BioMarin inks $97M deal to buy LEAD Therapeutics

Novato, CA-based BioMarin has struck a deal to acquire LEAD Therapeutics, a small biotech with a pre-clinical oral oncology drug in the pipeline for genetically defined cancers. With its eye on LEAD's LT-673 compound, BioMarin is paying $18 million upfront, $11 million on the filing of an IND-expected by the end of this year--and up to $68 million for a schedule of milestones.

"The acquisition of LEAD Therapeutics will augment our development pipeline of orphan therapeutics," said BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaime. "With LT-673 we see a tremendous opportunity to apply our expertise in developing therapeutics for genetic diseases to the field of oncology by targeting cancers with defined genetic mutations that make them susceptible to treatment with agents such as LT-673. There are attractive opportunities to treat rare cancers with PARP-sensitive mutations, as a single agent and in combination with other DNA damaging agents, and to improve on PARP inhibitors currently in development for more common tumor types." .

"PARP inhibitors have shown impressive survival benefits in cancer patients with tumors that have defects in DNA repair or in combination with DNA damaging agents," said CMO Hank Fuchs, M.D. "There are many opportunities to achieve selective lethality with PARP inhibitors in both rare and more common cancers. LT-673 has been proven to be highly active in mouse xenograft models of human cancer and appears to have favorable properties, including potency, selectivity, and bioavailability."

- check out BioMarin's release