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In Vivo's Deals Of The Month, January 2017

Executive Summary

In Vivo's editors pick January's most significant deals, including J&J's Actelion acquisition and a big launch for Vir Biotechnology. (Article free with registration.)

Top Alliance: Biogen Pays To Protect Tecfidera

Biogen Inc. is paying $1.25 billion up front in exchange for a license to all intellectual property owned by Denmark's Forward Pharma AS in the US. Biogen will pay royalties on net sales of any of its multiple sclerosis therapies covered by a Forward Pharma patent and that contain dimethyl fumarate, one of which is Tecfidera – Biogen's biggest revenue generator with $4 billion in sales for 2016. Royalty payments could spiral if Forward wins a series of ongoing patent disputes with Biogen. [See Deal]

Top Financing: Vir's Infectious Ambitions

Vir Biotechnology Inc. launched with a commitment for at least $150 million in Series A money. Arch Venture Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation led the round. Vir says it will use "breakthroughs in immune programming" to create cures, therapies and preventive medicine for infectious diseases. In addition to in-house R&D, Vir plans to fund academic research and to build its pipeline through in-licensing. Former Biogen CEO George Scangos is heading the start-up, which has already done one deal: acquiring TomegaVax Inc. to obtain its viral vectors. [See Deal]

Top M&A: J&J/Actelion: Win-Win-Win

Johnson & Johnson's months-long pursuit of Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. culminated in a $30 billion cash acquisition on January 26. J&J gets immediate access to the Swiss biotech's lucrative pulmonary arterial hypertension franchise and late-stage pipeline as well as initial 16% ownership in a new spin-out formed around Actelion's drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical assets. J&J has rights to an additional 16% of the new company, which will be based and listed in Switzerland and headed by Actelion co-founder and CEO Jean-Paul Clozel, MD.[See Deal][See Deal]

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J&J’s $30bn For Actelion Buys Immediate And Longer-Term Value
Biogen Pays $1.25bn For Peace Of Mind Over Tecfidera, But Legal Wrangling Continues
VC Roundup: Infectious Disease Startup Snags $150m And Former Biogen CEO Scangos

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