Teva buys majority stake in Immuneering to access genome analysis tools

Teva Pharmaceutical ($TEVA) has bought a 51% stake in data analysis player Immuneering. The deal buys Teva the exclusive use of Immuneering's analytics tools in R&D projects involving treatments for CNS diseases.

Since setting up shop in 2008, Cambridge, MA-based Immuneering has picked up work from Teva, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and other drugmakers on the strength of its data analysis capabilities. Some details of how Teva has made use of its partner's capabilities have trickled out over that time. Last year, the collaborators published a paper that used Immuneering's analytics skills to argue that genes respond differently to generic and innovative versions of Copaxone. Having used the tools to make a defensive play, Teva is now keen to expand their use in its offensive R&D playbook.

Teva CSO Michael Hayden

Teva CSO Michael Hayden is clear about what he sees Immuneering bringing to the company's R&D programs. "Their ability to cut through, link and interpret enormous and disparate data-sets is outstanding. This capability is invaluable in capturing difficult-to-find signals, confirming them in follow-up experiments and informing decision-making that de-risks and optimizes development of therapeutic approaches," Hayden said in a statement. To date, Teva and Immuneering have looked at biomarkers, gene expression signatures and the characterization of nonbiological complex drugs.

With Teva's R&D team failing, to date, to come up with a blockbuster CNS drug to lessen the blow of the loss of patent protection on Copaxone, the Israeli drugmaker has deepened its ties to Immuneering. The 51% stake--which was acquired for an undisclosed sum--gives Teva right of first refusal on the use of Immuneering's proprietary algorithms and other tools in projects to develop, personalize or improve treatments of CNS disorders, a range of activities that will stop rivals from working with the data analytics player to rework Copaxone.

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