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Acquisition of ArQule; Synthorx; and Zentalis nabs a raise

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Merck is set to complete the already planned purchase of the ArQule for USD 2.7 Billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will pay USD 20 for each share in cash for a total amount of USD 2.7 Billion. ArQule is a biopharmaceutical, which is focused on kinase inhibitor discovery, finding cures for cancer patients.

The takeover will help Merck to gain access to ArQule’s ARQ 531, an oral Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, which was the primary reason for the purchase. The drug, at present, is undergoing Phase II trials under evaluation for B-cell malignancies treatment.

BTK inhibitors are promising agents that help to prevent the revelation to the importance of the B-cell receptors for the sustenance of leukemic cells in many B-cell malignancies. ARQ 531 is one potent reversible and highly selective inhibitor designed to inhibit or block both wild-type BTK and C481S mutations.

The drug has shown promising results in terms of efficiency and safety in treating patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and Richter’s Transformation.

Sanofi has entered into a definitive agreement with Synthrox by acquiring all of the remaining latter’s shares for USD 2.5 Billion.

Synthrox, a clinical-stage biotech company aiming to facilitate the quality living of the patients living with cancer and auto-immune disorders.

With the acquisition of Synthrox, Sanofi plans to enhance its Immuno-oncology pipeline and move a step above in its position in oncology. Synthrox is in the process of the clinical development of its product THOR-707, a variant of recombinant human IL-2 that is pegylated at one specific site and designed to kill tumour cells without inducing vascular leak syndrome (VLS), toxicity associated with aldesleukin, an approved recombinant IL-2.

THOR-707, is undergoing Phase I/II clinical trials. Recently, the company presented has received the investigational new drug (IND) application from the FDA for its use in curing solid tumors. The drug promises to offer a viable and effective treatment option with improved pharmacology, and comparatively lesser dosage frequency.

Moreover, Synthorx’s Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform along with Sanofi’s existing ones will help the companies to manufacture a wide range of therapeutic pipeline.

Zentalis Pharmaceuticals raises USD 85 Million in a Series C financing round, bringing its overall raise to USD 147 Million since its foundation.

Zentalis pharma is a drug maker focused on advancing cancer treatment by manufacturing clinically differentiated, novel small molecule therapeutics.

Found in December 2014, the company plans to use the proceeds collected to advance the development of its lead drugs and therapies and advance towards their pivotal trials. The company is focusing to address the present unmet needs of the patients in the field of both solid and liquid tumors.

The company is running the trials of candidates like ZN-c5, and ZN-c3, which are under Phase I/II and Phase I clinical trials respectively. Zentalis has also entered into a collaboration with Pfizer, for clinical development and evaluation of the drug ZN-c5 in combination with Pfizer’s Ibrance.

The funding round was joined by investors and venture capitalists including Matrix Capital, Viking Global Investors, Redmile Group, Farallon Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Citadel’s Surveyor Capital and Eventide Asset Management.

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