Our first installment of Excedr’s monthly biotech news roundup is here! We cite some of our favorite news sources and link to the articles they publish concerning all things lab-related. We’ve tailored this roundup to focus on fundraising, M&A, IPOs, and more. We also have a monthly news roundup focused on cutting-edge biotech research and study that you can check out! We hope this makes finding the news that matters most to you easy. Interested in our other blog posts? Check them out here!
August has been an eventful month, despite typically slowing down this time of year. 2020 remains astoundingly different, to say the least. Several major acquisitions took place, there were some highly successful funding rounds, and biotech IPOs continued to generate serious interest.
Monumental exit for Momenta Pharmaceuticals
J&J’s recent buyout of Momenta Pharmaceuticals for a hefty $6.5 billion USD in cash is covered here in this biotech article from FierceBiotech. The acquisition will give J&J full global rights to Momenta’s anti-FcRn antibody, nipocalimab, that recently completed a phase 2 trial in myasthenia gravis earlier this year. Momenta’s stock rocketed into record territory shortly after the deal was announced. The J&J takeover represents their belief that Momenta can produce multiple, competitive launches that will help carve out space for J&J in a highly competitive field, bolstering their portfolio of autoimmune disease treatments.
Nestlé buys out biopharma company and their peanut allergy treatment for $2.6B
The Swiss multinational food and beverage conglomerate has entered a deal to acquire the remaining stake in Aimmune Therapeutics for $2 billion, adding onto the $473 million worth of Aimmune stocks they have already bought. The company gains full ownership of Aimmune and their FDA-approved peanut allergy treatment. Nestlé is all in despite the treatment, Palforzia, seeing low sales numbers since it’s launch earlier this year. The company’s latest move expands their Health Science division that was launched several years ago. Endpoints News covers the acquisition, and the article can be found here.
Blackstone Group inks $2.3B deal for subsidiary of Japan’s Takeda
Takeda has finalized a deal to sell its consumer health care unit for $2.3B USD to Blackstone Group, a private equity firm that already has a large stake in the health care sector. The divestment in Takeda’s subsidiary, Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company Limited (TCHC), whose portfolio includes a variety of over-the-counter medicines and health products, is part of a divestiture program the company has created to reorganize. The program’s goal is to equip Takeda “with the ownership, resources and strategic focus to continue to thrive and meet the needs of customers, while further sharpening Takeda’s strategic focus and commitment to financial discipline and transforming science into life-changing medicines.” You can read about the announcement in this article posted on FiercePharma.
Freenome to fund cancer-detecting research after successful Series C round
BioSpace covers the latest news involving Freenome, who were able to raise $270 million, which will go towards researching cancer-detecting blood tests, in a Series C financing round. The South-San Francisco based biotech, which focuses on early cancer detection with a routine blood draw, has been able to raise more than $500 million to date, having secured $160 million in a Series B round of July, 2019. Freenome uses an extensive multiomics platform that combines data sets of different omic groups during analysis. BioSpace covers how the company will use the funding to accelerate “the PREEMPT CRC clinical trial of its blood test for colorectal cancer screening and precancerous lesion detection” in this post.
Biotech IPOs combine to raise $247M in public market debuts
Covered by Xconomy National, HarmonyBio and Inhibrx have raised a combined $247 million in public market debuts, marking another strong IPO round for biotech companies. HarmonyBio and Inhibrx “illustrate the range of biotech companies eliciting public investor interest this summer.” Both were able to pass the $100 million mark in their initial public offerings, a goal many biotech companies have begun aiming for. According to the research firm Renaissance Capital, this August has been the most active IPO market since 2013. Read the post here.
Companies in the biotech industry continue to pull huge interest
Biotech IPOs have been hot this entire year, as the trend continues through August. Compared to an industry like big tech, biotech is relatively obscure, however, interest in the field has been consistent, starting to pick up steam in Q4 of 2019. That momentum has yet to slow as we navigate our way through 2020. Biotech companies have raised more money so far this year than in all of 2019. Crunchbase takes a look at the numbers generated by IPOs over the past five years in North America that were backed by venture capital and compares them, noting that, alongside the IPO successes, “venture funding to life sciences companies is up as well.” Read the article here.
Advancing the fight against cancer, Siemens Healthineers will acquire Varian for $16.4B
SelectScience covers the announcement that Siemens Healthineers, a spin off of industrial conglomerate Siemens, has entered into a deal with Varian Medical Systems, Inc. Healthineers will purchase all available shares of Varian Medical Systems for approximately $16.4 billion. Varian, a California-based company well known for radiation oncology treatment and software, as well as a patient-centric culture, will be partnering with the company to extend their cutting-edge portfolio of radiotherapy and multidisciplinary cancer care to a larger number of patients. Varian is confident the deal will allow them to provide customers and patients alike with more effective and efficient medical care worldwide while also broadening the opportunities of their employees as they enter a larger and more global market. You can find the full article here!