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  • Jonathan Poyer

Asahi Kasei announces the acquisition of Calliditas Therapeutics (CALT) for $1.1 billion. The M&A Train Never Stops!

Updated: Jun 7



The S&P Select Biotech Index extended recent weakness and dipped back below the 50-day moving average into quarter end as the market continues to push out rate cut expectations. 



Bird flu headlines provided vaccine stocks an ephemeral, but broad interest in healthcare stocks remains muted.  In contrast, big tech can seemingly do no wrong with Nvidia (NVDA) adding ~$500 billion in market cap since announcing quarterly earnings last week.  In aggregate, biotech IPO, VC, follow-on and PIPE total financing activity over the past 20 years was ~$670 billion.


M&A:


  • Asahi Kasei (2502 JT) announced the acquisition of Calliditas Therapeutics (CALT) for $1.1 billion representing a 74% premium to the prior closing price. Asahi expects peak sales of lead IgAN drug Tarpeyo will be >$500 million, suggesting a <1.5x peak sales multiple for the deal



  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced the acquisition of a Phase 2 ready bispecific antibody targeting IL-4Ra and IL-31 from Numab Therapeutics AG (private) for $1.25 billion

  • Biogen (BIIB) announced a deal to buy Human Immunology Biosciences (private) for lead anti-CD38 antibody being developed for immune-mediated diseases.  BIIB paid $1.15 billion upfront and may pay up to an additional $650 million in milestone payments



Regulatory:


  • FDA approved the first two biosimilars of Regeneron's (REGN) blockbuster Eylea, but analysts see an at-risk launch unlikely given both are believe to infringe REGN's IP

  • Deciphera Pharmaceuticals (DCPH) announces the HSR waiting period for the pending merger with Ono Pharmaceuticals expired on May 21


Clinical:


  • Insmed (INSM) announced positive phase 3 ASPEN data for oral brenso in non-CF bronchiectasis leading shares to rally >100%



  • Verastem Oncology (VSTM) announced positive updated Ph1/2 combo data in 1L metastatic pancreatic cancer (83% ORR in combo with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel), but fell >50% on updated data in ovarian cancer that showed a decline in ORR to 27% from 45% at the last update



Capital Markets:


  • Bicycle Therapeutics (BCYC) raised $555 million in a PIPE transaction priced at the market that extends the cash runway into 2027



Corporate Updates & Earnings:


  • Royalty Pharma (RPRX) announced the purchase of royalty rights for IDH 1 and 2 inhibitor Vorasidenib from Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) for $905 million.  RPRX expects the 15% royalty on net sales up to $1 billion may generate $150 million annually at peak with patent protection through 2038



  • Cytokinetics (CYTK) announced an updated deal with Royalty Pharma they will provide ~$250 million in near term capital and up to $575 million through all tranches along with a follow on offering of ~$500 million.  Analysts had been expecting a significant capital raise given M&A prospects seemed to dim in recent months. Shares were off ~15% on the raise



  • AstraZeneca (AZN) announced an $80 billion revenue target for 2030 based on plans to introduce 20 new medicines, nearly double the $45.8 billion in 2023



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