Deals Of The Week: Idenix/Janssen, Genentech/Afraxis, Immunomedics/Algeta
With Super Bowl mania rampant, what are the chances of the biopharmaceutical industry’s equivalent: a mega-merger within big pharma? A Wall Street analyst downplays the likelihood of another Pfizer/Wyeth-like pairing, but raises the possibility that industry will see a mid-sized deal intended to mimic the success of the Sanofi/Genzyme merger.
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Boehringer Ingelheim submits type 2 diabetes therapy empagliflozin; Pozen seeks a partner to help it commercialize its aspirin/PPI combo following its NDA submission; Eisai gets FDA approval for pediatric use of acid reflux drug Aciphex; Merck announces FDA’s acceptance of its oral grass pollen allergy immunotherapy BLA; the EMA accepts Shionogi’s menopause drug Osphena for review, and IntelGenx submits an NDA for an oral film version of Maxalt-MLT.
Avalon-backed RQx will team with Genentech to discover and develop antibiotics against a novel, undisclosed target. The deal essentially is an exit for hybrid VC firm Avalon, which already has exit deals this year with BioMarin and Genentech.
Gilead and AbbVie are seen as running neck-and-neck to bring the first all-oral combo of direct-acting antivirals to market in HCV, but Gilead’s regimen is expected to win a larger market share. Idenix is starting over in the nucleoside space, but expects to bring a uridine-based “nuc” into clinical development by mid-year.