News Notes

March 1, 2020

Applied Clinical Trials

Volume 29, Issue 3

A compilation of recently released news briefs that pertain to the clinical trials industry.

Gilead to Acquire Forty Seven for $4.9 Billion

Biotech giant Gilead Sciences and Forty Seven, Inc., a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire Forty Seven for $95.50 per share in cash. The transaction, which values Forty Seven at approximately $4.9 billion, was unanimously approved by the Gilead and Forty Seven Boards of Directors and is anticipated to close during the second quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Through the addition of Forty Seven’s investigational lead product candidate, magrolimab, the acquisition will strengthen Gilead’s immuno-oncology R&D development portfolio. Magrolimab, which targets transmembrane protein CD47, is a monoclonal antibody in clinical development for the treatment of several cancers, including myelodysplastic syndrome, acute myeloid leukemia, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Forty Seven is based in Menlo Park, Calif.

Covid-19 vaccine collaboration

Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a China-based global clinical-stage biotech, has struck a research collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline for its protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate (Covid-19 S-Trimer). GSK will provide Clover with its pandemic adjuvant system for further evaluation of S-Trimer in preclinical studies. With one of the largest in-house, commercial-scale cGMP biomanufacturing capabilities in China, Clover could potentially rapidly scale-up and produce large-quantities of a new coronavirus vaccine.

Upon knowing the genomic DNA sequence of the newly-identified SARS-CoV-2 virus in January, Clover scientists started designing the viral spike (S)-protein construct and completed its gene synthesis.

Parexel buys Model Answers

Parexel has completed the acquisition of Model Answers, an Australian consultancy firm. Model Answers provides pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling, simulation, and analysis services to help increase the likelihood of successful drug development. Model Answers’ specialized staff has joined Parexel’s growing clinical pharmacology, modeling, and simulation team.

Genentech, Nimble ink peptide pact

Nimble Therapeutics, Inc. established a multi-year collaboration with Genentech to accelerate discovery and development of novel peptide-based medicines for targets across a range of diseases. The arrangement will leverage Nimble’s peptide synthesis, screening, and optimization platform, chemical diversity, and integrated suite of assays.

NASH biomarker partnership

ProSciento, Inc., a CRO, is partnering with Nordic Bioscience. The agreement will utilize ProSciento’s patient registry and Nordic’s biomarker technology to identify and validate translational biomarkers to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, and development of drugs for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

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