💊 BioNTech jumps aboard the ADC train; Takeda takes on gluten; Merck and Seagen find new ways to be together
#311 | E. coli saves face; USA gets an Alzheimer’s database; Slow and steady drug release wins the race
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable. Tuesdays are often eventful news days in the life sciences, and today is no different, with news of deals flooding in from all over.
For starters, Germany’s BioNTech refuses to be left behind by Covid vaccine partner Pfizer. After Pfizer acquired Seagen for a ridiculous $43 billion sum last month, BioNTech is also making its foray into the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) space with a much more modest deal; it is entering an up to $1.67 billion collab with Shanghai’s Duality Biologics to develop solid tumour therapeutics.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Takeda also wants in on ADCs; it is entering an up to $415 million exclusive licensing agreement with Innate Pharma. Their primary purpose? The fight against wheat.
The other big Covid vaccine developer, AstraZeneca and its rare disease unit Alexion are entering a research partnership with Japan’s JCR Pharmaceuticals to develop a therapeutic molecule which can cross the blood-brain barrier to treat a neurodegenerative disease. Which one? They haven’t yet disclosed.
So what if the Merck and Seagen merger wasn’t meant to be? Their drugs are still coming together, with the combination treatment of Seagen and Astellas Pharma’s ADC Padcev and Merck’s PD-1 Keytruda receiving accelerated approval for urothelial cancer by the US FDA.
Banking on the success of mRNA, Sensible Biotechnologies and Ginkgo Bioworks are partneringto develop an in vivo microbial mRNA manufacturing platform.
Under an existing deal with RayzeBio, Ablaze Pharmaceuticals intends to develop a new liver cancer treatment in China.
In a deal worth up to $970 million, Biohaven has acquired global rights to a brain disorder treatment from Highlightll Pharmaceutical.
Last month was a good month for biotech funding. Labiotech lists all the biggest private biotech investments you need to know about.
If you’re a pharma company submitting any kind of application to the European Medicines Agency this year, be prepared to tip your hat to inflation as you shell out a pretty penny for it.
The world over, healthcare workers are in short supply. Enter Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Partnership for Education of Health Professionals (PEP), which will strengthen health professional education in underserved parts of India and East Africa.
The majority of confirmatory trials for accelerated approval by the US FDA are delayed; a group of researchers believe that such incomplete trials can harm patients considering the uncertain clinical benefits.
The US FDA has published draft guidance with recommendations for submissions to market AI- and ML-enabled device software. It is accepting comments on the draft till July 3.
Though previously untested on such a large scale, monoclonal antibody treatments were administered widely during the pandemic. A new study shows that the effort was worth it.
Namibia has launched a research project to identify the factors which contribute to the high incidence of breast and prostate cancers in people of African descent.
Mystery paediatric hepatitis is a little bit less of a mystery as three papers link it to the adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2).
Both types of diabetes are getting over their ageist tendencies as children aged between zero and 19 years are increasingly getting diagnosed with the conditions.
Nigeria has the highest malaria case count anywhere, but they don’t need no malaria vaccines. Gavi’s second application window for the vaccine came and went, but Nigeria did not apply for the RTS,S shot.
Authorities in Chile are on high alert for the unlawful sale of chickens sick with bird flu, while Brazil says it is free of bird flu. Meanwhile, Peru says bird flu has claimed 47,000 pelicans so far, and in Minnesota, US, bird flu has just made its debut for the year.
Equatorial Guinea reports 1 new confirmed Marburg case and 8 additional suspected cases.
The Maldives, which had eradicated measles in 2017, has just confirmed a new case of the illness.
And finally, this is how it begins. In Belgium, a man committed suicide after talking to an AI chatbot which encouraged him to kill himself.