BIO 2019 Notebook: M&A Soars, Lartruvo Lookback, BIO Vs. ASCO
News and views from day four of the BIO International Convention: emerging company M&A deals nearly double in 2018; former FDA official Amy McKee said "everything worked right" with accelerated approval and removal of Lilly's Lartruvo; and the ASCO effect on the 3-6 June BIO meeting.
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CF-focused Vertex will buy Exonics and expand a collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics, with plans to develop therapies for DMD and myotonic dystrophy type 1. Merck acquires TGFβ-focused Tilos, while Achaogen offloads most of its assets at auction.
Former US FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that despite the $500m Lilly took in from sales of Lartruvo, the company probably lost money with the costs of R&D and withdrawing the drug from the market.
The presentation of the ANNOUNCE results, the failed confirmatory trial for Lilly’s Lartruvo, at ASCO re-opened questions about the accelerated approval and the appropriate way to study soft tissue sarcoma.