Friday, August 08, 2008

Deals of the Week: We're Back

Didja miss us? Not even a little?

Expect posting to return to its normal erratic schedule as of next week, and enjoy this dog days of summer deals-of-the-week post as you gear up to watch what is sure to be an unintentionally psychedelic opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

We may have missed a few interesting tidbits over the past couple weeks--such as CytoChroma's alliance with Mitsubishi-Tanabe, GSK's layoffs, and probably a whole lot more (the logical conclusion to the BMS/Imclone saga trundles along though, so i'm sure we'll have a chance to chime in later).

And we'll make it up to you: be sure to check in next week for a complimentary PDF of our coverage (to date) of the Roche/Genentech situation ... for now you'll have to make due with:

Lilly/Covance: Read our earlier post on Lilly's leadership in creative financing of R&D, here (or just scroll down).

The Medicines Co./Curacyte: In a play to get its hands on Curacyte Discovery's lead CU-2010 serine protease inhibitor, The Medicines Co. has acquired the German biotech for €14.5 million up front plus a potential €10.5 million milestone should the drug move into Phase II (a royalty and commercial milestone payment enter the mix should 2010 hit the market). The move is unusually early-stage for MDCO, and as our colleagues at The Pink Sheet DAILY point out, driven by the uncertain fate of the patent situation around the company's Angiomax franchise.

Roche/Metabasis: Liver specialist Metabasis announced on Thursday a deal with Roche to give the Big Pharma's HCV nucleoside drugs better liver-targeting properties. The tweaking will cost Roche $10 million up-front for the two-year research collaboration and up to $193 million in milestones plus a royalty should a development candidate be selected. Though it might seem like the liver is the organ most drugs will find even if blindfolded and spun around three times, Metabasis' technology is designed to allow for lower dosing of drug, and therefore better side-effect profiles--a welcome scenario in a space where nucleoside HCV polymerase inhibitors have failed thanks to more problematic risk/benefit ratios than expected.

Celgene/GPC: It has been a rough road for GPC ever since the next-generation oral platinum chemotherapy satraplatin hit the skids last October. On Wednesday, the biotech's European commercial partner, Celgene, which inherited the deal from Pharmion, pulled the plug on the firms' collaboration and approval anywhere seems unlikely without a new clinical program. Celgene had yanked the drug's European MAA last week, and the writing was on the wall. GPC continues to evaluate M&A opportunities.

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