Who joins Purdue on pharma's top 10 settlements list? Merck, GSK and Pfizer, for starters

FiercePharma | September 12, 2019

Purdue’s pending opioid settlement with thousands of cities and counties, worth between $10 billion and $12 billion, could rank as the largest deal ever inked by a pharma if it passes a Cleveland federal judge’s muster. But where do pharma’s other major settlements fall on that list? The top 10 largest federal settlements list is a who’s who of some of pharma’s biggest companies, including Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly. If Purdue’s deal is approved, it would more than double the amount from the closest federal settlement—Merck takes an ignoble second place with a Vioxx settlement signed in 2007—but it could be eclipsed by other drugmakers ensnared in national opioid lawsuits. Purdue’s path to the negotiating table was a long one, as the OxyContin maker and its billionaire founding family, the Sacklers, have become the face of the nation’s opioid epidemic. On Wednesday, the drugmaker reportedly inked a $12 billion deal with thousands of cities and counties and 23 states that would immediately send the drugmaker into bankruptcy and restructuring. The deal isn’t just a hit to the company: The Sacklers would be required to shell out $3 billion of their own money as part of the deal.

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Probiotics, prebiotics, medical food and supplements have been commercially available as OTC products for some time. These products claim to support human health by restoring the balance of the gut microfl ora in favour of ‘benefi cial’ bacteria, most notably lactobacilli and bifi dobacteria.


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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Announces Inducement Grants Under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)

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.

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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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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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IAMA Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Preclinical Development Studies in Drug-resistant Epilepsy Under a Service Agreement with Psychogenics

IAMA Therapeutics | July 26, 2022

IAMA Therapeutics, a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel medicines to make a difference in the lives of individuals suffering from brain disorders, and PsychoGenics Inc., a leader in AI-enabled phenotypic drug discovery and preclinical CRO services, today announced that the companies have entered into a service agreement to identify the efficacy of novel drug candidates in drug-resistant epilepsy. Under the terms of the agreement, PsychoGenics will evaluate the preclinical anti-seizure efficacy of first-in-class selective-NKCC1 inhibitors, which aims to reduce intracellular chloride concentration and restore the physiological hyperpolarizing and inhibitory GABAergic transmission in an animal model of refractory epilepsy. "PsychoGenics is a leader in preclinical behavioral neurobiology with a successful track record of anti-epilepsy drug testing through translational EEG approaches, including electrographic and behavioral identification of seizure. We look forward to leveraging our collective expertise in neuroscience drug development to identify and evaluate the anti-seizure efficacy of new drug candidates, to enhance further and complement our pipeline of differentiated therapeutic opportunities for epilepsy, neurodevelopmental and cognitive disorders." Andrea P. Malizia, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer of IAMA Therapeutics “We are excited to embark of these studies with IAMA Therapeutics” said Stephen Morairty, Ph.D., Vice President of Translational Neuroscience at PsychoGenics. “Using our pre-clinical MTLE model, will carefully evaluate the efficacy of these first-in-class selective-NKCC1 inhibitors.” About IAMA Therapeutics IAMA Therapeutics is a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel medicines to make a difference in the lives of children and adults suffering from epilepsy, neurodevelopmental and cognitive disorders. IAMA Therapeutics couples emerging advances in drug discovery and neurobiology to build a leading, next-generation neuroscience pipeline to selectively inhibit the sodium-potassium chloride cotransporter and other therapeutic targets relevant to brain disorders characterized by neuronal imbalance. The company's preclinical pipeline consists of the lead candidate IAMA-6 for the treatment of idiopathic autism, IAMA-097 for the treatment of secondary and rare forms of autism, and other compounds for treating refractory epilepsy and other brain disorders. About PsychoGenics Inc. PsychoGenics is a leader in vivo phenotypic drug discovery. The company applies its proprietary technology platforms in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to discover the next generation of drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders. PsychoGenics' capabilities include standard behavioral testing, electrophysiology, translational EEG, molecular biology, and state-of-the-art microdialysis. In addition, the company offers a variety of in-licensed transgenic mouse models that support research in areas such as Huntington's disease, Autism spectrum disorders, psychosis/schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, sleep, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy muscular dystrophy and other muscle disorders.

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Spotlight

Probiotics, prebiotics, medical food and supplements have been commercially available as OTC products for some time. These products claim to support human health by restoring the balance of the gut microfl ora in favour of ‘benefi cial’ bacteria, most notably lactobacilli and bifi dobacteria.

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