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.
Element and Temasek | July 08, 2022
Element Materials Technology a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification services, has completed its acquisition by Temasek, a global investor headquartered in Singapore. Temasek has been a minority shareholder in Element since 2019. Temasek has acquired Element from Bridgepoint, whose successful ownership has been an important part of a more than ten-fold increase in Element’s turnover over the past decade. The acquisition, which was subject to regulatory approvals, was previously announced on 25th January 2022.
As a highly differentiated TIC leader with a track record of technical expertise, Element is a trusted partner to customers, supporting them from early R&D, through complex government approvals, and into production, with a focus on laboratory-based testing. Its 7,000+ scientists, engineers, and technologists, based across a global network of more than 200 laboratories in 30 countries, serve technically demanding and highly regulated sectors, ensuring products are safe and sustainable. Element works with customers across a wide spectrum, from developing the next generation of aircraft, spacecraft, and autonomous vehicles, to vaccine component testing in its US pharmaceutical laboratories; and from the certification of smartphones and wearable technologies, to providing 5G carrier approvals and developing connected robots.
The Group generates annual revenues of more than $1 billion and has grown at over 20% a year over the last ten years. It is well-positioned to accelerate this growth as it builds deeper leadership positions in critical end-markets including life sciences and connected technologies. Element also benefits from strong global ESG tailwinds - with over 60% of its work directly supporting customers on their sustainability journeys, it will continue to play a critical role in the decarbonization of the global economy.
“We are delighted to complete this landmark transaction with Temasek, and to begin work on the next chapter of Element’s story. Their partnership over the last three years has been hugely beneficial to our growth. Today, Element is the partner of choice to companies at the forefront of innovation, from advanced medical science to autonomous cars, and has one of the most talented and highly qualified teams in the TIC space.
Jo Wetz, CEO of Element
We are excited to build upon that legacy of success and drive Element forward by scaling our business further through strategic investments and acquisitions, with a focus on high growth end-markets such as life sciences and connected technologies. Element will continue to play a crucial role in supporting our customers on their sustainability journeys, and in making tomorrow safer than today.”
Allan Leighton, Non-Executive Chairman of Element, said: “Element is a true success story – a talented management team leading an exceptional group of experts across offices and laboratories in more than 30 countries around the world. We’re now entering another exciting chapter of purpose-driven growth, together with our customers and our new owners”.
Chris Busby, partner at Bridgepoint, said: “Element has been bold in its ambition, delivered impressive organic growth, and implemented a targeted acquisition strategy. As a result, it has significantly expanded its expertise for over 50,000 customers worldwide and become an undisputed heavyweight in TIC. We are proud of what Element has achieved and wish them continued success in the future.”
Element was advised by Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild & Co A&O EY BCG DLA, Jamieson and PwC.
The Element Materials Technology Group is one of the world’s leading global providers of testing, inspection, and certification services for a diverse range of products, materials, and technologies in advanced industrial supply chains where failure in use is not an option. Headquartered in London, UK, Element’s c.7,000 scientists, engineers, and technologists, working in our global network of over 200+ laboratories, support customers from early R&D, through complex regulatory approvals, and into production ensuring their products are safe and sustainable, and achieve market access. In 2021, Element set out its new, industry leading environmental commitments, adopting science-based targets and committing to net zero emissions across its entire global business by 2035. These environmental commitments follow Element’s achievement of the highest ESG ranking in the testing, inspection and certification industry from Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG research and data.
Temasek is a global investment company with a net portfolio value of S$381 billion as at 31 March 2021. Headquartered in Singapore, it has 13 offices in nine countries around the world. The Temasek Charter defines Temasek’s three roles as an Investor, Institution, and Steward, which shape its ethos to do well, do right, and do good. As a provider of catalytic capital, it seeks to enable solutions to key global challenges. With sustainability at the core of all Temasek does, it actively seeks sustainable solutions to address present and future challenges, as it captures investible opportunities to bring about a sustainable future for all.
Mauna Kea Technologies | July 12, 2022
Mauna Kea Technologies inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy platform, and Tasly Pharmaceuticals announced the execution of an agreement to form a Joint Venture.
Under terms of the agreement, Tasly and Mauna Kea will form a Joint Venture that will (i) commercialize selected Cellvizio indications in China, (ii) develop and commercialize Cellvizio globally in the fields of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and (iii) manufacture Cellvizio units for the Chinese market. The JV will utilize both existing distribution partners and its own network of China-based marketing professionals to accelerate market adoption.
In exchange for contributing licenses and other intellectual property to the JV, Mauna Kea will receive cash payments totaling $10 million, a 44.1% equity interest in the JV, and a 5-year commitment to purchase minimum quantities of Cellvizio systems and probes. Mauna Kea’s equity holdings are net of shares issued to Cenponts Tech Limited in consideration for strategic advisory services provided in connection to the transaction. The Joint Venture will be majority owned and funded by Tasly and jointly managed by Tasly and Mauna Kea.
