met inhibitor for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other advanced tumors with c-Met alterations, which is currently in a Phase 2 multicohort clinical trial in the United States, and developing an anti-cancer enhancer drug candidate, uproleselan (APL-106), a specific E-Selectin antagonist that has the potential to be used adjunctively with standard chemotherapy to treat acute myeloid leukemia and other hematologic cancers, which is currently in Phase 1 and Phase 3 clinical trials in China. About Maxpro Capital Acquisition Corp. Maxpro is a blank check company formed for the purposes of effecting a merger, capital share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses in the healthcare and technology industries. In October 2021, Maxpro consummated a $103.5 million initial public offering of 10.35 million units (including the underwriters’ full exercise of their over-allotment option), each unit consists of one share of Class A common stock and one redeemable warrant, each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.50 per share. EF Hutton, division of Benchmark Investments LLC, served as the sole book-running manager of Maxpro’s initial public offering.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

AbbVie Secures Positive CHMP Opinion for Risankizumab (SKYRIZI®) for the Treatment of Adults with Moderate to Severe Crohn's Disease

AbbVie | September 19, 2022

AbbVie announced the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use adopted a positive opinion recommending the approval of risankizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease who have had inadequate response, lost response or were intolerant to conventional or biologic therapy. "We continue to raise the bar in researching treatments for immune-mediated gastroenterological conditions through more stringent and innovative clinical trial design, such as the first time a Phase 3 trial has reported co-primary endpoints, endoscopic response and clinical remission. With the recent CHMP recommendation for risankizumab in Crohn's disease, we're getting closer toward helping patients find sufficient disease control for this disruptive condition." Neil Gallagher, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, development, chief medical officer, AbbVie AbbVie's application for the approval of risankizumab in Crohn's disease is supported by data from three Phase 3 clinical trials — ADVANCE, MOTIVATE (induction studies) and FORTIFY (maintenance study).1,2 Across all three studies, significantly more patients treated with risankizumab achieved the co-primary endpoints of endoscopic response and clinical remission.1,2,5-10 This includes statistically significant improvements in these endpoints at week 12 compared to placebo with 600 mg intravenous infusions for the ADVANCE and MOTIVATE induction studies.1,8,9 Additionally, a significantly greater proportion of patients treated with risankizumab 360 mg subcutaneous injections achieved endoscopic response and clinical remission at 52 weeks compared to placebo (patients treated with placebo after risankizumab induction) in the FORTIFY maintenance study.2,10 Safety results of risankizumab in Crohn's disease were consistent with the known safety profile of risankizumab, with no new safety risks observed.1,2,8-13 "Living with Crohn's disease can pose many challenges and significantly impact a patient's health-related quality of life," said Marc Ferrante, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. "Risankizumab could be an encouraging option for adult patients that continue to have moderately to severely active Crohn's disease and I look forward to the European Commission's final decision." Use of risankizumab in Crohn's disease is not approved in the European Union, and its safety and efficacy remain under evaluation. Risankizumab (SKYRIZI) is part of a collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and AbbVie, with AbbVie leading development and commercialization globally. About Crohn's Disease Crohn's disease is a chronic, systemic disease that manifests as inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract, causing persistent diarrhea and abdominal pain.3,4 It is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time in a substantial proportion of patients or may develop complications that require urgent medical care, including surgery.3,4 Because the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease are unpredictable, it causes a significant burden on people living with the disease—not only physically, but also emotionally and economically.14,15 About the ADVANCE and MOTIVATE Inductions Studies, and the FORTIFY Maintenance Study1,2,8-10 The three Phase 3 studies are multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of risankizumab 600 mg and 1200 mg as induction therapy, and risankizumab 180 mg and 360 mg as maintenance therapy in subjects with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease. Topline results of the ADVANCE and MOTIVATE induction studies were announced in January 2021 and topline results of the FORTIFY maintenance study were announced in June 2021. About SKYRIZI® (risankizumab) SKYRIZI is an interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor that selectively blocks IL-23 by binding to its p19 subunit.11,16 IL-23, a cytokine involved in inflammatory processes, is thought to be linked to a number of chronic immune-mediated diseases, including Crohn's disease.11,16 The approved dose for SKYRIZI for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis in the European Union is 150 mg (either as two 75 mg prefilled syringe injections or one 150 mg prefilled pen or prefilled syringe) administered by subcutaneous injections at week 0 and 4 and every 12 weeks thereafter.11 The use of risankizumab in Crohn's disease is not approved in the European Union and its safety remains under review with the global regulatory authorities. Phase 3 trials of SKYRIZI in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are ongoing.12,13,17 EU Indications and Important Safety Information about SKYRIZI® (risankizumab)11 SKYRIZI is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy. SKYRIZI, alone or in combination with methotrexate is indicated for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis in adults who have had an inadequate response or who have been intolerant to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. SKYRIZI is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients. SKYRIZI may increase the risk of infection. In patients with a chronic infection, a history of recurrent infection, or known risk factors for infection, SKYRIZI should be used with caution. Treatment with SKYRIZI should not be initiated in patients with any clinically important active infection until the infection resolves or is adequately treated. Prior to initiating treatment with SKYRIZI, patients should be evaluated for tuberculosis (TB) infection. Patients receiving SKYRIZI should be monitored for signs and symptoms of active TB. Anti-TB therapy should be considered prior to initiating SKYRIZI in patients with a history of latent or active TB in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed. Prior to initiating therapy with SKYRIZI, completion of all appropriate immunizations should be considered according to current immunization guidelines. If a patient has received live vaccination (viral or bacterial), it is recommended to wait at least 4 weeks prior to starting treatment with SKYRIZI. Patients treated with SKYRIZI should not receive live vaccines during treatment and for at least 21 weeks after treatment. The most frequently reported adverse reactions were upper respiratory infections. Commonly (greater than or equal to 1/100 to less than 1/10) reported adverse reactions included tinea infections, headache, pruritus, fatigue and injection site reactions. About AbbVie in Gastroenterology With a robust clinical trial program, AbbVie is committed to cutting-edge research to drive exciting developments in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. By innovating, learning and adapting, AbbVie aspires to eliminate the burden of IBD and make a positive long-term impact on the lives of people with IBD. About AbbVie AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across our Allergan Aesthetics portfolio.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Catalent to Acquire Metrics Contract Services for $475 Million to Expand High-Potent Capabilities and Oral Development and Manufacturing Capacity

