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Deals and Acquisitions | 2023 | Pharma | News | Healthcare | iPharmaCenter

Novo Nordisk and Inversago Pharma have unveiled their collaboration, with Novo Nordisk set to acquire Inversago in a cash transaction of up to $1.075 billion dollars upon attaining specific development and commercial milestones. Inversago Pharma, based in Montreal, focuses on developing therapies centered around CB1 receptors for potential applications in treating obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic complications.

The acquisition encompasses Inversago's primary developmental asset, INV-202—an oral CB1 inverse agonist. INV-202 is uniquely designed to selectively obstruct the CB1 receptor protein, pivotal in metabolic and appetite control, particularly in peripheral tissues such as adipose tissues, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, pancreas, muscles, and lungs.

Also read: China Drug Approvals

Notably, INV-202 demonstrated promise in promoting weight loss in the phase 1b trial and is currently progressing through a phase 2 trial targeting diabetic kidney disease (DKD). In addition to this lead asset, Inversago Pharma is advancing other pipeline assets to address metabolic and fibrotic disorders.

Novo Nordisk aims to explore INV-202's potential in tackling obesity and its associated complications. The CB1 receptor has significant involvement in appetite regulation and various cardiometabolic pathways. The well-documented mechanistic and preclinical therapeutic benefits of peripheral CB1 receptor blockade have been established across a spectrum of cardiometabolic and fibrotic conditions, potentially addressing the unmet needs of numerous individuals.

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Biogen and Reata Pharmaceuticals have reached an agreement for Biogen to acquire Reata Pharmaceuticals. The acquisition is valued at approximately $7.3 billion, with Biogen purchasing Reata for $172.50 per share in cash.

Reata's recent accomplishment is the FDA approval of Skyclarys (omaveloxolone) in the United States. Skyclarys is a treatment specifically indicated for patients dealing with Friedreich's ataxia (FA), filling a vital gap in medical care. Its approval marks a notable milestone as it becomes the sole approved treatment for this condition in the U.S. The drug has already been introduced to the market, and its commercial launch is underway. Furthermore, Skyclarys is undergoing regulatory review in Europe to extend its availability to patients in that region.

Also read: FDA Approved RSV treatments

Reata Pharmaceuticals has been at the forefront of developing therapeutics that regulate cellular metabolism and inflammation in severe neurologic diseases. Alongside Skyclarys, the company is actively developing an innovative portfolio aimed at addressing various neurological disorders.

The acquisition of Reata represents a meaningful advancement for Biogen's growth strategy, enabling them to expand their offerings with a highly complementary and innovative product.

With the anticipated peak revenues of Skyclarys projected to reach $1 billion, this move is expected to substantially impact both companies' pursuits in the field of neurology and unmet medical needs.

Novartis is bolstering its neuroscience pipeline and RNA platform by acquiring DTx Pharma, a preclinical-stage biotechnology company. DTx Pharma specializes in developing siRNA therapies for neuroscience-related conditions, utilizing its proprietary fatty acid ligand-conjugated oligonucleotide (FALCON) platform. As part of the deal, Novartis gains access to DTx-1252, a potential treatment for the neuromuscular disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A), along with two other preclinical programs aimed at addressing different neuroscience indications.

Also read: Most expensive drugs | 2023

The critical focus of DTx-1252 is tackling the root cause of CMT1A, which involves the overexpression of PMP22—a protein responsible for the abnormal functioning of the myelin sheath. It has received Orphan Drug Designation to DTx-1252 from the US FDA, acknowledging its potential significance in addressing this condition.

The uniqueness of DTx's approach lies in its FALCON platform, which enables the conjugation of siRNAs with naturally occurring fatty acids. This technique enhances the biodistribution and cellular uptake of the therapeutic compounds to specific tissues and cell types, thus making the treatment more targeted and effective.

Also read: Japan drug approvals | 2023

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a group of inherited disorders affecting the nervous system, with CMT1A being the most prevalent subtype. This condition impacts many U.S. and European patients, leading to progressive muscle wasting, neuropathic pain, difficulty walking, and a diminished quality of life. Currently, no approved treatments directly address the underlying genetic cause of CMT1A, making DTx-1252 a potentially groundbreaking first-in-class therapy for this disorder.

Beyond DTx-1252, the acquisition also grants Novartis access to two additional preclinical programs focused on other neuroscience indications. This expansion of Novartis' siRNA toolkit further solidifies the company's commitment to Neuroscience, one of its five core therapeutic areas. The move underscores Novartis' dedication to pursuing innovative therapies for patients dealing with neuromuscular disorders.

To secure the acquisition, Novartis will pay an upfront sum of USD 500 million to DTx Pharma and additional payments upon achieving specified milestones.

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Lilly agreed to acquire Sigilon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical firm dedicated to developing effective treatments for various acute and chronic illnesses. The partnership between Lilly and Sigilon began in 2018, focusing on creating encapsulated cell therapies like SIG-002, designed to provide long-term relief and management for patients with type 1 diabetes. These therapies aim to monitor blood glucose levels, restore insulin production, and release it over an extended period, reducing the need for constant disease management.

Also read: 10 Most expensive drugs | 2023

The transaction is anticipated to be completed in the third quarter; the requirement is that Lilly holds most of Sigilon's outstanding common stock after the tender offer. Once the tender offer concludes successfully, Lilly will proceed with a second-step merger to acquire any remaining shares of Sigilon at the same price as the initial tender offer.

