Weekend News: Business, Finance and Innovations in Biotech and Pharma Industries


MRC Technology Monetizes Portion of Royalty on Cancer Drug Keytruda

UK-based research charity MRC Technology has recently monetized its royalties on pembrolizumab, marketed as Keytruda, a leading cancer drug, with the help of a private equity fund for US $150M managed by DRI Capital.

Pembrolizumab is a drug that works by stimulating the body’s immune system to help fight against cancer. The drug mainly targets those tumours that evade the body’s immune system and bind to the PD-1 receptors on T cells.

Pembrolizumab binds to the PD-1 receptor and ensures that PD-1 and PD-2 present in the tumour doesn’t bind to it and inactivate the T-cells.

“Keytruda is already transforming the lives of thousands of patients and its legacy is now enabling MRC Technology to magnify our impact in finding new treatments. The charity focuses on areas where there are unmet patient needs and being self-funded means we rely on royalty income to advance further medical breakthroughs. The monetisation allows us to expand our philanthropic activities and invest in research areas others aren’t able to pursue.”Dr Dave Tapolczay, Chief Executive, MRC Technology


Amgen Daiichi Collaborated to Market Biosimilars in Japan

Amgen and Daiichi Sankyo tied up to commercialize 9 biosimilars in Japan.

While Amgen is responsible for the development and manufacture of the biosimilars, Daiichi Sankyo will take up filing for marketing approval and the distribution and commercialization of the biosimilars in Japan. Amgen reserves limited rights to co-promote the product.

Outside Japan, Amgen reserves all rights for additional distribution and commercialization of the biosimilars. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed to the public.

“Amgen is excited to collaborate with Daiichi Sankyo as we seek to drive adoption and build confidence in biosimilars as a means of enhancing patient access to more affordable therapeutic options worldwide.”Scott Foraker, vice president and general manager of Biosimilars at Amgen.


Ardelyx to Raise $110 Million to Promote Tenapanor and RDX227675

Biopharmaceutical company Ardelyx, primarily focused on gastrointestinal and cardiorenal diseases announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell shares of its common stock for aggregate gross proceeds of nearly $110 million dollars.

Existing and new investors are namely New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Australia’s Future Fund, Quadrille Capital, EcoR1 Capital, RA Capital Management, First Manhattan Co., Rock Springs Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Perceptive Advisors, Deerfield and DAFNA Capital Management.

The funds generated will be used for the Phase 3 development of tenapanor for two indications, IBS-C and hyperphosphatemia, as well as development of RDX227675 for the treatment of hyperkalemia.

The company plans to set in motion several projects between now and 2017.

Featured image credit: MUI NE, VIETNAM © sikaraha (Stock Photo ID: 123639815)

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