The temperature has been hot--and so has the deal-making. We counted at least 273 deals in the past five days. Not really. We actually stopped counting on Tuesday because there were already too many to keep track of. And that was before the week's biggest deals: the Ranbaxy/ Daiichi Sankyo and Invitrogen/ Applied Biosystems tie-ups (see below).
Genentech/Symphogen: Danish polyclonal antibody play Symphogen said on Tuesday that it was collaborating with Genentech in the infectious disease space. The three-undisclosed-target deal has a total potential value of $330 million inclusive of an upfront payment, equity investment and milestones, and grants Genentech worldwide exclusive license to any candidates. This is the first external demonstration of Genentech’s stated commitment to developing large molecules against infectious diseases and Symphogen’s third deal, but by far the biggest validation of its Symplex and Sympress technologies.
Janssen/Astex: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutica is taking a license to Astex Therapeutics’ novel fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor program and is starting new discovery programs on two additional drug targets. The deal, announced Monday, sees Janssen paying $37 million in upfront, cash and equity payments and research funding to Astex as well as potential milestones and royalties. Janssen’s Ortho Biotech arm is responsible for all preclinical and clinical development on all three programs. Astex retains an option to co-commercialize any FGFR projects in the US. Astex CEO Harren Jhoti, PhD, told IN VIVO’s sister publication “The Pink Sheet” Daily that the lead FGFR program is only at the lead optimization stage but given the strong interest in the program—which, he says, is highly specific and should therefore avoid side effects that have hindered other firms’ efforts—“we were able to command pretty significant financials.”