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Novartis has added an anti-osteoarthritic Nanobody, M6495, to its growing pipeline of candidates for the condition, in a €450m agreement with Merck KGaA that sees the latter deliver on its plans to find new homes for its osteoarthritis pipeline.
Private Company Edition: XtalPi raised $318.8m for its AI-based drug discovery platform and machine learning-enabled Flagship start-up Valo Health has brought in nearly $100m. XtalPi had one of three recent venture capital mega-rounds for China-based companies.
The German major is looking for a partner to advance its IL-17A/IL-17F nanobody sonelokinab for psoriasis but the search could be tricky given the strength of Novartis's Cosentyx and Eli Lilly's Taltz, while UCB's IL-17A and IL-17F inhibitor bimekizumab is likely to be approved soon.
The Swiss major's biggest seller rose 12% in the second quarter and while COVID-19 had an impact, and competition is on the rise, Cosentyx is still outpacing the market overall in psoriasis, while rheumatology should drive future growth.
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