January 10, 2020 - Fierce Biotech
As Amunix zeroes in on developing its own pipeline of cancer drugs, the company is
its platform, which lengthens the half-life of drugs, to Roche for $40 million upfront. The Swiss pharma will use it to discover and develop new drugs outside the realm of cancer.
The deal is heavily backloaded, as has become custom, with up to $1.5 billion in development and sales milestones. Details are slim, with Amunix saying only that Roche will work on “non-oncology therapeutics against undisclosed targets.” The duo initially
in 2013 so Roche could evaluate Amunix’s XTEN technology, an unstructured polypeptide, to extend the half-life of drugs in the body.
January 8, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
Less than a year after buying a U.S. plant from AstraZeneca, Novartis’ biotech AveXis has it ready for production of Zolgensma, its gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy. The new plant will help it get the treatment for the rare genetic disease to more patients. It also is building a plant in North Carolina that is expected to open this year.
January 7, 2020 - Fierce Biotech
with MiNA Therapeutics to test small activating RNA (saRNA) molecules in metabolic diseases. The agreement gives AstraZeneca the option to negotiate a license for saRNA molecules after getting a look at preclinical data on the candidates.
London-based MiNA is built upon a platform designed to uncover and advance small oligonucleotide drugs that activate genes. The candidates are similar to RNA drugs developed by companies such as Alnylam. But rather than silence genes to suppress protein production, MiNA’s drugs activate genes to upregulate intracellular or secreted proteins.
January 6, 2020 - BioPharma Dive
Merck & Co paid $50 million to Otsuka subsidiaries Astex Pharmaceuticals and Taiho Pharmaceutical to collaborate on targeted cancer drugs, including KRAS inhibitors. Merck is joining a race with Amgen, Mirati Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly to develop agents aimed at KRAS-mutated tumors.
Merck will fund research and development of experimental drugs in the collaboration, and will be in charge of global commercialization. Astex and Taiho would be eligible for up to $2.5 billion in payments in addition to royalties on marketed products.