Partnering News: Eisai, Bayer, Dr. Reddy’s, Amgen & More

A roundup of bio/pharmaceutical partnering news from Eisai/Blissbio, Bayer/Bicycle Therapeutics, Dr. Reddy’s/Junshi Biosciences, AstraZeneca/LaNova Medicines, , Amgen/Tscan, Boehringer Ingelheim/Ginkgo Bioworks, Astellas/Sony, and UCB/Ariceum Therapeutics. 

* Eisai, Blissbio in Potential $2-Bn ADC Pact 
* Bayer, Bicycle Therapeutics in $1.7-Bn Bicyclic Peptide Pact
* Dr. Reddy’s, Junshi Biosciences in $728-M Pact for Immuno-Oncology Drug 
* AstraZeneca, LaNova Medicines in $600-M ADC Licensing Pact
* Amgen, Tscan In $530-M Research Pact for Crohn’s Disease Targets 
* BI, Gingko Bioworks in $406-M Research Pact for Natural Product Drug Targets 
* Astellas, Sony in Research Pact for ADC Platform 
* UCB, Ariceum in Radiopharmaceutical Research Pact 

Eisai, Blissbio in Potential $2-Bn ADC Pact 
Eisai has entered into a joint development agreement with Bliss Biopharmaceutical, a Hangzhou, China-based bio/pharmaceutical company, for Bliss’ BB-1701, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) focused on solid tumors, in a deal potentially worth up to $2 billion.  

BB-1701 is an ADC that is composed of Eisai’s in-house developed anticancer agent, eribulin, and an anti-HER2 antibody using a linker, with potential anti-tumor effects on breast, lung, and other solid tumors that express HER2. The linker-payload, which uses Eisai’s eribulin as a payload, is a technology platform developed by Eisai’s US research team in Exton, Pennsylvania, and Eisai is investigating the possibilities of using this platform to link to various antibodies. Under a license agreement signed by the two companies in 2018, Eisai granted BlissBio global exclusive development rights for several ADCs to use eribulin as the payload. Based on the status of Phase I/II clinical trials of BB-1701 currently being conducted by BlissBio, both companies have decided to co-develop this drug. 

Under the agreement, Eisai will make upfront and development milestone payments to BlissBio, conduct a Phase II clinical trial in breast cancer, and obtain option rights to develop and commercialize BB-1701 globally, excluding Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). If Eisai exercises the option rights, an additional upfront payment will be made to BlissBio, as well as development and regulatory milestone payments, sales milestone payments and a certain amount of royalties on sales revenue of BB-1701 after the launch. If all development, regulatory and sales milestones are achieved, up to a total of $2 billion will be paid. 

Source: Eisai 

Bayer, Bicycle Therapeutics in $1.7-Bn Bicyclic Peptide Pact  
Bayer and Bicycle Therapeutics, a Cambridge, UK-based bio/pharmaceutical company, have formed a strategic collaboration to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize bicyclic peptide radioconjugates for multiple agreed-upon oncology targets, in a deal worth up to $1.7 billion ($45 million upfront and $1.7 billion in milestone payments). 

The two companies will jointly use Bicycle’s peptide technology to develop bicyclic peptides for several undisclosed oncology targets. Bicyclic peptides are peptides consisting of 9-20 amino acids that can be synthetically manufactured.  

Under the agreement, Bayer and Bicycle will collaborate on the development of bicyclic peptides for multiple oncology targets. Bicycle will utilize its proprietary phage platform to discover and develop bicyclic peptides, and Bayer will be responsible for, and fully fund, all further preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities. Bicycle will receive a $45-million upfront payment and with potential development, and commercial-based milestone fees, payments to Bicycle could total up to $1.7 billion. Bicycle will also be eligible to receive mid-single to double-digit tiered royalties on Bicycle-based medicines commercialized by Bayer. The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance of the transaction under the UK National Security and Investment Act 2021. 

Source: Bayer 

Dr. Reddy’s, Junshi Biosciences in $728-M Pact for Immuno-Oncology Drug 
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a Hyderabad, India-based bio/pharmaceutical company, and Junshi Biosciences, a Shanghai-based bio/pharmaceutical company, have formed a collaboration to develop and commercialize Junshi’s toripalimab, an anti-cancer drug, in select geographic markets, in a deal worth up to $728.3 million. 

Under the agreement, Junshi Biosciences will grant a license to Dr. Reddy’s to develop and exclusively commercialize toripalimab in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Panama, Uruguay, India, and South Africa. Dr. Reddy’s may elect to expand the scope of the license to cover Australia, New Zealand and nine other countries. 

