News

Syncona divests Clade Therapeutics

Country
United Kingdom

Citing a need to conserve capital, the Syncona investment group, has divested its portfolio company Clade Therapeutics Inc to Century Therapeutics Inc of the US. Syncona is to sell Clade for up to $45 million. This includes an upfront consideration of $35 million in a combination of cash and shares in Century, along with potential milestone payments of $10 million. 

Vertex to acquire Alpine

Country
United States

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc is to expand its portfolio of drugs for genetic diseases with the acquisition of Alpine Immune Sciences Inc, giving the Boston, US-based company a clinical-stage product for IgA nephropathy. The acquisition, announced on 10 April, has been priced at $65 per share for a total deal value of $4.9 billion. The transaction is expected to close before the end of June.

J&J to acquire Shockwave

Country
United States

The cardiovascular medicines field, which recently saw Novo Nordisk A/S acquire Cardior Pharmaceuticals of Germany, has also witnessed a new deal in medical technology. On 5 April, Johnson & Johnson Inc announced an agreement to acquire Shockwave Medical Inc, a US company with a catheter-based technology for treating the build-up of calcium deposits in the body. J&J is to pay $335 per share in cash for Shockwave, giving an enterprise value of $13.1 billion.

Funding for Chinese biotech

Country
China

An international syndicate, led by Medicxi Ventures of the UK, has invested in a Chinese biotech company which is building a portfolio of small molecule drugs and biologics to treat cancer. The recipient, D3 Bio of Shanghai, has three compounds in clinical development, and aspires to build a portfolio around multiple oncology programmes and indications. The newest round, announced on 8 April, raised $62 million of which Medicxi contributed $40 million. This brings total funding for the company up to $250 million. 

Obsidian gets venture funds

Country
United States

Obsidian Therapeutics Inc of Cambridge, US, has raised $160.5 million in an oversubscribed Series C financing round to advance a tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy in the clinic. TILs are treatments where tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes are removed from a patient’s tumour, grown in large numbers in a laboratory, and returned to the patient to help the immune system fight cancer. TILS are polyclonal cells with diverse receptors. Their advantage is said to be their ability to detect a wide range of tumour-associated antigens.

New position for Carvykti

Country
United States

Carvykti (ciltacabtagene autoleucel), a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, has been given a more prominent position for the treatment of multiple myeloma following a Phase 3 trial showing it reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 59% compared with standard therapies. On 5 April, a new indication as a second-line therapy was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This followed a recommendation for an upgrade by the agency’s oncologic drugs advisory committee.

Genprex completes offering

Country
United States

Genprex Inc, a US-based gene therapy company, has raised $6.5 million from a direct share offering to support its gene therapy programmes for cancer and diabetes. Announced on 22 March, the funding will support development of the company’s nanoparticle technology for delivering functional genes to the body, as well as a new AAV vector approach.

Asset reshuffle at Addex

Country
Switzerland

Switzerland-based Addex Therapeutics Ltd is to reduce its operating costs by spinning out a group of preclinical assets into a new venture capital-based company thereby enabling it to accelerate development of its lead product for epilepsy. The reorganisation, announced on 3 April, will stratify Addex’s pipeline giving the company more financial support and time to develop its pipeline of small molecule drugs for neurological diseases.

Genmab to buy ProfoundBio

Country
Denmark

Genmab A/S, one of Europe’s older biotech companies, is to acquire ProfoundBio Inc of the US for $1.8 billion giving it a pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) and an opportunity to expand into treatments for gynecologic cancers and other solid tumours. The deal, which is expected to close during the first half, also represents a significant shift in the Danish company’s business model. 

Fast Track for glioblastoma

Country
Germany

Germany-based TME Pharma NV has received a Fast Track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its investigational treatment for glioblastoma giving it access to more regulatory support during the clinical development of the therapy. The drug, NOX-A12, is an RNA oligonucleotide targeting a chemokine protein in the tumour microenvironment with the goal of breaking tumour protection against the immune system.