KuDOS/Novacea: Pooling Biotech Resources
KuDOS Pharmaceuticals' first out-licensing deal appears disappointing: the UK biotech has neither signed an established cancer player nor secured a significant upfront fee for its potentially first-in-class cancer compound, in a hot area of research. But the point of the deal is not to bolster KuDOS' cash coffers, rather, to combine the resources of two biotechs to investigate the drug's potential in a broader range of indications than either company could do alone.
You may also be interested in...
Despite a strong trend among Big Pharma towards in-licensing over the last decade, Merck & Co. hasn't been particularly willing to embrace research ideas outside its own labs. But that's changing. Merck's new European in-licensing initiative proves that the Big Pharma recognizes, and hopes to access, the wealth of science and potential deals beyond US borders.
Alizyme's out-licensing pact with Takeda for Japanese rights to the UK biotech's Phase II anti-obesity compound ATL-962 underscores the practical and funding advantages of a Japanese-market deal as a precursor to negotiating US and European licenses. Opportunities for other European biotechs to do the same may increase: Takeda's willingness to develop a still relatively early-stage compound in a tricky development area highlights Japanese firms' particularly acute need for pipeline products.
Cambridge Antibody's royalty dispute with partner Abbott over potential blockbuster Humira sends a sobering message to biotechs: beware poorly-constructed royalty offset clauses. The argument won't help Abbott's partnering image, either.