- Morphosys has signed a "transforming" deal with Novartis. The two companies are building on their existing 2004 alliance with a potential 10-year deal to develop monoclonal antibodies. Morphosys will receive $600 million in committed payments--in addition to potential milestones and royalties and co-promotional options. The deal reduces Morphosys reliance on fee-for-service antibody collaborations, and make no mistake, in terms of guaranteed payments, it's a monster. But it also seems to entwine Morphosys' fate with Novartis Biologics', as Novartis will have near exclusive access to the biotech's platform (Morphosys is ending existing collaborations with J&J's Centocor and Bayer-Schering). We may have more to say after Morphosys' conference call on Monday.
- Forest Labs received an approvable letter for its nebivolol beta blocker, a decision related to FDA issues with a manufacturing plant in Belgium. As we wrote last week, approval of nebivolol could buck the trend, and Forest (and partner Mylan's) insistence that FDA found no safety or efficacy reasons to deny the drug will be heartening to the companies. Forest is continuing to plan for a January launch.
- Hey, did you know that Biogen Idec was up for sale? No, really, we swear. Apparently they look expensive, given the current credit crunch and aversion to Big Pharma paper.
- The FT points out that the UK's Human Genetics Commission is warning the public off the various consumer genomics information providers. For background, David Hamilton at Venture Beat Life Sciences has been all over the recent consumer genomics news.
- GSK to Viehbacher and Stout: Thanks for playing. Second prize,
two weeks in Philadelphia£2 million!
- Addex has announced that it has something to announce--most likely a deal on lead project ADX10059, which is in Phase II trials for GERD, migraine, and anxiety. The details on Monday morning. [UPDATE: Nope, Addex announced an alliance with Merck & Co. this morning to discover and develop positive allosteric modulators targeting the metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4) in Parkinson's disease. Addex gets $3 million up-front and up to $106.5 million in first-product milestones, plus royalties, and retains co-promote options in certain European territories.]