Biopharmaceutical NewsWeek 41 





Acquisitions /Mergers/Joint-ventures

October 5, 2014 

Becton Dickinson acquires Care Fusion for $12.2B

Becton Dickinson announced that it will acquire CareFusion for $12.2 billion to broaden its offerings to hospitals. Vincent Forlenza, the CEO of BD, said the “acquisition will help the company address unmet needs in the growing $20 billion global medication management industry. It will accelerate the transition from a product-focused company to a customer-centric provider of innovative healthcare solutions with leading scale across the medication management value chain and expanded solutions for patient safety."



October 6, 2014 

Bristol-Myers collaborates with Novartis on combination of cancer immunotherapies

Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb team up in a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate new combination therapies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The companies will evaluate the combination of three different drugs, notably its recently-approved Zykadia, in combination with BMS’s PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo.

Unilife supplies Sanofi with its new injectors.

Under the agreement, Unilife will be the sole provider of wearable injectors for all of Sanofi's large dose volume drugs, excluding insulins, for at least 15 years. The agreement also grants Sanofi non-exclusive access to Unilife's injector technology.

Perosphere and Daiichi Sankyo enter into a collaboration agreement on anticoagulant reversal drug

Perosphere enters into a third collaboration agreement with Daiichi Sankyo to study PER977. Under the terms of the agreement, Perosphere will seek FDA and EMA approval of PER977 to reverse anticoagulant activity of edoxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor, developed by Daiichi Sankyo, and commercialize the product in the United States and in Europe.

October 7, 2014

Novartis takes three new licenses from ImmunoGen

Novartis exercises its rights to take three licenses to develop and commercialize anticancer products to undisclosed targets using Immunogen’s antibody drug conjugate technology. As a result, Immunogen will book $25.7M in Q4 2014 in revenue and will be eligible to receive up to $199.5M in milestones plus royalties on sales for each license.

October 8, 2014

AstraZeneca terminates its partnership with Targacept

AstraZeneca ends its almost ten years R&D and License Agreement with Targacept. The termination becomes effective 90 days after October 8. All remaining rights and licenses to compounds granted by Targacept to AstraZeneca will revert back to Targacept, including compound AZD1446 (TC-6683).

AstraZenecalicenses cardiovascular programme from Shionogi

AstraZeneca is teaming up again, with long-time Japanese partner Shionogi, in licensing a preclinical programme for the potential treatment of acute coronary syndrome. AstraZeneca will be responsible for all future R&D and manufacturing and future commercialisation, while Shionogi retains an option to co-market in Japan. Financial details have not been disclosed.


Drugs at clinical stage

October 2, 2014 

Lilly Discontinues the Development of Tabalumab, for the treatment of Lupus

Eli Lilly announces that it will discontinue development of tabalumab, being studied for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, due to insufficient efficacy in two pivotal Phase 3 trials. The decision was not based on safety concerns.

… While other approaches for the treatment of Lupus are available

With the new failure of Tabalumab, a B-cell approach, one wonders why the market continues to ignore the availability of Lupuzor from Immupharma or hCDR1 from XTL Bio. Both companies are developing peptides that target the T-cell pathway.

Technology Green Tea and Nanotechnologies

In a study published in Nature Nanotechnology, a team based in Singapore has found that a component of green tea has the potential to act as a nano-sized drug delivery vehicle to encapsulate proteins used to fight cancer. In animal studies, used with Genentech's breast cancer drug Herceptin, the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) reduced tumor growth more effectively and the drug accumulated twice as much in cancer cells. The authors also showed that the delivery vehicle reduced the accumulation in healthy organs by as much as 70% in the liver and kidney and 40% in the lung. The antioxidant has been known for its benefits when ingested in tea, but the researchers discovered that the core of the molecule can also encapsulate drugs and proteins. "The numerous health benefits of green tea have inspired us to utilize it in drug delivery systems," lead author Jackie Ying said in a statement. "This is the first time that green tea has been used as a material to encapsulate and deliver drugs to cancer cells. Our green tea nanocarrier not only delivered protein drugs more effectively to the cancer cells, the combination of carrier and drug also dramatically reduced tumor growth compared with the drug alone. This is an exciting breakthrough in nanomedicine."


October 6, 2014 

Chimerix drug given to USA's first Ebola patient

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised Chimerix’ brincidofovir as an emergency treatment for Ebola and it has been taken by Thomas Ducan the first diagnosed case with the Ebola virus in the USA. Brincidofovir is in Phase III for cytomegalovirus and adenovirus infections. Chimerix says it is working closely with the FDA to finalise a protocol to assess its safety and efficacy in patients confirmed to have an infection with the Ebola virus.

First U.S. Ebola patient dies in Dallas while 2nd US Ebola Case occurs.

Thomas Eric Duncan, died on October 8, in Dallas. A Texas health care worker who provided hospital care for Mr.Duncan, has now tested positive for the virus.

Spanish nurse infected with Ebola

A Spanish nurse has become the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside Africa. Ana Mato, the country health Minister, confirmed that the 40-year-old woman was part of the medical team that treated two priests who died last month of the virus.

October 9, 2014

Ebola vaccine trial beginning in Mali

A 40-subject clinical trial, to evaluate an experimental Ebola vaccine, began on October 9 in Mali. The vaccine, which uses a modified adenovirus vector, was developed by the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, in the US.

October 10, 2014

The World Health Organisation announces that more than 4,000 patients have already died from Ebola infection

October 7, 2014

Teva ends cancer and women's health R&D

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has completed a strategic review and announces that it will no more invest in development of cancer or women’s health products.


Author : Jean-Claude MULLER, Special Advisor,Innovation & International Relationship (I&IR)



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