R&D Partnerships – Biopharma Therapeutics & Platforms – 2023

R&D Partnerships – Biopharma Therapeutics & Platforms

The collaboration pace in biopharma R&D for therapies and platforms maintained its previous deceleration, but notable transactions still stood out throughout the year. One striking deal occurred in October 2023, when Daiichi Sankyo and Merck & Co. joined forces to co-develop three ADCs targeting oncology. This agreement entailed an initial payment of $4 billion in cash, with additional payments totaling $1.5 billion and potential development and commercial milestone payments amounting to $16.5 billion. Our analysis showed that of the top 5 deals for R&D partnerships announced, 3 were for cancer applications, illustrating the continued popularity of this therapeutic area for partnerships.

R&D Partnerships - Biopharma Tx and Platform Companies

In 2023, 494 R&D partnership deals were valued at $178.4 billion, a slight decline compared to 510 deals in 2022, totaling $164.4 billion. Together, both years saw 1004 deals worth $342.8 billion.



R&D Partnerships $100M Club

R&D Partnerships $100M+ Club - Biopharma

In 2023, there were 21 R&D deals worth $100M in upfront cash and equity, with Biopharma assets totaling $60.6 billion, including $8.2 billion in upfront cash and equity. In contrast, 2022 saw 25 deals valued at $65.0 billion but less upfront cash and equity at $4.9 billion.


Total Announced Deal Values By Subsector

Total Announced Deal Values by Technology Group Subsector ($B)

In 2023, deal values for R&D partnerships increased significantly to $299.1 billion, up from $266.5 billion in 2022 across subsectors. The biopharma therapeutic and platforms sector surge was particularly notable, rising from $145.0 billion to $154.2 billion. Conversely, Medtech, devices, digital treatment, and wearables decreased from $0.8 billion to $0.1 billion, while diagnostics, sequencing, omics, and tools declined from $18.1 billion to $16.0 billion. The Manufacturing Tech and Others increased from $0.6 billion to $8.1 billion.



Top 2023 Modalities

Biopharma R&D Partnerships, Top Modalities - 2023

2023 Biologics emerged as the dominant modality, with 186 deals totaling $92.2 billion, while Small Molecule had 118 deals worth $39.8 billion. Gene Therapy, Gene Editing, Cell Therapy, and Immunotherapy combined for 386 deals, amounting to $154.2 billion.


Major Deal Announcements –  2023

SystImmune and BMS Collaboration – (December 2023)

SystImmune & Bristol Myers Squibb initiated a collaboration in October 2023, with SystImmune granting BMS exclusive rights to develop and commercialize BL-B01D1 for lung and breast cancer. In exchange, SystImmune will receive an upfront payment of $800 million, potentially earning up to $7.1 billion in payments.

Daiichi Sankyo and Merck Collaboration – (October 2023)

Daiichi Sankyo partnered strategically with Merck, granting Merck exclusive global rights to co-develop and co-commercialize 3-ADCs to treat solid tumors. Daiichi Sankyo will manage supply and manufacturing, while Merck will cover 75% of the initial $2 billion in R&D costs. Additionally, Merck can opt out of developing certain ADCs, potentially forfeiting payments. Daiichi Sankyo is set to receive $4 billion upfront, possibly earning up to $16.5 billion in additional payments.

Nurix and Seagen Partnership – (September 2023)

Nurix Therapeutics and Seagen formed a strategic partnership to develop multiple cancer therapies utilizing Nurix’s targeted protein degradation (TPD) technology in conjunction with Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology. Nurix will receive an upfront payment of $60 million, potentially earning up to $3.4 billion in milestones.

Argo Biopharmaceuticals and Novartis Agreement – (January 2024)

Argo Biopharmaceuticals and Novartis announced an agreement in January 2024, granting Novartis exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize a Phase-I RNA-based therapy targeting cardiovascular diseases. In exchange, Argo will receive an upfront payment of $185 million and could earn up to $3.98 billion in milestones.

Voyager and Neurocrine Collaboration – (January 2023)

Voyager and Neurocrine Biosciences collaborated in December 2023, granting Neurocrine exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize the GBA1 Parkinson’s program for Voyager will receive an upfront payment of $175 million, potentially earning up to $4.235 billion in milestones.


All of this by stage, disease indication, modality, target…

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