Sanofi’s Amunix acquisition adds to an active year of dealmaking for the French pharma, which has spent more than $6 billion in 2021 to buy Kymab, Tidal Therapeutics, Translate Bioand Kadmon Holdings.
The acquisitive streak is part of a plan by Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson to reenergize the company’s research and development work, particularly in areas like oncology and immunology. Along with Tidal and Amunix, both of which are focused on immuno-oncology, Sanofi has also previously bought cancer biotechs Kiadis Pharma and Synthorx under Hudson’s leadership.
Those deals have helped fill out a cancer drug pipeline that now includes about 20 molecules in development, including several that Sanofi expects could become future top-sellers.
Amunix appears to have drawn Sanofi’s interest for its technology as much as its lead drug candidate, which is aimed at the well-known breast cancer target HER2. Specifically, Amunix is working on what are known as T cell engagers, proteins that link immune cells to cancerous cells, and cytokine-based therapies. READ MORE
By Ned Pagliarulo
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.”