Global Briefs: Takeda, CSL, Roche & More

A roundup of news from Takeda, CSL, Roche, Gilead Sciences, Lupin, Apotex, Macleods Pharma, Hetero Labs, Cipla, and Novo Nordisk Highlights below.

* Takeda To Invest $300 M To Expand Plasma-Derived Therapy Mfg
* CSL Inaugurates New $150-M R&D Center
* Roche To Acquire Good Therapeutics for $250 M
* Gilead Settles Patent Litigation with Five Generics Companies
* Novo Nordisk, Microsoft Partner for AI in Drug Development

Takeda To Invest $300 M To Expand Plasma-Derived Therapy Mfg
Takeda has announced a EUR 300-million ($300 million) investment to expand its biotechnology manufacturing site in Lessines, Belgium, to add a new production facility for the manufacturing of plasma-derived therapies and a net-zero carbon emissions warehouse. The expansion is targeted for plasma-derived therapies for rare diseases.

With the investment, Takeda says Belgium is a long-term strategic production location for the global manufacturing and distribution of plasma-derived therapies.

Source: Takeda

CSL Inaugurates New $150-M R&D Center
CSL has inaugurated a new EUR 150 million ($150 million) research and development building on the grounds of its research campus in Marburg, Germany.

Construction of CSL’s new R&D center in Marburg, Germany, began in November 2019 and will be completed later this year (2022). The R&D campus is nearly 40,000 square meters in size and includes 7,000 square meters of laboratory space, 7,000 square meters of workspace, and 800 square meters of space for start-ups from the region. It will also provide space for around 500 CSL research and development employees as well as academic and cooperation partners, making it CSL’s largest R&D center.

Source: CSL

Roche To Acquire Good Therapeutics for $250 M
Roche has agreed to acquire Good Therapeutics, a Seattle, Washington-based bio/pharmaceutical company, for approximately $250 million.

Good Therapeutics is discovery-stage biotechnology company that is developing protein-based drugs with regulated, context-dependent activity, meaning protein therapeutics that actively respond to specific markers. Its molecules combine a sensor component with a therapeutic component that is active only when the sensor is bound to its target. These sensors can target any molecule that an antibody can bind, including native proteins, modified proteins, and metabolites. The company is initially focused on cancer and specifically on regulated cytokines with context-dependent activity. With the acquisition, Roche will gain rights to Good Therapeutics’ PD-1-regulated IL-2 program and an exclusive right to the platform technology for the development of PD-1-regulated IL-2 receptor agonist therapeutics.

Under the agreement, Roche will make an upfront cash payment of $250 million and additional payments based on the achievement of predetermined development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. The transaction is conditioned upon clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.

Source: Good Therapeutics

Gilead Settles Patent Litigation with Five Generics Companies
Gilead Sciences has entered into agreements with Lupin, Apotex, Macleods Pharma, Hetero Labs, and Cipla, which are all generic drug companies, to resolve the litigation and patent challenges associated with three Gilead drugs: Descovy (emtricitabine & tenofovir alafenamide), an HIV antiviral; Vemlidy (tenofovir alafenamide), a hepatitis B antiviral; and Odefsey (emtricitabine, rilpivirine, tenofovir alafenamide), an HIV-1 drug.

The agreements grant the generic companies a non-exclusive license in the US to Gilead’s patents on tenofovir alafenamide relating to Descovy and Vemlidy beginning on October 31, 2031, and to Odefsey beginning on January 31, 2032, or earlier in certain circumstances.

Source: Gilead Sciences

Novo Nordisk, Microsoft Partner for AI in Drug Development
Novo Nordisk and Microsoft have entered a multiyear strategic collaboration for drug discovery and development using Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI).

Through the partnership, Microsoft is providing AI technology, foundational science models and expertise and is working alongside Novo Nordisk’s data scientists and domain experts from early research and development areas to accelerate Novo Nordisk’s R&D.

AI models arising from the collaboration will be applied to a range of use cases, with two cases already in execution. One use case is focused on automated summarization and analysis of information from sources such as literature, patents, scientific reports and discussion forums in order to gain novel scientific insights. A second use case aims to develop models that predict a person’s risk of developing atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease caused by build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls. The AI will also be used to identify targets and establish biomarkers of the disease.

Source: Novo Nordisk