Deals In Depth: December 2021
Eight $1bn+ alliances were penned in December. Topping the list was a potential $12.4bn deal between Recursion and Roche (and its Genentech subsidiary) involving the identification and development of small-molecule programs in a gastrointestinal cancer indication and in key areas of neuroscience. Recursion is responsible for creating a certain number of PhenoMaps, which are massive relational databases of biological and chemical perturbation phenotypes. For each of the PhenoMaps requested by Roche, Recursion may be subject to an initiation fee up to $250m for sixteen accepted PhenoMaps. Recursion will receive an up-front payment of $150m and is eligible for additional performance-based research milestones. Roche and Genentech have the option to obtain an exclusive license to initiate up to 40 programs, each of which, if successfully developed and commercialized, could yield more than $300m in development, commercialization, and sales milestones for Recursion.
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In the top April alliance by deal value, Jazz Pharmaceuticals acquired exclusive global development and commercialization rights to Werewolf Therapeutics' WTX-613. Preclinical WTX-613 is an engineered IFN⍺2b cytokine pro-drug that is activated specifically within the tumor microenvironment where it can stimulate IFNα receptors on cancer-fighting immune effector cells. Jazz expects to submit an IND application to the FDA for WTX-613 in 2023. Jazz paid $15M up front and Werewolf is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $1.26bn, plus royalties.
During Q1, biopharma merger and acquisition value reached $9.9bn and drew in $51.2bn in potential deal value from alliances. Device company M&A values reached $4.6bn, while in vitro diagnostic firms and research tools players completed M&A activity that totaled $52.5m.
During Q1, biopharmas brought in an aggregate $17.9bn in financing and device company fundraising totaled $2.2bn; while in vitro diagnostic firms and research tools players raised $1.5bn.