Deal Watch: Astellas/Cytokinetics Extend Partnership, Make Progress On SMA Candidate
The two firms hope improvement in the six-minute walk test might be accepted by the US FDA as registrational endpoint for reldesemtiv in spinal muscular atrophy. Blackstone acquires Clarus, while Merck licenses TriNKETs from Dragonfly.
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The new collaboration announced 17 August is worth up to $475m in near-term upfront payments plus undisclosed milestone fees and royalties up to 24%.
Merrimack's wind-down continues with an activist challenge, but investors approved the Vical/Brickell Biotech reverse merger. Also, the past month's IPO slump may reverse course and HiFiBiO's $67m Series C leads recent financings.
The Astellas-partnered drug did not reach statistical significance on any FORTITUDE-ALS endpoints, but clinically significant results over time justify a longer Phase III study that's likely to enroll ALS patients with a faster rate of disease progression.