Chiesi/Cornerstone: Trading Ownership for Pipeline
The Italian pharma Chiesi Farmaceutici is buying a majority stake in respiratory specialist Cornerstone Therapeutics in a creative deal that echoes the strategic tie-up last year between Infinity Pharmaceuticals and the Purdue Pharma/Mundipharma family of companies. The deal is yet another twist on the kind of big brother-little brother relationship model first espoused by Roche and Genentech though it is the little brother who gains access to pipeline projects in this new scenario.
You may also be interested in...
uniQure Grants Chiesi Select Commercial Rights For The EU’s First Approved Gene Therapy Glybera And Hemo B Gene Therapy
uniQure has licensed commercial rights covering Europe and select emerging markets to Italy’s Chiesi for first-to-market gene therapy Glybera and a developmental hemophilia B product. The Dutch biopharma is writing the book on pricing and commercialization, regulatory approval, and market access strategy for gene therapy.
Highlights from the Q2 2009 review of start-up dealmaking: Fundraising in the biopharma, medical device, and in vitro diagnostics industries totaled $864 million--a 25% increase from Q1 2009--with most of the money, 54% or $465 million, coming out of the device industry, which saw only $127 million the previous quarter. There was one acquisition--PPD paid $14.5 million in cash for Magen BioSciences. In the most significant alliance, valued at up to $527 million, GSK got rights to three compounds from Concert Pharmaceuticals, including two in the preclinical stage, which was the most popular phase of development on Q2 alliances.
Infinity's "Big Brother" deal with the privately held affiliates Purdue and Mundipharma comes closest of any recent deal to replicating the structure of the Genentech/Roche relationship -- swapping the majority of a biotech's pipeline to a well-heeled partner in return for independence from the capital markets and enough commercial upside to deliver a long-term return for investors. But the idiosyncrasies of the Purdue/Mundipharma ownership and structure, and the recent stormy history that opened minds to the possibility of such a deal, show why further iterations of the model will remain a rarity.