Global Pharma Briefs: News from BI, Sandoz, Moderna, Dr. Reddy’s

A roundup of news from Canada (AbCellera, Moderna), Germany (BI, Twist Bioscience), Switzerland (Sandoz, Bio-Thera), and the US (Citius Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s, Novo Nordisk).


AbCellera, Moderna in Antibody Pact
AbCellera, a Vancouver-based antibody technology company, has entered into a multi-year, multi-target research collaboration and license agreement with Moderna, a bio/pharmaceutical company developing messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, to identify therapeutic antibodies against up to six targets selected by Moderna.

Under the agreement, Moderna will have the rights to develop and commercialize antibodies resulting from the collaboration. AbCellera will receive research payments and is eligible to receive from Moderna downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products.

Source: AbCellera


BI, Twist Bioscience Enter into $710-M-Plus Therapeutic Antibody Pact
Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and Twist Bioscience, a South San Francisco, California-based synthetic biology company, have entered into a research collaboration to use Twist’s antibody libraries to discover therapeutic antibodies against multiple targets provided by BI, in a deal worth up to $710 million.

Under the agreement, Twist Biopharma, a division of Twist Bioscience, will use its panel of synthetic antibody phage display libraries derived from sequences that exist in the human body to identify potential therapeutic antibody candidates. Twist and BI will work together to validate and optimize any resulting new antibody candidates, which could be researched against a range of therapeutic areas. BI retains exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize any therapeutic antibodies discovered as part of the collaboration.

Twist will receive an upfront payment for each program entry. In addition, Twist has the potential to earn up to a total of $710 million in success-based clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments for the multiple target discovery programs.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim and Twist Bioscience


Sandoz, Bio-Thera Enter in Biosimilar Pact
Sandoz, the generics and biosimilars arm of Novartis, has entered into a commercialization agreement with Bio-Thera Solutions, a Guangzhou, China-based bio/pharmaceutical company, for Bio-Thera’s biosimilar candidate of bevacizumab (BAT1706), a biosimilar of Roche’s Avastin, used to treat multiple candidates.

Bio-Thera will maintain responsibility for development and manufacturing of BAT1706, and Sandoz will have the right to commercialize BAT1706 upon approval in the US, Europe, Canada and selected other countries. Bio-Thera Solutions will receive an upfront and milestone payments and is entitled to receive profit share payments in the partnered territory.

Source: Novartis and Bio-Thera Solutions


Citius To Acquire Dr. Reddy’s License for Oncology Immunotherapy
Citius Pharmaceuticals, a Cranford, New Jersey-based bio/pharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire an exclusive license for denileukin diftitox, a late-stage oncology candidate (E7777), from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a Hyderabad, India-based pharmaceutical company.

E7777 is an improved formulation of the oncology agent, Ontak, which was previously approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating persistent or recurrent cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A biologics license application (BLA) for E7777’s first indication in CTCL is expected to be filed with the FDA by the end of 2022.

Under the agreement, Citius will acquire Dr. Reddy’s exclusive license of E7777 from Eisai and other related assets owned by Dr. Reddy’s. Citius’ exclusive license rights include rights to develop and commercialize E7777 in all markets except for Japan and certain parts of Asia. Additionally, Citius will retain an option on the right to develop and market the product in India. Eisai retains exclusive development and marketing rights for the agent in Japan and Asia.

Dr. Reddy’s will receive a $40 million upfront payment and is entitled to up to $40 million in development milestone payments related to CTCL approvals in the US and other markets, up to $70 million in development milestones for additional indications, as well as commercial milestone payments and low double-digit tiered royalties on net product sales.

Eisai is to receive a $6-million development milestone payment upon initial approval and additional commercial milestone payments related to the achievement of net product sales thresholds. Eisai will be responsible for completing the current CTCL clinical trial, and chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) activities through the filing of a BLA for E7777 with the FDA. Citius will be responsible for development costs associated with potential additional indications.

Source: Citius Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Novo Nordisk, MIT, Harvard Launch New Genomic Research Center
The Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard University have launched the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Genomic Mechanisms of Disease.

Based at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and supported by a grant of up to $47.5 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the center will generate systematic datasets to assist researchers in understanding how human genetic variants affect risk for common complex diseases.

Source: Novo Nordisk