Biotechnology Gets the Usual January Boost

Biotechnology Gets the Usual January Boost

The Biotechnology sector roared to life in 2017, posting a record 209 transactions. That’s 20% higher than the 174 deals announced in 2016. The previous record for the sector was set in 2009, with 193 transactions announced in the space. Spending for those 209 deals in 2017 didn’t set new records, but did post an impressive $54.5 billion in disclosed prices. That’s 283% higher than the $18.6 billion recorded in all of 2016, but not close to the secctor’s annual spending record of $93.9 billion, set in 2008. Every January, the Biotechnology Showcase is held in San Francisco, concurrent with the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference. And every January, this sector sees... Read More »

Juno Therapeutics Teams up with Celgene

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) made a big bet on a small company last week, when it agreed to pay nearly $1 billion to Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ: JUNO) for a 10-year collaboration on immunotherapies targeting cancer and autoimmune diseases. The real price is $999,803,496 and consists of an upfront payment of $150 million, and the purchase of 9.1 million shares of JUNO common stock at a price of $93.00 per share. That’s a pretty generous offer, considering Juno’s stock price was bumping along around $54.00 late last week. Juno will be responsible for research and development in North America, and retains commercialization rights there. Celgene will be responsible for development and... Read More »

MedImmune Parcels Out an Investgational Blood Cancer Candidate

Last week MedImmune Ltd., the biotech arm of AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN), announced two placements for its investigational compound, MEDI4736. The first announcement was with Juno Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO), which signed an non-exclusive agreement to test its own investigational CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell candidates with MedImmune’s programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) immune check point inhibitor, MEDI4736, aiming for a combination therapy. No financial details were disclosed on that, but the next day, MedImmune announced a deal with a Swiss subsidiary of Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG), worth an upfront payment of $450 million from Celgene, to investigate... Read More »