Also read: Japan Drug Approvals | 2023

Sigilon Therapeutics aims to develop functional cures for patients suffering from a broad spectrum of acute and chronic diseases. Their approach involves leveraging the potential of human cells through the Shielded Living Therapeutics™ platform. By utilizing non-viral engineered cell-based therapies encapsulated within Sigilon's Afibromer™ biomaterials matrix, which protects against immune rejection, the company strives to address the absence or deficiency of therapeutic molecules in patients with diabetes.

GSK has finalized the acquisition of BELLUS Health, a biopharmaceutical firm focused on improving patients' lives afflicted with refractory chronic cough (RCC). The acquisition was carried out through a plan of arrangement following Section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act.

BELLUS' shareholders approved the Arrangement on June 16, 2023. This transaction includes the acquisition of camlipixant, a promising P2X3 antagonist currently in the advanced phase III development stage. Camlipixant has the potential to become a leading treatment option for adult patients with RCC.

Following the completion of the Arrangement, BELLUS also announced the cancellation of its annual shareholder meeting, which was initially scheduled for June 30, 2023.

Novartis has announced its plan to acquire Chinook Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for rare and progressive chronic kidney disease, IgA nephropathy (IgAN). The agreement involves an upfront payment of USD 3.2 billion (equivalent to USD 40 per share).

As part of the deal, Novartis will gain access to two late-stage assets from Chinook Therapeutics: atrasentan, an oral endothelin A receptor antagonist currently in Phase 3 development for IgAN, and zigakibart, an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody slated to enter Phase 3 for IgAN.

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The transaction has received approval from both Novartis and Chinook Boards and is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. This acquisition aligns with Novartis' strategic focus on innovative medicines and will strengthen its renal pipeline, complementing the existing portfolio.

Atrasentan, currently in Phase 3 development for IgAN, has shown promising results in reducing proteinuria. Additionally, atrasentan is being explored for its potential to treat other rare kidney diseases. Zigakibart (BION-1301), an anti-APRIL monoclonal antibody, is scheduled to commence Phase 3 trials for IgAN in the third quarter of 2023.

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With this acquisition, Novartis aims to bring Chinook Therapeutics' extensive expertise in kidney disease modelling and understanding, along with a promising early pipeline targeting severe renal conditions.

Merck announced that it had entered an agreement to acquire Prometheus Biosciences.

Merck aims to strengthen its immunology portfolio through this acquisition by adding a potential first-in-class therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other immunological conditions.

Also read: Top pharmaceutical companies of 2023

Merck will acquire by paying $200 per share; the acquisition is expected to cost $10.8 billion. Prometheus Biosciences' lead candidate, PRA023, is a monoclonal antibody that targets the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like ligand 1A (TL1A), a key mediator of inflammation in IBD. The acquisition is expected to complete by the third quarter of 2023.

Also read: China Drug Approvals

Pfizer and Seagen have announced an agreement under which Pfizer will acquire Seagen for $229 in cash per share, valued at nearly $43 billion.

Pfizer is aiming that Seagen's expertise in Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) can strengthen Pfizer's oncology portfolio. Further, it is estimated that Seagen will add $10 billion in revenues by 2030. In 2023, the expected revenues from Seagen were $2.2 billion. Pfizer Oncology's portfolio has 24 approved therapies generating $12.1 billion in revenues.

Seagen's currently approved therapies include Adcetris, Padcev, Tivdak, and Tukysa. It further has eleven new molecular entities in the pipeline.

Also read: Pharmaceutical deals and acquisitions

Sanofi has announced its intention to acquire Provention Bio, a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company, for $2.9 billion. The acquisition will add Provention Bio's first-in-class therapy in type 1 diabetes, Tzield (teplizumab), to Sanofi's portfolio. Tzield was approved in the US last year as the first and only therapy to delay the onset of stage 3 type 1 diabetes in adults and pediatric patients aged eight years and older with stage 2 T1D.

Also read: Drug approvals in Europe

Sanofi's stated that the acquisition of Provention Bio aligns with the company's strategic shift towards developing products that have a unique profile in treating immune-mediated diseases and disease-modifying therapies, especially in areas with high unmet needs. Additionally, the acquisition is consistent with Sanofi's expertise in diabetes.

Sanofi announced that it would commence a cash tender offer to acquire Provention Bio's shares for $25.0 per share in cash, valued at approximately 2.9 billion.

  • With the acquisition, AstraZeneca will get access to aldosterone synthase inhibitor baxdrostat.

  • Baxdrostat is in Phase 2 for hyperaldosteronism and hypertension.

AstraZeneca announced that it would acquire a US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, CinCor Pharma, developing novel treatments for resistant and uncontrolled hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

With the acquisition, AstraZeneca aims to strengthen its cardiorenal portfolio with baxdrostat (CIN-107), an aldosterone synthase inhibitor (ASI) for resistant hypertension.

Also read: HAS Assessment outcomes

For this acquisition, AstraZeneca offered to pay $26 per share, followed by $10 per share upon successful regulatory submission of baxdrostat. The upfront payment represents a value of $1.3 billion. With the regulatory submission, the transaction value can reach $1.8 billion.

Also read: NICE Assessment Outcomes


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