Celgene's $1 billion front-loaded deal to buy into Juno's CAR-T and TCR programs--$150 million upfront and $850 million for 10% of the company's stock at more than double the going share price--instantly and predictably spurred a backlash among some of the top analysts in the industry over the frothy figures in play.
Celgene is paying about $1 billion to move to the front of the hectic race to build new CAR-T cancer therapies. The Big Biotech is shelling out $150 million upfront and paying $93 a share--a huge premium--to snap up 9.1 million shares of Juno Therapeutics, inking a collaboration to develop and commercialize new oncology therapies.
The company at the top of Fortune's fastest-growing-in-pharma list is just the one you'd expect: Gilead Sciences, with its hep C-fueled leap into the industry's top 10 by revenue. And it's no surprise that the next two are Big Biotech companies, given the ascendance of biologic meds. But one Big Pharma--and only one--managed to crack the top 5.
Celgene has high hopes for its anti-inflammatory drug Otezla, shooting for blockbuster sales of the med with the help of new indications for psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. But the company is off to a rough start with the drug in the U.K., as the country's cost gatekeeper decided not to recommend Otezla to treat psoriatic arthritis.
Celgene is handing over an $82.5 million upfront payment to snag an exclusive option on preclinical compounds at Lycera that promise to amp up the power of T cells being rededicated to fight cancer. In addition, Celgene is promising another $22.5 million in near-term payments to the University of Michigan spinoff.
Two years after Celgene dangled a selection of $225 million milestone prizes in front of bluebird bio in exchange for collaborating on a range of CAR-T cancer drug programs, the Big Biotech has narrowed its sights to a single target and chipped in a $25 million payment to move their lead candidate into the clinic soon.
Roche has been at the top of the heap in oncology sales for years--and it's no wonder, what with its top-selling triumvirate, Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin. The Swiss drugmaker racked up more than $25 billion in cancer last year, and its closest challenger, Novartis, managed less than half of that.
Celgene has struck a deal with Cypher Genomics to boost its ability to find biomarkers. The agreement gives Celgene access to Cypher's Coral technology, a resource it thinks could help it identify the signatures of novel biomarkers in genomic data.
Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass has outlined how he picks pharma patents to challenge for his new money-spinning project. The project is underpinned by two emerging assets commonly thought of as a potential boon for drug developers: large data sets and algorithms with which to interrogate them.
Celgene's Otezla has hit a snag with the notoriously difficult German cost watchdog IQWiG, which said it just doesn't see the added benefit over treatments already on the market.