Micromet: Coping with the Fallout When a Partner is Acquired
When Micromet's development partner for lead anti-carcinoma antibody MT201 was bought by Cell Therapeutics in mid-2003, the German biotech was forced to restructure significantly in order to continue funding the program through Phase II trials alone. Micromet isn't the only biotech to see a partnering deal scuppered by M&A. But it and others have shown that these days, a rejected program doesn't mean a dead program. Micromet has since signed a manufacturing partner and its plans to take the program through Phase II alone remain on track.
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German Biotech: Coalescing around the Haves
Positive signs are coming out of German biotech for the first time in years. Scientific output remains strong. The subsector boasts its first profitable pharmaceutical-oriented company; several on- or near-market products, and even a nascent IPO market. The fact that dozens of companies are expected to go bust this year is another sign of the industry's maturation. The long-awaited consolidation predicted in the wake of the Neuer Markt demise is seemingly finally happening. The have-nots are finally beginning to cluster around the haves.
Serono Deals Its Way Into Oncology
It ought to be hard to convince an oncology-focused biotech to license its crown jewel to a firm without experience developing oncology drugs, but Serono SA was able to do just that-twice in the span of eight days-when it in-licensed Phase II and Phase III oncology programs, respectively, from Micromet AG and CancerVax Corp. in December.
Celltech Gets Second Bite of CDP 870 Cherry
When Big Pharma companies hand back licensed products to their biotech originators it's generally considered bad news for the biotech. But it needn't always be so. Pfizer's decision to return rights to Celltech's anti-inflammatory antibody CDP 870 hit Celltech's share price hard, but could ultimately open up a wealth of options and opportunities to the company.