Deals In Depth: April 2022
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.
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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.
Four $1bn+ alliances were penned in March. Topping the list was a potential $6bn+ deal between Sanofi and IGM Biosciences involving IgM antibody agonists against three oncology targets and three immunology/inflammation targets. The partners aim to use IGM’s IgM antibody technology to develop therapeutics that combine the multi-valency of IgM antibodies possessing 10 binding sites compared to conventional IgG antibodies having only two target binding sites. For each oncology program, IGM will lead R&D activities (and assume related costs) through approval of the first BLA by the FDA or EMA. After that, Sanofi will lead all subsequent development and commercialization activities and gets exclusive global rights. For each immunology/inflammation program, IGM will lead R&D activities through the completion of the Phase I clinical trial for up to two constructs directed to each immunology/inflammation target, after which Sanofi will be responsible for all future development and commercialization.