PTC Therapeutics Scoops up Censa Pharma

PTC Therapeutics Scoops up Censa Pharma

PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTCT) jumped into competition with BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) with its acquisition of Censa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Censa has developed CNSA-001 (sepiapterin), a clinical-stage investigational therapy for orphan metabolic diseases, including phenylketonuria (PKU) and other diseases associated with defects in the tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) biochemical pathways diagnosed at birth. CNSA-001 has been tested as a possible treatment for orphan metabolic diseases associated with defects in the tetrahydrobiopterin biochemical pathways. CNSA-001 is an oral formulation of synthetic sepiapterin, a precursor to intracellular tetrahydrobiopterin, which is a... Read More »
Genentech Bets on Bicycle-Based Therapies

Genentech Bets on Bicycle-Based Therapies

Genentech, a subsidiary of the Roche Group (OTCMKTS: RHHBY), is betting big on a collaboration effort with Bicycle Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: BCYC). The exclusive collaboration agreement between the two biotechnology companies hopes to develop and commercialize Bicycle-based immuno-oncology therapies against multiple targets. Genetech will pay $30 million upfront to Bicycle Therapeutics with a potential $1.7 billion in milestone payments. You might have guessed this based on the name, but Bicycles are Bicycle Therapeutics’ trademark platform. They are fully synthetic short peptides constrained with small-molecule scaffolds to form two loops that stabilize their structural geometry.... Read More »
A Good Start for Biotech in 2020

A Good Start for Biotech in 2020

Early in January 2019, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (NYSE: BMY) $74 billion acquisition of Celgene Corporation dominated the headlines. But despite that big deal, 2019 was a rather lackluster year for the Biotechnology sector. However, the opening quarter of 2020 is showing some promise. This year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference came and went without any major announcements, but the Biotech sector is seeing a steady start, with a modest $930 million in spending with 11 announced transactions. A bulk of that dollar volume came from Incyte Corporation’s (NASDAQ: INCY) deal with MorphoSys AG (NASDAQ: MOR) for tafasitamab. The collaboration and license agreement aim to further... Read More »
2019’s Biggest Healthcare Deals, by Sector

2019’s Biggest Healthcare Deals, by Sector

2020 has just begun, which means it’s time to look back at the healthcare M&A landscape of 2019. Just three days into the new year, nearly 1,780 deals are already on the books for 2019. More deals will turn up as we search our many sources, but the number likely won’t top the record of 1,900-plus set in 2018. Thanks to the multi-billion-dollar deals announced in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical sectors, 2019 will set a new spending record. Preliminary data show $399.1 billion was spent on healthcare acquisitions last year, about 20% higher than in 2018. We expect that number to rise as we go through the year and the 10Ks and quarterly reports come out. It’s possible the... Read More »
Cancer Treatments Are Driving Biopharmaceutical M&A

Cancer Treatments Are Driving Biopharmaceutical M&A

It’s been a busy year for mergers and acquisitions in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industries. Combined spending on M&A is close to $268 billion mid-way through December, with 229 transactions reported. Although the number of deals is 34% lower than 2018’s combined total of 345, spending skyrocketed 62%, from just $165 billion in all of 2018. Two recent deals from major drug manufacturers highlight what’s behind the trend. On December 9, Sanofi announced its $2.5 billion acquisition of Synthorx, Inc. (NASDAQ: THOR), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on treating cancer and autoimmune disorders. The price consists of $68 per share, a 172% premium to... Read More »
GSK Divests Two Travel Vaccines

GSK Divests Two Travel Vaccines

GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK) announced recently it is selling two travel vaccines to Bavarian Nordic for $334.7 million upfront, plus a potential $1.06 billion in milestone payments. The sale included rabies vaccine Rabipur (tradename Rabavert in the United States) and Encepur, for the prevention of tick-borne encephalitis. GSK obtained the vaccines as part of a 2015 deal with Novartis (NYSE: NVS). GSK divested its oncology business to Novartis for $300 million and gained the vaccines in return. According to the company’s annual report, GSK generated $7.58 billion from its vaccine segment in 2018. Both vaccines will continue to be manufactured primarily at GSK’s Marburg site in... Read More »