Lots of things happening in biotech this week at JP Morgan!!!
The 15 years that I have been attending the meeting, never have I seen the mood more positive. In 2009 you could barely get a meeting, because no one was investing.
In 2011, things seemed as if they were starting to turn the corner.
Now in 2015, they were putting $100 bills into the tin cups of the myriad homeless people around Union Square.
I have written a good amount about the disease state called NASH. Interesting article this week by Damian Garde, talking about Tobira Therapeutics and its proposed merger with Regado. This is in the wake of a failed IPO by Regado. Tobira has a Phase IIb compound in NASH which could re-invigorate the story. Stay tuned on all fronts. http://bit.ly/1yImtEc
NEA announced this week that they have rolled out a $2.5 billion fund raising effort in the wake of a very recent raise for a $2.6 billion Fund 3 years ago. Keep it going for as long as it lasts…. http://bit.ly/15uS1Sk
An interesting note on Veryan and its $27.4 million raise last week. The Company is developing a unique self-expanding stent. Veryan's device has a helical shape that is more in-line with blood vessels' natural shape, improving blood flow and providing greater flexibility. Keep an eye on these guys. http://bit.ly/1xAHEUC
In the most interesting deal announced all week -Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) announced a $509.0 million partnership with AC Immune on an early-stage therapeutic vaccine that targets tau, and is in a Phase Ib. I am not sure what continues to drive these deals, but I need to find out and I need to get one done. AC Immune has been funded by German billionaire Dietmar Hopp, so maybe there is really something I do not understand. Kudos to AC Immune CEO Andrea Pfeifer, for a great deal. http://bit.ly/15c55LV
Very interesting read by Caroline Chen in Bloomberg.com last week on next generation cancer therapies. I think that there are some things that are missed, but overall a nice little research note and more fuel for the cancer immunotherapy fire. http://bloom.bg/1E3GY1a
Big news Item No. 1: Shire purchased NPS Pharma’s rare disease drug portfolio for $46 a share, or $5.2 billion, making headlines for its go-it-alone strategy on the eve of the big JP Morgan conference in San Francisco. For those on the Street, many were not surprised by the move, as Shire needed to do “something”, what it was surprised by is the 51% premium which Shire paid for these assets. http://bit.ly/1umKbjO
Big News Item No. 2: Roche take a majority stake in Foundation Medicine in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. Again no real surprise to those who have read my blog, I have been touting Foundation since it was formed. What is interesting thought is the premium, almost 2.9x the closing price at the day of the announcement. http://bit.ly/1t06jVV
We have been tracking a few very consistent themes in this posting to date (NASH, bi-specific MABs, the microbiome). This week we got news that through its Janssen Biotech division, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is taking a jump in the water. Janssen and Vedanta Biosciences of Boston, MA, announced an undisclosed up-front deal and a partnership worth as much as $241 million. Vendanta has a mix of bacteria from the Clostridia subspecies that could be a treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both gastrointestinal diseases seem to be driven by an unhealthy balance of microbes in the gut. Invest in this space!!!!! http://bit.ly/1uvnQq2
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