jueves, 8 de febrero de 2024

J&J, MERCK and NOVARTIS 2024 slew of acquisitions...


As the kicked off in San Francisco Monday morning, three Big Pharma pharma players — Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Novartis — all announced major acquisitions.

Below is a breakdown of the trio of biotech buyouts:

 ~~J&J is putting down $2 billion to eat up more of the increasingly attractive antibody drug conjugate (ADC) space, acquiring Ambrx Biopharma and its proprietary synthetic biology technology platform.

~~Meanwhile, Merck’s acquisition of Harpoon Therapeutics, also announced Monday morning, is the second largest of the trio – worth up to $680 million.

The deal expands Merck’s immunotherapy business and gives the company access to Harpoon’s novel T-cell engager portfolio, including its lead candidate HPN328, which targets delta-like ligand 3 in small cell lung cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.

~~Finally, Novartis unveiled its acquisition of Calypso Biotech, with an upfront payment of $250 million and potential milestones worth up to $175 million.

The deal will give Novartis full rights to CALY-002, Calypso’s lead candidate, which Novartis dubs a “pipeline-in-a-drug.” CALY-002, a therapeutic antibody that neutralizes a protein called Interleukin-15, is currently being investigated in a Phase 1b trial for the treatment of celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis – but may hold potential in other autoimmune indications.

As part of the Novartis portfolio, CALY-002 is the best position to be developed effectively, so that it can promptly address unmet medical needs in multiple indications,” said Calypso CEO Alain Vicari in a statement.

The moves follow a busy few months for both Merck and Novartis. Merck acquired Caraway Therapeutics for up to $610 million in November 2023. It also picked up three clinical ADCs from Daiichi Sankyo earlier in the fall for $5.5 billion upfront and $16.5 billion in potential milestones.

At the start of the year, Novartis signed a gene therapy deal with Voyager for up to $1.3 billion total, giving it access to Voyager’s TRACER capsids for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

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