Daiichi Sankyo has said it will close down its German antibody subsidiary U3 Pharma and transfer its operations to a research unit in Japan.
The company said the move is part of an initiative to “strengthen its global R&D capabilities by increasing efficiency and streamlining processes”.
Martinsried-based U3 Pharma – which was acquired by Daiichi Sankyo in a €150m deal in 2008 – employs around 40 members of staff and specialises in the development of antibody treatments for cancer.
U3 Pharma’s lead candidate patritumab (U3-1287), an anti-HER3 antibody in clinical trials for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer and head and neck cancer, was highlighted by Daiichi Sankyo as a key driver for U3’s acquisition.
Seven years on, it remains the only candidate from U3 in clinical development, with all other projects listed in the German company’s latest update still in early-stage or preclinical testing.
The announcement comes shortly after Daiichi Sankyo announced major job cuts in the US – mainly in its salesforce – along with a revamp of its R&D operations with the creation of a research alliance with fellow Japanese drugmaker Astellas and the launch of its TaNeDS open innovation drive in Europe.
The restricting comes as Daiichi Sankyo faces the loss of patent protection in the US for Benicar (olmesartan), a $2.4bn-a-year product used to treat high blood pressure.
US sales of the drug are around $900m a year and the Japanese company is already coping with generic competition to the cholesterol drug Welchol (colesevelam), which at its peak had US sales of around $300m a year.
Daiichi Sankyo is looking to new products such as novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) Lixiana (edoxaban) – as well as pipeline candidates like tivantinib for liver cancer, quizartinib for leukaemia and mirogabalin for fibromyalgia – to help it cope with the anticipated loss of revenues resulting from the patent losses.
By Phil Taylor
Source: PM Live
A monkeypox outbreak is emerging in the U.S. and Europe, and at least one country is amping up countermeasure preparedness. Bavarian Nordic has secured a contract with an unnamed European country to supply its smallpox vaccine, called Imvanex in Europe, in response to the emergence of monkeypox cases, the Danish company said Thursday.
Moderna’s recent chief financial officer debacle—in which Jorge Gomez departed on his second day on the job—raised questions about the company’s hiring process given its rush to global biopharma prominence. The most obvious one: How was it possible for Gomez to be hired when he was under investigation by his previous employer, Dentsply Sirona of Charlotte, N.C.
Merck & Co. is plucking a cancer project from the branch of Chinese-based Kelun Pharmaceutical for up to $1.4 billion, but details from the New Jersey-based Big Pharma have been hard to come by. The deal, first disclosed Monday on the Shenzhen stock exchange, has Merck handing over $47 million in upfront cash in exchange for ex-China rights to a “macromolecular tumor project.”