Takeda Divests Eye Drug to Novartis for $5.3 Billion

biospace | May 09, 2019

In January, Takeda Pharmaceutical announced plans to sell about $10 billion worth of assets to offset some of the debt the company garnered in its $62 billion acquisition of Shire. On Wednesday, the Osaka, Japan company announced divestitures worth about $5.7 billion. Takeda entered into agreements with Swiss pharma giant Novartis and Ethicon. Novartis agreed to acquire Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% product for $3.4 billion up front in cash and up to an additional $1.9 billion in potential milestone payments. Also, Takeda sold its TachoSil Fibrin Sealant Patch to Ethicon, Inc. for $400 million in cash. Takeda plans to take the proceeds from these sales and reduce its debt, the company said.

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invoX Pharma to Acquire F-star Therapeutics, Inc. a Pioneering Next Generation Bispecific Discovery Platform and Clinical Programs

F-star Therapeutics, Inc. | June 24, 2022

invoX Pharma a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited focused on research and development and business development activities outside of China, and F-star Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement whereby invoX will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of F-star common stock for $7.12 per share. The proposed acquisition values F-star at approximately $161 million. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the invoX and F-star Boards of Directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. F-star’s proprietary platform technology pioneers the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies that enable the simultaneous targeting of two different antigens and a unique set of pharmacology to deliver focused, potent and safe immune activation in the tumor microenvironment. Four programs are progressing in clinic, three based on F-star’s tetravalent platform and one next generation STING agonist, with multiple further undisclosed programs in development. These programs represent potentially first- and best-in-class drug candidates for many areas of unmet medical need, including patients with cancer and other serious diseases who have few other options available. Leveraging its modular antibody technology, F-star has forged collaborations with major international biopharma companies across a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology and neurology. invoX, established in 2021 in the United Kingdom, is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. F-star will form a key element of invoX’s strategy to accelerate Sino Biopharm’s development of innovative medicines to transform the lives of patients worldwide, complementing its existing R&D platforms and pipeline. “Today’s proposed acquisition is aligned with invoX’s strategy to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with an advancing pipeline of innovative products addressing unmet healthcare needs, worldwide. We are excited to welcome F-star employees and look forward to working with them as we invest in the company to progress and grow its clinical pipeline to realize the full potential of the platform.” Ben Toogood, Chief Executive Officer of invoX Eliot Forster, Chief Executive Officer of F-star said: “We believe our tetravalent bispecifics offer the best approach to tackle hard-to-treat cancers and other serious diseases, with the ambition to deliver longer and improved lives for patients. Today’s announcement is good news for F-star, for our shareholders and, of course, for patients. This transaction enables greater and longer-term opportunities to develop the F-star platform and accelerate delivery of our novel medicines as we work together towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases. I’d like to thank the fantastic team at F-star as well as our partners for all their hard work, support and dedication and I’m delighted to share this exciting development.” About invoX Pharma invoX Pharma was incorporated in March 2021 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharm, a global top 40 pharmaceutical company with more than 24,000 employees. United Kingdom-based invoX is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. At its core, the Company aspires to improve patients’ lives by creating access to innovative medicine. About Sino Biopharm Sino Biopharm, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading, innovative research and development driven pharmaceutical conglomerate in China, with a business scope that is vertically integrated including research and development, manufacturing and sales and marketing infrastructure. The Company’s product offerings include a variety of biologics and small molecule drugs, and in therapy areas that include hepatology, oncology, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, orthopaedics, digestive and immune and respiratory diseases. About F-star Therapeutics, Inc. F-star Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives. F-star is committed to working towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases, through the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in treatments. The Company has four second-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics in the clinic, each directed against some of the most promising IO targets in drug development, including LAG-3 and CD137. F-star’s proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate. F-star has over 500 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. The Company has attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.

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SCA Pharma Names Louis Pace as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer

SCA Pharma | July 15, 2022

SCA Pharma, a nationally recognized leader in the 503B compounding pharmaceuticals outsourcing industry providing quality, service, and value to hospitals nationwide, has announced today the addition of Louis Pace as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer. Pace brings over 30 years of experience serving several successful private equity backed businesses in functional and P&L leadership roles. Most recently, Mr. Pace served as Chief Financial Officer at Orchid Orthopedic Solutions where he successfully led strategy deployment efforts that focused on growth and profitability improvement. "I am extremely excited to welcome Louis to the team and to partner with him as we continue to accelerate growth at SCA Pharma. SCA Pharma is committed to providing innovative solutions for our 503B customers that help health systems manage their drug supply chain and pharmacy operations more efficiently. That evolution requires a more strategic and diversified approach, which suits Louis' background. Louis will manage our finance and accounting teams as well as our information technology strategy. He will concentrate on prioritizing internal and external business opportunities." Scott Luce, CEO of SCA Pharma "I am looking forward to working with the exceptional team at SCA Pharma. I am excited to build on SCA Pharma's current success and be a part of the company's future growth," said Louis Pace. Mr. Pace holds an AB in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management. About SCA Pharma SCA Pharma is a nationally recognized leader in the FDA 503B outsourcing industry, specializing in providing the highest quality sterile admixture services and pre-filled syringes to hospital and health-care facility pharmacies. The company serves all therapeutic areas of pharmacy — including critical care, labor and delivery, anesthesia, and pain management — and maintains a wide portfolio of products, including ready-to-use and drug-shortage medications.