Catalent, Inc. | August 10, 2022

Catalent, Inc. the global leader in enabling biopharma, cell, gene, and consumer health partners to optimize development, launch, and supply of better patient treatments across multiple modalities, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Metrics Contract Services a full-service specialty Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization with a facility in Greenville, North Carolina, for $475 million from Mayne Pharma Group Limited. Upon completion, the acquisition will strengthen Catalent’s capabilities in integrated oral solid formulation development, manufacturing, and packaging to help customers simplify and accelerate their programs, while also expanding Catalent's capacity to handle highly potent compounds. The 333,000 square-foot Greenville facility features comprehensive capabilities to accelerate and de-risk customer programs from early development through commercial launch through a streamlined one-site solution. Over the past five years, the facility has seen more than $100 million in capital improvements and now includes 16 manufacturing suites, with 11 designed to handle highly potent compounds, as well as two packaging lines that can support a large variety of development and commercial supply programs. The facility’s estimated annual production capacity exceeds one billion oral solid dose units. “This acquisition will further expand Catalent’s ability to meet our customers’ expectations in fast-growing areas of the business and patient need. The experienced team and consistently improved, state-of-the-art facility in Greenville will provide Catalent’s customers with immediate, fit-for-scale capacity for in-demand highly potent drugs and other oral solid small-to-mid-size batch needs. This capacity is particularly important for customers with R&D pipelines featuring accelerated, orphan, and rare disease programs for oncology and other important therapeutic areas,” said Dr. Aris Gennadios, Group President of Catalent’s Pharma & Consumer Health segment. “Over the past several years, Metrics has undergone a period of transformational change to expand its footprint and service offering, becoming a global end-to-end novel oral solid CDMO. Catalent, a global leader in advanced drug development and manufacturing, is well-positioned to continue to invest in and accelerate the growth of Metrics and we believe this transaction will be extremely positive for our Greenville team and customers,” Scott Richards, Chief Executive Officer of Mayne Pharma The new facility will seamlessly integrate into Catalent’s industry-leading oral development and manufacturing network, which includes flagship sites for large-scale and controlled release oral solids manufacturing in Winchester, Kentucky; softgel development and manufacturing in St. Petersburg, Florida; and additional facilities with bioavailability enhancement technologies and complex oral solids manufacturing platforms. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of this calendar year, subject to customary closing conditions, and the entire team of over 400 employees will join Catalent. Mayne Pharma and Catalent have also agreed on the terms of a long-term supply agreement whereby the Greenville facility will continue to manufacture multiple Mayne Pharma products. Catalent will pay the purchase price for this all-cash acquisition using a combination of cash on hand, existing credit facilities, and, depending on market conditions, potentially new debt financing. The closing of the acquisition is not contingent on any financing activity. ABOUT CATALENT Catalent, Inc. an S&P 500® company, is the global leader in enabling pharma, biotech, and consumer health partners to optimize product development, launch, and full life-cycle supply for patients around the world. With broad and deep scale and expertise in development sciences, delivery technologies, and multi-modality manufacturing, Catalent is the industry’s preferred partner for personalized medicines, consumer health brand extensions, and blockbuster drugs. Catalent helps accelerate over 1,000 partner programs and launch over 150 new products every year. Its flexible manufacturing platforms at over 50 global sites supply over 70 billion doses of nearly 7,000 products to over 1,000 customers annually. Catalent’s expert workforce of approximately 19,000 includes more than 2,500 scientists and technicians. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, the company generated $4 billion in revenue in its 2021 fiscal year. ABOUT METRICS CONTRACT SERVICES Metrics Contract Services, a division of Mayne Pharma Group Limited, is a full-service pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization serving clients worldwide delivering proven scientific and operational excellence for novel oral dosage forms. Metrics provides formulation development, analytical testing and commercial manufacturing from its single-campus facility in Greenville, North Carolina

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