Global Briefs: Horizon, Sanofi, Amgen, J&J & AbbVie

A roundup of news from Horizon Therapeutics, Sanofi, Amgen, J&J, AbbVie and HotSpot Therapeutics. Highlights below.  

* Horizon Therapeutics in Talks for Possible Acquisition by Sanofi, Amgen 
* AbbVie, Hotspot Therapeutics in $335-M Small-Molecule Autoimmune Disease Drug Pact  

Horizon Therapeutics in Talks for Possible Acquisitions by Sanofi, Amgen 
Horizon Therapeutics, a Dublin, Ireland-based bio/pharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases, reported on November 29, 2022, that it is engaged in preliminary discussions with Amgen and Sanofi on the potential acquisition of Horizon by those companies.  

Horizon also reported that it was in preliminary talks as well with Johnson & Johnson (J&J), but J&J later reported on December 2, 2022, that it is not bidding for Horizon. J&J issued the statement in accordance with Irish Takeover Rules.  

In accordance with the Irish Takeover Rules, each of the companies is required, no later than January 10, 2023, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for the company or announce that it does not intend to make an offer for the company. 

Sanofi announced that any offer for Horizon Therapeutics, if made by Sanofi, would be solely in cash. It also added that there is no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any such offer may be made, if forthcoming. 

Amgen announced that any offer by Amgen for Horizon is, or is likely to be, solely in cash. It also added that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, or as to the terms on which any offer might be made. 

Horizon Therapeutics had 2021 net sales of $3.23 billion. Its top commercial product is Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw), a drug for treating thyroid0eye disease, with 2021 sales of $1.66 billion. Its second best-selling product is Krystexxa (pegloticase), a drug for treating gout, which had 2021 sales of $565 million. 

Source: Horizon Therapeutics, Sanofi, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson 

AbbVie, Hotspot Therapeutics in $335-M Small-Molecule Autoimmune Disease Drug Pact 
AbbVie and HotSpot Therapeutics, a Boston, Massachusetts-based company focused on small molecule allosteric therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, has formed an exclusive worldwide collaboration and option to license agreement for HotSpot’s discovery-stage IRF5 program for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, in a deal worth up to $335 million ($40 million upfront and $295 million in milestone payments). 

IRF5 is a transcription factor that acts as a regulator of certain types of immune responses, and its dysregulation is strongly implicated in several poorly treated autoimmune disorders, according to the companies. Efforts to modulate IRF5 using small-molecule approaches have been unsuccessful because IRF5 lacks an active site. HotSpot’s Smart Allostery platform targets an allosteric pocket on the protein for its endogenous regulation. 

Under the agreement, HotSpot will receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million and may be eligible to receive up to $295 million in option fees and research and development milestones, with potential for further commercial milestones as well as tiered royalties on global net sales. Should AbbVie exercise its option to license, AbbVie will conduct all future clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities for the IRF5 inhibitor program. In addition, HotSpot would have a one-time option to share in global R&D costs in exchange for increased royalty payments. 

Source: AbbVie and HotSpot Therapeutics