We are reviewing biopharma licensing and partnership activity for endocrine and metabolic diseases through Q3 2023. As we look ahead at the rest of the year, recent drug approvals for diabetes, obesity, and related disorders have turned attention to additional investment in this therapeutic area. Will deal flow keep up with clinical development? This first article explores licensing activity, with a second article schedule to review venture investment in endocrine and metabolic disease focused companies.
Six recent partnership deals were announced in Q2 2023 with another 6 in Q3 bringing the 2023 total deal value figure to $4.8 billion. This was down slightly from Q1 2023, which had 7 deals in endocrine and metabolic therapies. The 2023 year-to-date total, with a quarter remaining, is at $4.8 billion on 19 deals, down from $7.0 billion and 21 deals in 2022.
Quarterly upfront cash and equity in endocrine and metabolic deals decreased more than total deal values as buyers mitigated risk into milestones. The second quarter of 2023 saw just $85 million in deal upfronts following $121 million in Q1. The third quarter 2023 saw just $22 million in upfronts as well.
Endocrine and metabolic disease licensing comes in fourth among the highest biopharma total deal values and the number of deals when looking at the top five therapy areas in 2023 YTD. This comes after cancer, neurology, and autoimmune disease partnerships, which are usually among the top.
Notable Endocrine And Metabolic Disease R&D Partnerships In H1 2023
- Aspect Biosystems has granted Novo Nordisk exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize up to 4 bioprinted tissue treatments, merging bioprinting tech from Aspect with Novo’s diabetes and obesity expertise. The agreement includes an upfront payment of $75M, R&D support, and convertible note financing. Aspect could gain $650M through development, regulatory achievements, therapy success, and royalties.
- AstraZeneca and Quell Therapeutics partnered to create Treg cell therapies, fusing Quell’s Foxp3 module with AstraZeneca’s know-how for treating type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. AstraZeneca holds an exclusive, worldwide option to license, while Quell manages development and manufacturing. Quell may co-develop U.S. T1D therapies with milestone payments and royalties after Phase I/II trials. Quell will receive $85M upfront and potentially up to $2B in milestones, plus royalties.
- Dewpoint granted Novo Nordisk exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize 2 small molecule therapies integrating Dewpoint’s AI tech with Novo’s diabetes expertise. Dewpoint will receive $55M up front, R&D funding, and is eligible for up to $690M in development and commercial milestones for the 2 therapies and $107.5M for each non-small molecule therapy as Novo holds an option for additional therapies.
- Maze Therapeutics granted Sanofi exclusive rights to develop and commercialize MZE001, an oral GYS1 inhibitor targeting conditions like Pompe disease. Maze will receive $150M in upfront cash and equity and is eligible for up to $600M in milestones, plus undisclosed royalties.
- Selecta granted Astellas exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Xork IgG protease for Late-Onset Pompe disease (LOPD) in adults using AT845. Selecta retains rights for other indications and is responsible for Xork’s development. Selecta will receive $10M up front and is eligible for up to $340M in milestones, plus royalties.