Junshi Biosciences also grants Dr. Reddy’s the exclusive right of first negotiation for commercialization in the event that Junshi Biosciences determines to grant any third party the rights to commercialize two other products in one or more countries within the total 21 countries of Dr. Reddy’s territory. 

Junshi Biosciences may receive up to an aggregate of $728.3 million for an upfront payment, potential expansion of Dr. Reddy’s territory and milestone payments, plus double-digit percentage of royalties on the net sales of products containing toripalimab. 

Source: Junshi Biosciences 

AstraZeneca, LaNova Medicines in $600-M ADC Licensing Pact   
AstraZeneca has entered into an exclusive license agreement with LaNova Medicines, a Shanghai-based bio/pharmaceutical company, for LM-305, a preclinical antibody drug conjugate (ADC), in a deal worth up to $600 million ($55 million upfront and $545 million in milestone payments).  

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will be granted an exclusive global license to research, develop, and commercialize LM-305. LaNova Medicines is eligible to receive an upfront and near-term payments of up to $55 million and additional development and commercial milestone payments of up to $545 million, as well as tiered royalties on net sales worldwide. 

Source: LaNova Medicines 

Amgen, Tscan In $530-M Research Pact for Crohn’s Disease Targets 
Amgen and TScan Therapeutics, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based bio/pharmaceutical company, have formed a multi-year collaboration that will use TScan’s target discovery platform, TargetScan, to identify antigens recognized by T cells in patients with Crohn’s disease in a deal worth up to $530 million ($30 million upfront and $500 million in milestone payments).   

Amgen will evaluate a variety of modalities to create therapeutics based on targets discovered by TScan and will retain all global development and commercial rights. Amgen also has an option to expand the collaboration to ulcerative colitis, under certain terms. Each party will be responsible for its own research expenses. 

Under the agreement, TScan will receive a $30-million upfront payment and is eligible to earn over $500 million in success-based preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones as well as tiered single-digit royalty payments. 

Source: Amgen 

BI, Gingko Bioworks in $406-M Research Pact for Natural Product Drug Targets 
Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based biotechnology company specializing in cell engineering for industrial applications, have formed a new partnership under which the companies will use Ginkgo’s natural product discovery capabilities for the discovery and development of therapeutic molecules, in a deal worth up to $406 million. 

Ginkgo has built a metagenomics database comprising over three terabases of sequence data and over two billion proprietary protein sequences from a variety of microbes.  Ginkgo and BI will collaborate to mine Ginkgo’s metagenomic sequence database, which provides access to structurally bioactive molecules.  

Under the agreement, Ginkgo will receive upfront research fees and is eligible to receive success-based research and development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for a specified number of projects up to an aggregate total of $406 million. Ginkgo is also entitled to potential further downstream value in the form of royalties on sales. 

Source: Ginkgo Bioworks 

Astellas, Sony in Research Pact for ADC Platform 
Astellas Pharma has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Sony to discover an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform in oncology based on Sony’s polymeric material, Kiravia Backbone.  

The two companies jointly began exploratory research of new linker technology aimed at creating a new ADC platform in July 2022, and the expected profile was obtained in feasibility studies using human cancer cells.  

Under the agreement, Sony and Astellas will jointly develop and optimize a new ADC platform using the Kiravia Backbone as a linker. In addition, Astellas will conduct non-clinical trials of development candidates. Also, in order to build a drug-discovery platform not limited to ADCs, the two companies have agreed to continue discussions on expanding research partnerships by combining Sony’s technology with Astellas’ pharmaceutical capabilities. 

Source: Astellas 

UCB, Ariceum in Radiopharmaceutical Research Pact 
UCB and Ariceum Therapeutics, a Berlin-based radiopharmaceutical company, have formed an exclusive strategic research collaboration to identify and develop systemic targeted radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of immune-related diseases and solid tumors. 

Under the agreement, UCB and Ariceum will use each other’s technology platforms to enable the discovery of peptide-radioisotope conjugates as potential therapeutics for immune-related diseases and cancer. Ariceum will also gain access to UCB’s expertise to discover synthetic macrocyclic peptides using its mRNA-display technology platform, ExtremeDiversity. UCB will use Ariceum’s expertise in radiochemistry and labelling technology to develop drugs for immune-related diseases. Both companies will have the opportunity to explore several targets under this research collaboration. 

Source: UCB