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J&J jumps on ADC train, signs $1.7bn licensing deal with LegoChem

Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine (J&J) has entered into a licensing agreement with South Korean LegoChem Biosciences to develop and commercialise LCB84, in a deal potentially worth $1.7bn. LegoChem will receive $100m in upfront payment along with an option exercise payment of $200m in milestone-based payments and tiered royalties on net sales. The companies will also collaborate on the ongoing Phase I/II trial investigating LCB84.

AstraZeneca buys Chinese CAR-T biotech Gracell in a $1.2bn deal

AstraZeneca has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Gracell Biotechnologies to expand its portfolio of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies. AstraZeneca will acquire all of Gracell’s fully diluted share capital for $2 per ordinary share in cash closing, totalling $1bn. Gracell will be in line to receive a non-tradable contingent value right of $0.30 per ordinary share in cash.

Almirall taps etherna’s mRNA technology in up to $323.6m deal

Almirall highlighted the importance of etherna’s lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations for the delivery of ribonucleic acid (RNA) therapies. In the pharmaceutical industry, LNP systems have emerged as a leading vehicle to deliver therapeutics via a non-viral alternative. The use of LNPs on the market was sparked during Covid-19 and formed the delivery basis for Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA vaccines. 

Source: Pharmaceutical Technology

Vertex licenses Editas’ gene editing technology in $100m deal

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has entered a license agreement with Editas Medicine to use the latter company’s Cas9 gene editing technology. Vertex will pay $50m to Editas upfront, with an additional contingent $50m payment, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The companies did not disclose what would trigger the second payment.