UK Life Sciences and Healthcare Newsletter - December 2020: Market News

Dechert LLP

Recent notable industry transactions.

  • The Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Statistical Society and the UK Department of Health and Social Care's Joint Biosecurity Centre finalised a partnership agreement in relation to the provision of statistical modelling and machine learning expertise in support of the UK Government’s COVID-19 strategy.
  • Bayer announced its acquisition of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, a clinical-stage gene therapy company, with a potential transaction value of up to US$4 billion.
  • Thrive Earlier Detection Corp., a healthcare company, announced its acquisition of Exact Sciences, a leader in blood-based, multi-cancer screening, with a potential transaction value of up to US$2.15 billion.
  • EQRx and CStone agreed a licencing arrangement whereby EQRx will have the right to develop and commercialise certain late-stage immuno-oncology assets, including an upfront payment to CStone of US$150 million and up to US$1.15 billion potentially payable in respect of milestone payments.
  • The formation of Viatris, by the combination of Mylan and Upjohn (a legacy off-patent branded and generic established medicines business division of Pfizer), was completed following final clearances being obtained, creating a new global pharmaceutical company.
  • AstraZeneca sold the commercial rights to Atacand and Atacand Plus (medicines to treat heart failure and hypertension) to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH for £400 million.
  • BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. announced a merger under which Endo International plc will acquire BioSpecifics for an estimated value of around US$658 million.
  • Merck announced its proposed acquisitions of: (i) VelosBio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing cancer therapies, for around US$2.75 billion in cash and (ii) OncoImmune, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, for an upfront payment of US$425 million.
  • Emisphere Technologies, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S, pursuant to which Novo Nordisk will acquire Emisphere. As part of the transaction, Novo Nordisk entered into an agreement to acquire related royalty stream obligations owed to affiliates of MHR Fund Management LLC for US$450 million. The acquisition of the royalty stream and the merger with Emisphere will occur simultaneously.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced that they have reached an agreement with the EU to supply 200 million doses of their COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccine candidate, with an option to request an additional 100 million doses. Deliveries are anticipated to start by the end of 2020, subject to clinical success and regulatory authorisation. The EU will also approve a new contract to buy up to 160 million doses of Moderna's vaccine candidate against COVID-19.
  • The acquisition of MyoKardia, Inc by Bristol Myers Squibb was completed, with a deal value of around US$13 billion.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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