Biopharmaceutical News Week 2- 2016

Acquisitions /mergers/joint-ventures:


Shire acquires Baxalta for $32 billion in a cash-and stock deal and becomes the largest rare disease company in the world.


Merck acquires IOmet (Edinburgh, UK) and gets access to preclinical cancer candidates. IOmet will operate as a unit of Merck. Financial details were not disclosed.


Pfizer acquires Sirio Pharma’s (Shanghai, China) owned Treely Health, a leading healthcare brand in China with a large portfolio of nutritional products for women for an undisclosed amount.




Like every year a series of business deal announcements were made during the JP Morgan Conference which took place in San Francisco, January 12-16 


AstraZeneca announces three agreements. One with University of California San Francisco, in a research collaboration focused on respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity. One with Moderna Therapeutics to discover and develop messenger RNA- based therapeutics targeting several cancers. One with Incyte to develop a combination of Incyte’s INCB39110, a Janus-associated kinase (JAK) inhibitor with AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso or osimertib, a next generation epidermal growth factor inhibitor (EGRF) inhibitor for the treatment of certain forms of non-small lung cancer.


Sanofi announces two agreements in oncology. One with Warp Drive Bio, in an extension and revision of a collaboration which started in 2012, based on the Small Molecule Assisted Receptor Targeting (SMART) technology to discover novel oncology and antibiotic drugs in a deal worth up to $750 million. One with Innate Pharma on the production of two cancer immunotherapies in a deal worth up to $437 million plus royalties.


Innate Pharma (Marseille, France) announced an exclusive license agreement with OREGA Biotech to its first-in-class anti-CD39 checkpoint inhibitor, as a follow-up to a research collaboration initiated in 2014.


Pfizer invests $46 million into BioAlta, NextCure, Cortexyme and 4D Molecular Therapeutics, four early-stage research companies to further expand its innovation strategy and help them to “fully explore their platforms in the hopes of advancing new therapeutic pathways

… and enters a collaboration with non-profit group The California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) to develop novel long acting antibody-based therapeutics for heart failure, based on peptide and protein agonists and antagonists.


Boehringer Ingelheim enters a collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals on research and development of psychiatric disease treatments that target G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Under the terms of the deal Boehringer Ingelheim will pay up to $262 million in milestones plus sales royalties.


Merck enters a deal with Quartet Medicine to develop first-in-class pain treatment focusing on small molecules which targets the tetrahydrobiopterin pathway. Under the terms of the deal Merck will pay a $20 million payment split equally between and upfront and development milestones and getsan exclusive option to acquire the company for $575 million.


Roche is entering a strategic partnership with C4 Therapeutics to develop therapies targeting disease-causing proteins and facilitate their rapid destruction and clearance from the cell. Details of the deal were not disclosed but Roche could pay up to $750 million.


Janssen Sciences Ireland and ViiV Healthcare, a JV between GSK, Pfizer and Shionogi, will develop and commercialize the first long-acting two drug injectable maintenance treatment regime for HIV. This agreement is the second both companies are signing, the first one was finalized back in 2014.


DelMar Pharmaceuticals and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center partner to develop of DelMar's glioblastoma multiforme drug, VAL-083.


Illumina (San Diego, CA, USA) announces a collaboration deal with Bio-Rad Laboratories to develop a next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution for single-cell analysis.


Royal Philips and the Singapore EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, have announced the joint investment in digital health companies that are working on Asian population health management tools.



Approval of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and devices


US FDA rejects BioMarin’s experimental Kyndrisa or drispersen, an antisense oligonucleotide, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


Drugs at clinical stage


US FDA grants orphan status to Immune Design complementary agents LV305 and G305 which constitute the cancer immunotherapy candidate CMB305 for use in patients with soft tissue sarcoma.


US FDA grants fast track status :

to Galera Therapeutics’ GC4419 for the treatment of oral-mucositis.

and to Stealth Biotherapeutics’ Bendavia, or MTP-131 for the treatment of mitochondrial myopathy.


US FDA approves Nanobiotix’s IND for NBTXR3 a nanoparticle therapy, in prostate cancer. Nanobiotix is running a global clinical development program with its lead product NBTXR3, which is currently evaluated in six indications across Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific Region.


Science and Technology


Researchers from the Southampton University have shown that reducing inflammation in the brain could potentially protect against memory and behavioral changes linked with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, raising hopes of a new treatment pathway for the condition. 


Cost, Pricing and Market Access


A market research performed by Truveris showed that in 2015, in the US, branded prescription drug prices went up 14.5% overall and specialty drugs went up by 9.2%.



A phase 1 study conducted with Bial Laboratories’ (Portugal) novel analgesic, at the University of Rennes by Biotrial, a French CRO, turns dramatic with one cerebral death and five subjects in very serious conditions.     




  • BIO CEO Investor Conference on February 8-9 in New York City (USA)
  • BIO Asia 2016 on March 15-16 in Tokyo (Japan)
  • 9th European Life Science CEO Forum and Exhibition on March 15-16 in Zürich (Switzerland)
  • Global Healthcare Forum on March 16-17 in Singapore (Singapore)
  • BIOPharma Asia Convention on March 22-24 in Singapore (Singapore)
  • BIO Europe Spring on April 4-6 in Stockholm (Sweden)
  • BIO-IT World Conference & Expo’16 on April 5-7 in Boston (USA)
  • BIO Vision on April 13-14 in Lyon (France)
  • BIO Trinity on April 25-27 in London (UK)
  • BIOEquity Europe 2016 on May 10-11 in Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Strategic Alliance Management Congress on May 16-18 in Philadelphia (USA)
  • China BIO Partnering on May 18-19 in Suzhou (China)
  • BIO International Convention on June 6-9 in San Francisco (USA)


  • BIO Pharm America on September 13-15 in Boston (USA)
  • 7th Innovation Days on October 3-4 in Paris (France)
  • Biofit 2016 on November 30-December 1 in Lille (France)


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document has been prepared by btobioinnovation and is provided to you for information purposes only.  The information contained in this document has been obtained from sources that btobioinnovation believes are reliable but btobioinnovation does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. The views presented in this document are those of btobioinnovation’s editor at the time of writing and are subject to change.  btobioinnovation has no obligation to update its opinions or the information in this document.

Author: Jean-Claude Muller, Special Advisor at I&IR,

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