Biopharma mergers and acquisitions continue to trend upward in 2024

,
Money

Biopharma mergers and acquisitions continue to trend upward in 2024

Published: Mar 06, 2024

By Neil Versel

BioSpace

After a slow 2022 and early part of 2023, the pace of mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors has accelerated since the middle of last year, highlighted by Pfizer’s $43 billion takeover of Seagen. Since the calendar turned to 2024, we have seen some blockbusters, including Novo Nordisk’s $16.5 billion purchase agreement for Catalent and the closing of Bristol Myers Squibb’s $4.8 billion acquisition of Mirati Therapeutics.

With interest in takeover activity rebounding, BioSpace is pleased to introduce our mergers and acquisitions tracker, which will be updated regularly. Follow along as we keep you up to date on which companies are getting together and which are being absorbed. 

MARCH

March 5

Status: Pending; anticipated closing late Q2

Deal value: Undisclosed

Akari Therapeutics and Peak Bio announced an all-stock “merger of equals,” though the combined company will carry the Akari name and continue to be traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the AKTX ticker symbol. The new partners plan to focus on business development and licensing across therapeutic areas, including cancer, autoimmune conditions and inflammatory diseases.

March 4

Status: Completed

Deal value: Undisclosed

Eilean Therapeutics said it has purchased privately held startup Ness Therapeutics in an all-equity deal. San Diego–based Ness is developing PTPN2 inhibitors for immuno-oncology. Eilean has been testing small molecule inhibitors that target escape mutations in hematologic and solid tumors.

March 4

Status: Pending

Deal value: Up to $82 million plus royalties

Melbourne, Australia-based Telix Pharmaceuticals will acquire privately held radioisotope production technology company ARTMS, of Burnaby, British Columbia. Telix said that, among other things, ARTMS will be able to support production of Zircaix (TLX250-CDx), its investigational PET imaging agent for identifying clear cell renal cell carcinoma. The deal calls for Telix to pay $42.5 million in stock upfront, $15 million in cash at closing and as much as $24.5 million in contingencies, as well as future royalties.

March 1

Status: Pending

Deal value: Undisclosed

Precisio Biotix Therapeutics announced the purchase of CC Bio, maker of the Zeus bioinformatics platform for antibacterial lysis analysis. Precisio said the Zeus platform is “highly complementary” to its LysiThru lysin screening and engineering system.

March 1

Status: Pending

Deal value: Up to $31 million

Kinnate Biopharma has agreed to sell exarafenib, its investigational pan-RAF inhibitor, to France’s Pierre Fabre Laboratories. Kinnate is in the process of being acquired by Xoma.

FEBRUARY

Feb. 29

Status: Completed

Deal value: Undisclosed

JAMP Pharma Group purchased a shuttered drug manufacturing facility in Lévis, Quebec, that belonged to Pharmalab, a company that went out of business in August 2023. Quebec-based JAMP announced plans to rehire a “significant portion” of the 250 former Pharmalab workers at the site to serve the Canadian market.

Feb. 28

Status: Pending; anticipated closing early Q2

Deal value: $130 million

CoreRx agreed to purchase fellow Florida firm Societal CDMO for $1.10 per share in cash. Societal said the combined company seeks to establish itself as “a preferred CDMO partner in the small molecule space” when the deal closes.

Feb. 28

Status: Pending

Deal value: Undisclosed

Gingko Bioworks announced a trio of acquisitions: Patch BiosciencesProof Diagnostics and the artificial intelligence and software infrastructure of Reverie Labs. Terms of the sale agreements were not disclosed, but Ginkgo said its board approved stock grants of about $3.5 million to four Reverie employees and nearly $4.3 million to eight Patch Bio employees.

Feb. 26

Status: Pending; anticipated closing Q2

Deal value: $135 million

NGM Biopharmaceuticals agreed to a buyout by affiliates of venture capital firm The Column Group for $1.55 per share. NGM Bio recently presented data on trials of a dual ILT2/ILT4 antagonist antibody and another compound to treat compensated cirrhosis.

Feb. 26

Status: Completed

Deal value: $4.1 billion

Bristol Myers Squibb closed its previously announced $62.50-per-share takeover of radiopharmaceutical developer RayzeBio. The target company’s portfolio includes RYZ101, an SSTR2-targeting radiotherapeutic that is currently in late-stage testing for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and is also being trialed for small cell lung cancer.

Feb. 22

Status: Pending

Deal value: Up to $117.5 million plus royalties

Rigel Pharmaceuticals is purchasing the U.S. rights to FDA-approved non-small cell lung cancer drug Gavreto (pralsetinib) from Blueprint Medicines for $15 million. Rigel could be on the hook for an additional $97.5 million in commercial milestone payments and $5 million in regulatory milestone compensation, as well as future tiered royalties. Blueprint regained the global rights to Gavreto from Roche in early 2023.