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Ellipses Pharma and SunRock Biopharma Enter Into a Licensing Agreement for a First-in-class Bifunctional HER3:TRAIL Fusion Protein

SunRock Biopharma S.L | May 26, 2022

SunRock Biopharma S.L. a biopharmaceutical company that is developing a portfolio of innovative bispecific antibodies to treat incurable cancer, and Ellipses Pharma Limited a global drug development company focused on accelerating the development of new oncology treatments, announce that they have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for SRB22, a fully human bifunctional HER3:TRAIL fusion protein, which going forward will be known as EP0017. Under the agreement, Ellipses has been granted global rights to develop and commercialise EP0017 and will assume the full cost and responsibility for the remaining pre-clinical and clinical development of the compound. In line with its strategy, Ellipses intends to out licence EP0017 for commercialisation if it proves safe and effective in clinical trials. SunRock will continue to be involved in the development of EP0017 to ensure efficient translational activities through a service agreement with Ellipses. If Ellipses out-licences EP0017, SunRock will also receive milestone payments and royalties. EP0017 is a first-in-class bifunctional fusion protein with a dual mechanism of action. It selectively targets HER3, which is overexpressed in several different tumour types, and additionally, binds to the tumour death receptors DR4 and DR5, inducing tumour cell death. Promising data has been generated in a range of preclinical models that demonstrate the potential of EP0017. Laureano Simón, Ph.D., CEO of SunRock Biopharma, said “The agreement with Ellipses will speed up the development of EP0017, moving this potentially life-changing asset towards the clinic and then hopefully towards cancer patients who desperately need novel approaches to fight invasive tumours.” Rajan Jethwa, MD, CEO of Ellipses Pharma “Our mission is to rapidly develop innovative cancer therapies, to get these therapies into the clinic as quickly as possible and potentially save more lives. We are excited about the opportunity to progress the development of this promising asset and look forward to working with SunRock to expedite the preclinical work.” About SunRock Biopharma S.L. Since its inception in 2014, SunRock has developed a comprehensive pipeline of seven therapeutic antibodies, bispecific antibodies and fusion proteins with proven therapeutic effects against several types of tumours that currently lack a treatment. The innovative spirit of SunRock defines the development of all its molecules, that are the result of a disruptive technological platform that has led to pioneer therapies with an innovative format, including first-in-class bispecific antibodies and fusion proteins that target both novel and well-known therapeutic targets. SunRock’s project portfolio is generating great expectations among patient associations, major hospitals, and biopharmaceutical companies. The Government of Galicia participates in SunRock through the Galicia Innova Tech Fund, FICC. About Ellipses Pharma Limited Ellipses Pharma is a global drug development company based in London, focused on accelerating the development of cancer medicines and treatments through an innovative drug development model that combines unbiased vetting to de-risk initial asset selection with an uninterrupted funding flow to minimize the time it takes to advance lead products through clinical trials and reach patients.

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Spotlight Therapeutics Appoints Visionary Global Pharma Drug Developer Antoine Yver, M.D., M.Sc. as First Independent Board Member

Spotlight Therapeutics | July 18, 2022

Spotlight Therapeutics, Inc. a biotechnology company applying new insights to develop cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing biologics, announced the appointment of Antoine Yver, M.D., M.Sc. to the Spotlight Board of Directors. Trained as an oncologist and immunologist, Dr. Yver’s extensive industry experience and perceptive acumen will be extremely valuable as Spotlight continues to strengthen its highly differentiated TAGE platform and advance lead therapeutic candidates towards the clinic. “We are thrilled to welcome Antoine to Spotlight’s Board of Directors. Few people in our industry enjoy such a remarkable track record of successful drug development, exercising extreme rigor in following the science to deliver practice-changing medicines that serve patients with significant unmet medical needs.” Mary Haak-Frendscho, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Spotlight As Executive Vice President and Global Head of Oncology R&D at Daiichi Sankyo, Dr. Yver played a key role in the development of the new breakthrough cancer biologic, Enhertu®, that is redefining breast cancer treatment and promises to set a new standard of care, as well as other Daiichi Sankyo DXd ADCs. From 2009 to 2016, Dr. Yver held executive leadership positions at AstraZeneca, including SVP & Global Head of Oncology Development. Under his leadership, Tagrisso® and Lynparza® were successfully developed and commercialized for patients. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Dr. Yver held roles at Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Aventis and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. Dr. Yver is Executive Vice President and Chairman of Development at Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc and currently serves as an Independent Director of the Board of Directors at Sanofi. “I am delighted to join the Spotlight Board and support the mission to unlock the full potential of gene editing and enable effective single administration therapeutics for patients,” said Dr. Yver. “Spotlight’s biologics-based delivery approach has the potential to forge a new generation of cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing medicines across multiple therapeutic areas.” “Antoine’s deep insights and vast global pharma experience will help propel Spotlight to becoming a clinical stage company,” said Craig Gordon, M.D., Spotlight board member, Founder, CEO, and CIO of GordonMD™ Global Investments. “We look forward to working together to impact the strategic decisions of the company that will ultimately provide benefit to patients.” About Spotlight Therapeutics Established in mid-2018, Spotlight Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company advancing a pipeline of cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing therapies. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform TAGE is a new class of biologics, CRISPR effectors engineered for direct delivery in vivo, to achieve cell-selective therapeutic genome editing. Spotlight's pipeline is advancing its modular programmable CRISPR effectors towards clinical studies in immuno-oncology, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies.

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Top Country Involvement in Ongoing Oncology PGX Trials. Emerging Trend: Epigenetics. Unexpected Advantages and Potential Pitfalls of Using PGX Selection. Top Sponsors of Ongoing or Planned Oncology Trials. What's on the Horizon for Pharmacogenetics and Epigenetics in Drug Development

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