Sector News

Roivant lines up $3B upfront in Sumitomo Dainippon deal

September 9, 2019
Life sciences

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is set to pay $3 billion upfront to buy Roivant’s stake in five of its Vant startups. The big, broad deal could provide Dainippon with a series of new product launches to offset the upcoming loss of patent protection on bipolar depression drug Latuda.

In April, Dainippon sketched out a plan for how it will establish new growth engines ahead of the loss of exclusivity for Latuda, one of its primary revenue drivers. Efforts to mitigate the anticipated loss of sales through existing assets have hit setbacks, including the recent phase 3 failure of napabucasin in pancreatic cancer, ramping up the need for Dainippon to buy in new growth drivers.

At Roivant, Dainippon found a single organization capable of meeting that need. Dainippon is set to pay $3 billion to take over Roivant’s stakes in five Vants: Myovant, Urovant, Enzyvant, Altavant and an as yet unidentified Vant.

The Vants covered by the first stage of the deal have multiple late-phase assets. Enzyvant is awaiting a FDA decision on pediatric congenital athymia treatment RVT-802, putting it on track to introduce the product in the U.S. later in the financial year. Myovant and Urovant plan to file for FDA approval of their lead candidates, respectively uterine fibroid drug relugolix and overactive bladder treatment vibegron, by the end of the financial year.

Roivant owns major stakes in all the four named Vants. Two of the Vants, Enzyvant and Altavant, are privately owned by Roivant. The other two Vants are publicly traded, but Roivant has kept hold of at least 46% of the stock. Dainippon will take control of those stakes if the deal is signed as expected next month.

The deal also gives Dainippon a 10% stake in Roivant and an option to buy its partner’s holding in six other Vants, giving it access to more than 25 clinical programs in total. The option will last until the second half of 2024.

Other aspects of the agreement give Dainippon access to technology to support its own R&D efforts. Dainippon is set to buy two data analytics platforms from Roivant, which will retain access to them through a contract, and to enter into service agreements with Alyvant and Datavant.

For Roivant, the deal represents a chance to cash in on some of the progress it has made to date. The Vivek Ramaswamy-helmed organization has raised close to $2 billion, enabling it to set up a portfolio of Vants focused on different therapeutic areas and technologies. Following the deal with Dainippon, Roivant will be well set to continue adding Vants to its portfolio.

Dainippon and Roivant are currently at the memorandum of understanding stage of negotiations. A final deal is expected by the end of next month.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: Fierce Biotech

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