Novartis AG has agreed to pay up to $1.6 billion to Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its unit Akcea Therapeutics for the rights to two cardiovascular drugs.
The deal involves an upfront payment to Iona and Akcea of $75 million plus a $100 million equity investment in Iona. Novartis has also agreed to invest a further $50 million in either Ionis or Akcea within 18 months, as well as payments worth up to $1.4 billion should the drugs prove successful.
Both drugs aim to lower the level of cholesterol-carrying proteins in the blood and reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases developing.
By Denise Roland
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.”