R&D Partnerships, M&A, and Ventures – Cancer by Technology – Q1 Review 2024

R&D Partnerships, M&A, and Ventures - Cancer by Technology - Q1 Review 2024

In Q1 2024, biopharma experienced a surge of significant deals centered on advancing cancer therapies. Protagonist Therapeutics partnered with Takeda for rusfertide, receiving $300M upfront and potential milestones. Autolus Therapeutics teamed up with BioNTech for CAR-T programs, securing $50M upfront and a $200M investment. Gilead Sciences collaborated with Merus on tri-specific therapies, offering $81M upfront and up to $1.5B in milestones. Novartis acquired MorphoSys for $2.9B, while AstraZeneca bought Fusion Pharmaceuticals for up to $2.4B. Johnson & Johnson acquired Ambrx Biopharma for $2B. Clasp Therapeutics raised $150M in Series A, Capstan Therapeutics closed a $175M Series B, and Avenzo secured $150M in Series A1, bringing its total capital to $347M.

R&D Partnerships by Tech Grouping – Cancer 2024 Q1

Venture by Tech Grouping - Cancer

During Q1 2024, cancer R&D partnerships focused on biologics, antibodies, and genetic technologies, resulting in 14 deals worth $5.0 billion, with $492 million upfront. Small molecule technologies followed with 10 deals totaling $4.7 billion and $247 million upfront. Cell therapy secured 8 deals valued at $2.9 billion, with $290 million upfront. Genomics and screening had 7 deals worth $1.2 billion and $12 million upfront. Immunotherapy saw 5 deals totaling $838 million, with $49 million upfront. A notable deal in formulation technology was valued at $793 million, with $18 million upfront. Overall, 51 deals made $15.5 billion with $1.1 billion in upfront payments.


Top R&D Partnerships Q1 2024

Protagonist development & commercialization deal with Takeda for Rusfertide – February 2024

Protagonist Therapeutics granted Takeda exclusive global rights to co-develop and co-commercialize rusfertide for treating Polycythemia Vera (PV). Protagonist will oversee Phase 3 trials and U.S. regulatory approval, while Takeda handles ex-U.S. development and global commercialization. Protagonist can opt out of the 50:50 profit share, receiving opt-out payments and enhanced milestone and royalty payments. Takeda retains full ex-U.S. rights. Protagonist will receive $300 million upfront and is eligible for additional milestones and tiered royalties.

Autolus Therapeutics development & commercialization deal with BioNTech for CAR-T Cell Therapy – February 2024

Autolus Therapeutics granted BioNTech exclusive rights to develop and commercialize autologous CAR-T programs using Autolus’ UK facilities. The deal includes advancing BNT211 for CLDN6+ tumors, supporting the obe-cel launch, accessing target binders, and co-developing AUTO1/22 and AUTO6NG. Autolus receives $50 million upfront, a $200 million BioNTech investment, and potentially $582 million from options and milestones, plus royalties.

Gilead Research Partnership with Merus with an Option to License Tri-Specific Therapies – March 2024

Gilead Sciences partnered with Merus to develop 2 antibody-based tri-specific T-cell engagers for cancer treatment, combining Merus’ Triclonics platform with Gilead’s expertise. Gilead holds an exclusive global option to license the resulting therapies, while Merus can initiate a third program. Merus will receive $56 million in cash and $25 million in equity upfront, with potential for up to $1.5 billion in option payments and milestones.


 M&A by Tech Grouping – Cancer 2024 Q1

M&A by Tech Grouping - Cancer 2024 Q1

During Q1 2024, cancer research saw stable M&A activity. Biologics, antibodies, and genetic technologies led with 4 deals totaling $4.9 billion in cash. Immunotherapy had one deal worth $680 million. Diagnostics secured 2 deals at $340 million. Cell therapy had 1 deal for $133 million, with $105 million in cash. The small molecule sector made 3 deals totaling $120 million, with $110 million in cash. Genomics and screening recorded 2 deals without disclosed values. In total, 13 deals amounted to $6.2 billion, all in cash.

Top M&A’s Q1 2024

Novartis Acquiring MorphoSys for $2.9B – February 2024

Novartis is acquiring MorphoSys, gaining critical assets like Monjuvi for lymphoma, pelabresib for myelofibrosis, and tulmimetostat for solid tumors and lymphomas. MorphoSys shareholders will receive EUR 68 ($73.2) per share, totaling EUR 2.7B ($2.9B). Novartis will make a voluntary takeover offer at the same price per share. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

AstraZeneca Acquiring Fusion Pharmaceuticals – March 2024

AstraZeneca is acquiring Fusion Pharmaceuticals, securing lead assets such as FPI-2265 for prostate cancer and FPI-1434, FPI-2059, and FPI-2068 for solid tumors. Fusion shareholders will receive $21 per share, a 97% premium, totaling $2 billion upfront, with an additional potential $3 per share in contingent value rights (CVR) for regulatory milestones, bringing the total deal value to approximately $2.4 billion.

Johnson & Johnson Acquiring Ambrx Biopharma for $2B – March 2024

Johnson & Johnson has acquired Ambrx Biopharma, obtaining critical assets, including Phase II ARX-788, Phase I candidates ARX-517 and ARX-305, and preclinical candidate ARX-102. Ambrx stakeholders received $28 per share, a 105% premium, totaling $2 billion in equity value and an estimated net value of $1.9 billion. The acquisition was completed on March 7, 2024.

Ventures by Tech Grouping – Cancer 2024 Q1

Venture by Tech Grouping - Cancer

In Q1 2024, the cancer research sector saw ample venture funding. Small molecule technology led with 11 rounds, raising $762 million. Biologics, antibodies, and genetic technologies followed with 10 rounds, securing $817 million. Immunotherapy attracted $175 million from 2 rounds, genomics and screening raised $88 million from 2 rounds, other technologies garnered $66 million from 2 rounds, and gene therapy raised $33 million from a single round. Overall, 18 rounds totaled $1.1 billion.

Top Ventures Q1 2024

Clasp Therapeutics – Series A – $150M – March 2024

Clasp Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup, launched with $150 million in Series A financing to develop dual-pronged cancer immunotherapies for tough-to-treat tumors. The round, led by Catalio Capital Management, Third Rock Ventures, and Novo Holdings, will support Clasp’s bispecific T-cell engagers portfolio. These drugs are designed to match patients with specific immune signatures and tumor mutations, allowing them to bind to mutated protein fragments on tumor cells.

Capstan Therapeutics – Series B – $175M – March 2024

Capstan Therapeutics closed a $175 million Series B financing round led by RA Capital Management, with participation from Forbion, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and others. The funding will advance their lead in vivo CAR-T candidate, CPTX2309, for autoimmune disorders and further develop their RNA delivery platform. CPTX2309 aims to engineer CAR-T cells in vivo to rapidly deplete B cells, offering potential advantages over traditional CAR-T therapies.

Avenzo – Series A1 – $150M – March 2024

Avenzo secured an oversubscribed $150 million A-1 financing round, with investors including New Enterprise Associates, Deep Track Capital, and Sofinnova Investments. This brings Avenzo’s total capital raised since 2022 to $347 million. The new funding will support Avenzo’s oncology pipeline, particularly its lead asset AVZO-021, a selective cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) inhibitor currently in phase 1 clinical trials for HR+/HER2-metastatic breast cancer and advanced solid tumors.

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

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