The Joint Venture will be in an immediate position to leverage Mauna Kea’s position as global leader in probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy, with its FDA clearance for neurosurgery applications, its broad regulatory clearances in the Chinese market as well as its significant installed based in leading hospitals in China.
“We are delighted to partner with Tasly Pharmaceuticals, a life sciences leader in Asia-Pacific with a global presence. This transaction both expands the addressable market for Cellvizio and increases Mauna Kea’s capacity to invest further in product and clinical development, including molecular imaging and artificial intelligence. This announcement builds on the strategic repositioning we announced in December 2021 and our emphasis on forming capital-efficient partnerships that leverage the commercial reach of global biopharma and medtech firms while increasing patient access to Cellvizio.”
Sacha Loiseau, Ph.D., founder and Chairman of Mauna Kea Technologies
Kaijing Yan, Chairman of Tasly Pharmaceuticals Group, commented: “The field of biomedical engineering is an important part of Tasly Pharmaceuticals’ second growth curve strategy. The cooperation with Mauna Kea Technologies will enable us to quickly access large markets in China addressed by the multiple clinical applications of Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy. The recent advances in molecular imaging with Cellvizio are also of great interest to us since Tasly Pharmaceuticals could assist the Joint Venture in developing new combinations of Cellvizio with novel molecular markers, aligned with our vision of providing integrated solutions from diagnosis to treatment. We very much look forward to a fruitful and rich collaboration with Mauna Kea Technologies.”
About Tasly Pharmaceuticals Group
Adhering to the business mission of "To share the joy of health with all", Tasly has always been promoting the integrative development of traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine. Tasly continuously focuses on the three disease fields of cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases, digestive and metabolic diseases and tumors, which have the largest market share and the fastest development in China. It is committed to providing drug R&D that is urgently needed for clinical use and even addresses the unmet needs in China's clinical market. By leveraging the coordinated development advantages of modern TCM, biological medicine and chemical medicine, it carries out the strategic layout of innovative drugs and continues to maintain its leading position in the industry and the development momentum of R&D and innovation.
About Mauna Kea Technologies
Mauna Kea Technologies is a global medical device company that manufactures and sells Cellvizio®, the real-time in vivo cellular imaging platform. This technology uniquely delivers in vivo cellular visualization which enables physicians to monitor the progression of disease over time, assess point-in-time reactions as they happen in real time, classify indeterminate areas of concern, and guide surgical interventions.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals | August 02, 2022
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced that effective August 1, 2022, Ligand’s Board of Directors approved the grant of non-qualified stock option awards to purchase an aggregate of 90,073 shares of its common stock, 5,000 restricted stock units and 4,000 performance stock units the target level to six non-executive employees. The options were granted on August 1, 2022, and the grant date for the RSUs and the PSUs will be the date on which Ligand files a Form S-8 Registration Statement to register the shares pursuant to Ligand’s 2022 Employment Inducement Plan.
The awards were granted under the Inducement Plan as employment inducement awards pursuant to NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The Inducement Plan is used exclusively for the grant of equity awards to individuals who were not previously employees of Ligand, or following a bona fide period of non-employment, as an inducement material to such individuals’ entering into employment with Ligand, pursuant to Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
The options have an exercise price of $89.70 per share, which is the closing price of Ligand’s common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on August 1, 2022. The stock options have a term of ten years and will vest over four years, with 12.5% of the shares vesting six months after the employee’s commencement of employment and the balance of the shares vesting in 42 equal monthly installments thereafter, subject to the grantee’s continued service on such vesting dates.
The RSUs will vest over three years on the first three anniversaries of the grantee’s commencement of employment, subject to continued service through each applicable vesting date. The PSUs will vest based on the achievement of certain total shareholder return objectives and the completion of the contemplated spin-off of OmniAb, Inc. from Ligand. The number of shares earned under the PSUs may be up to 6,500 in the aggregate if maximum performance levels are achieved.
About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a revenue-generating biopharmaceutical company focused on developing or acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. Our business model creates value for stockholders by providing a diversified portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical product revenue streams that are supported by an efficient and low corporate cost structure. Our goal is to offer investors an opportunity to participate in the promise of the biotech industry in a profitable, diversified and lower-risk business than a typical biotech company. Our business model is based on doing what we do best: drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. We partner with other pharmaceutical companies to leverage what they do best (late-stage development, regulatory management and commercialization) ultimately to generate our revenue. Ligand’s OmniAb® technology platform is a patent-protected transgenic animal platform used in the discovery of fully human monoclonal and bispecific therapeutic antibodies. The Captisol® platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Ligand’s Pelican Expression Technology® is a robust, validated, cost-effective and scalable platform for recombinant protein production that is especially well-suited for complex, large-scale protein production where traditional systems are not. Ligand has established multiple alliances, licenses and other business relationships with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, Janssen, Takeda, Gilead Sciences and Baxter International.