1 min read

License to Pill: Biotech and pharma deals from April 10-23

Originally published in S&P Global Market Intelligence

Johnson & Johnson's plan to harness wearable technology to collect data from clinical trials was among the pharmaceutical and biotechnology licensing deals struck in the past two weeks.

The U.S. pharma giant's Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. unit said it will deploy Chicago-based Physiq Inc.'s accelerateIQTM platform to collect data across its clinical studies through a variety of wearable biosensors, while hailing the "game-changing potential" of this approach for biopharma clinical and commercial teams.

At $180 million, RPI 2019 Intermediate Finance Trust's up-front payment to Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. for the royalty rights to hyperoxaluria therapy Oxlumo was the largest of the disclosed deals.

Roche Holding AG's Spark Therapeutics Inc. signed an agreement to use South San Francisco-based Senti Biosciences Inc.'s gene circuit technology to develop central nervous system, eye and liver-directed gene therapies, for a potential aggregate deal value of over $645 million.

France's Sanofi will hand over €7 million up-front and up to €407 million in milestone payments to C4x Discovery Ltd. for an exclusive worldwide license for the British company's inflammatory disease therapy IL-17A.

China's Zai Lab Ltd. agreed to make an undisclosed up-front payment to use RubrYc Therapeutics Inc.'s meso-scale engineered molecules platform to identify monoclonal antibodies that could form the basis of a cancer treatment.

Meanwhile, the two-week period saw some of the largest pharma companies license their drugs to smaller entities. They included Eli Lilly and Co., which sold the rights for its alpha-synuclein-targeted antibody therapies — a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease — in Greater China to SciNeuro Pharmaceuticals in return for undisclosed up-front, milestone and royalty payments.

Novartis AG unit Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. will receive an up-front cash payment of $168 million from Canada's Knight Therapeutics Inc. for the exclusive rights to dementia treatment Exelon in Canada and Latin America, while BioAge Labs Inc. entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize Amgen Inc.'s BGE-105 for muscle aging.