Feb. 22

Status: Completed

Deal value: Up to $1.2 billion

AstraZeneca closed its acquisition of Chinese cell therapy company Gracell Biotechnologies, giving the British pharma giant ownership of the investigational cell therapy GC012F, a dual-targeting autologous CAR-T therapy, as well as Gracell’s FasTCAR platform for CAR-T development. The deal, announced Dec. 23, is valued at $2 per share. Unspecified regulatory milestone payments could bring the total value to $1.2 billion.

Feb. 21

Status: Completed

Deal value: $1 million plus contingencies

BioVaxys Technology completed the purchase of the discovery, preclinical and clinical assets of bankrupt Canadian immuno-oncology developer Immunovaccine Technologies (IMV). BioVaxys made $750,000 in upfront payments and issued $250,000 in stock to IMV creditors. The company also agreed to make unspecified milestone payments, share licensing revenues and offer royalty payments to the creditors. IMV initiated U.S. bankruptcy proceedings in May 2023, Pharmaceutical Technology reported.

Feb. 20

Status: Completed

Deal value: $28.2 million

Syncona closed its acquisition of Freeline Therapeutics for $6.50 per share in cash, in a deal that had been announced in November. Freeline had been in early-stage trials of FLT201, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) candidate gene therapy for Gaucher disease.

Feb. 16

Status: Pending

Deal value: $120 million

Biotech royalty aggregator Xoma announced an agreement to take over precision oncology firm Kinnate Biopharma for an estimated $120 million in cash. Kinnate’s pipeline includes a brain-penetrant MEK inhibitor, a highly selective c-MET inhibitor and exarafenib, a pan-RAF inhibitor in early-stage trials.

Feb. 14

Status: Completed

Deal value: $180 million

Concentra Biosciences completed its acquisition of Theseus Pharmaceuticals, first disclosed Dec. 22. The $4.05-per-share price was at the top end of a previously announced range to purchase Theseus, a clinical-stage company developing pan-variant tyrosine kinase inhibitors and other targeted therapies.

Feb. 12

Status: Pending; anticipated closing Q1

Deal value: $4.3 billion

Gilead Sciences announced plans to acquire CymaBay Therapeutics for $32.50 per share in cash. The news broke the same day CymaBay announced that the FDA accepted the New Drug Application for its lead candidate seladelpar for the management of primary biliary cholangitis.

Feb. 7

Status: Pending

Deal value: Up to $123.1 million

Telix Pharmaceuticals agreed to purchase QSAM Biosciences in an all-stock transaction. Contingent value rights could be worth as much as $90 million on top of the base price. Telix highlighted QSAM’s lead asset, an investigational radiopharmaceutical treatment for primary and metastatic bone cancer called CycloSam (Samarium-153-DOTMP). QSAM had signed a term sheet for the planned acquisition in November that included a $2 million pre-closing collaboration fee from Australia-based Telix to continue its development work.

Feb. 7

Status: Pending

Deal value: Up to $880 million

Jazz Pharmaceuticals signed a definitive agreement to purchase the proprietary Kirsten rat sarcoma virus (KRAS) inhibitor program of Redx Pharma for $10 million upfront and as much as $870 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as potential royalties. The next milestone is FDA Investigational New Drug clearance, the companies said.

Feb. 6

Status: Pending

Deal value: Up to $87.5 million

Immunome said it would acquire the AL102 investigational small molecule gamma secretase inhibitor and a related drug candidate from Ayala Pharmaceuticals for $50 million in cash and stock, with contingencies for an additional $37.5 million in milestone payments. Ayala subsequently announced that it had completed enrollment in a Phase III study to evaluate AL102 in desmoid tumors.

Feb. 5

Status: Pending; anticipated closing in first half of 2024

Deal value: $2.9 billion

Novartis reached an agreement with MorphoSys to acquire the German biotech for more than $73 per share in cash. At the center of the merger is pelabresib, an investigational small molecule inhibitor of the BET protein which suppresses the expression of abnormal genes involved in cancer development. The companies expect the acquisition to close in the first half of the year.

Feb. 5

Status: Pending; anticipated closing late 2024

Deal value: $16.5 billion

Novo Nordisk made a splash with a $16.5 billion offer—the largest new M&A announcement in the biotech sector so far this year—to take over troubled CDMO Catalent. Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, will purchase all outstanding Catalent shares for $63.50 each and flip three manufacturing plants to Novo Nordisk for $11 million as the latter seeks to ramp up production of its blockbuster diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss medication Wegovy.

Source: BioSpace