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Latest From Zeneca Pharmaceuticals
This week's roundup includes executive appointments by Gilead Sciences, Nordic Nanovector, Mereo BioPharma, vasopharm and Rigontec. Biogen has also appointed two executives to its planned spin-off company, Bioverativ.
A roundup of recent medtech strategic alliances, mergers & acquisitions and financings.
Dianon System's purchase in June of UroCor was hardly surprising, coming after three years of discussions between the two companies. The purchase of UroCor, a disease management company, will fortify Dianon's already strong franchise in urology clinical diagnostics testing. The deal, a stock-for-stock transaction valued at about $180 million, merges two complementary businesses, offering opportunities for synergies and leveraging of operations.
Pharmaceutical companies face two giant risks; compound risk and target risk. So, despite an abundance of so-called validated targets emerging from genomics efforts, and novel high throughput tools for compound synthesis and screening that yield plenty of hits against each target, at the end of the day, pharmaceutical company productivity, as measured by approved drugs, remains low. Recently, several former big-pharma executives have founded private companies that hope to speed up the time it takes to come up with optimized small molecule leads. Each has staked out a particular niche where it thinks it can do better than big pharma at coming up with clinic-ready compounds. Kinetix Pharmaceuticals and Triad Pharmaceuticals hope to leverage their knowledge of particular gene families to come up with optimized leads; Enanta Pharmaceuticals hopes to morph peptides into drugs with a combinatorial approach to binding pharmacophores, and Sunesis hopes to tackle some of the targets that prove intractable for others, or in which only large molecules have been able to intervene. The new small molecule companies share a vision of drug discovery that is based on targets, rather than diseases.