News of Note—J&J buys up drug delivery biotech; AstraZeneca out-licenses asset; NASH biotech cancels IPO

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(Susan J Young)

> Johnson & Johnson has snapped up Taris Biomedical and its drug delivery tech for treatment of bladder diseases including cancer for an undisclosed fee. J&J buys into its leading clinical-stage product, TAR-200, which uses a silicone-based drug delivery device that allows for the continuous release of medication into the bladder.

> Fortress Biotech has spun out a new biotech, known as Baergic Bio, which starts life with a licensing pact with AstraZeneca for AZD7325, an α2/3–subtype-selective GABAA positive allosteric modulator, as well as a deal with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to advance clinical development in certain central nervous system disorders.

> Midstage fatty liver-focused biotech Cirius Therapeutics has cancelled plans for its attempted $86 million initial public offering, with the cash earmarked for MSDC-0602K, a once-daily, oral small molecule for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with liver scarring. The four-year-old, San Diego-based company was one known as Octeta Therapeutics and has undergone a transformation in recent years with new leadership, a new location and that new name coming in April 2017.


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