Press review

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UK founder of Juno set to pick up $200 million as part of Celgene takeover

Country : U.S., UK

Keywords :
LONDON, Jan 26 (APM) - Hans Bishop, the British chief executive and co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, is in line for more than $200 million (144 million pounds) after his company became the target of a $7.8 billion bid from Celgene, The Sunday Times reported.
The paper said that Bishop owns a 2.8% stake in Juno, worth about $220 million, and has tens of millions of dollars of bonus stock that could pay out if the company is taken over.
The company is a pioneer in the field of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) therapy, which modifies a patient’s immune cells so they hunt down and attack tumours.

Sanofi to buy Bioverativ for $11.6 billion

Sanofi is to buy haemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $11.6 billion, the Financial Times said on Monday (APMHE 56520).
Sanofi said it will pay $105 per share in cash. The FT said this is a 64% premium based on Bioverativ’s closing stock price on Friday.
Bioverativ was spun off from Biogen early last year. The deal comes after Sanofi failed to land major takeovers in recent years.

Big Pharma makes strongest start to M&A for decade

The FT on Tuesday said that healthcare companies have announced almost $30 billion of acquisitions since the beginning of the year in the sector’s strongest start for deal-making in more than a decade, as big pharma scrambles to replace ageing blockbusters by paying top dollar for new medicines.
Executives, lawyers and bankers said the January deals frenzy could be a sign of things to come in 2018, as large U.S. drugmakers snap up innovative rivals by spending billions of dollars of cash freed up by Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

Cannabis drug slashes severe epilepsy fits

The Times on Thursday reported that a drug derived from cannabis, developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, can reduce seizures in epilepsy sufferers by nearly half, a study has suggested.
The trial involved 171 patients aged between two and 55 who suffered from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a rare and severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy. They were randomly assigned to receive either cannabidiol or a placebo in addition to their usual treatment.
The drug, Epidiolex, is a pharmaceutical formulation, not medical marijuana, the paper added. Over 14 weeks, the cannabidiol group had 44% fewer seizures than before, compared with a 22% reduction in the placebo group.
“There is an urgent need for novel treatment options for LGS…our study has potentially found an additional option to add to patients’ existing treatment,” said lead author Dr Elizabeth Thiele of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Novartis strikes $170 million deal for non-U.S. rights to gene therapy for blindness

The FT on Thursday said that Novartis has bought the rights to market a gene therapy for blindness outside the U.S., in a deal that could be worth more than $170 million for Spark Therapeutics, the Philadelphia-based biotech that developed the drug. (APMHE 56584)
Novartis will pay $105 million in cash upfront for the ex-U.S. rights to the drug, known as Luxturna, as well as an additional $65 million of payments linked to how successful the treatment is. Spark will also receive undisclosed royalties on sales of the gene therapy.

Biogen buys brain drug

The FT on Friday reports that Biogen said it would buy an experimental brain drug targeting various neurological conditions in a deal worth up to $217 million, although it stopped short of announcing the sizeable acquisition that some investors had expected.
The company will pay $10 million upfront to Karyopharm for the drug, which has not yet been tested in humans, with the remaining $207 million structured in future “milestone” payments linked to how well it does in scientific trials and whether it is a commercial success.
The neurosciences specialist unveiled the deal as it announced fourth quarter earnings that missed the typical Wall Street forecast, although revenues were higher than forecast. (APMHE 56595)
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