Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Almirall eyes $62m takeover of multicytokine specialist Bioniz

Gains clinical-stage drug for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

Almirall

Spanish biopharma company Almirall has signed an option agreement that could see it acquire Bioniz Therapeutics, bolting on a clinical-stage drug for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Barcelona-based Almirall – which specialises in dermatology – says that the deal would expand its R&D pipeline with an additional three candidates on top of lead drug BNZ-1.

BNZ-1 a selective and simultaneous inhibitor of cytokines IL-2, IL-9 and IL-15 which is in early-stage testing for CTCL and also has potential for alopecia areata, a form of hair loss with no FDA-approved treatments.

The terms of the deal are an initial payment of $15m, which gives Almirall an option to acquire Irvine, California-based Bioniz outright once data from a phase 1/2 trial of BNZ-1 is available and subject to an end-of-phase 2 meeting with the FDA.

If it decides to go ahead within a 60-day option period, it will then pay $47m in instalments to take control of the US biotech, along with other undisclosed payments tied to the progress of BNZ-1 through to market.

A secondary part of the deal would see Bioniz’ pipeline assets other than BNZ-1, as well as the US biotech’s multicytokine inhibitor development platform, spun off into a new as-yet unnamed company.

The Spanish drugmaker would then forge an R&D alliance with the spin-off with the aim of adding at least three drugs ready for clinical testing that lie within its medical dermatology focus, and expanding its capabilities in “onco-dermatology and immuno-dermatology”.

Bioniz' other candidates currently lie outside that focus. BNZ-2 is a subcutaneously-delivered IL-15 and IL-21 inhibitor with potential in coeliac disease and other inflammatory disorders of the gut, while BNZ-3 is an orally-active IL-15/IL-21-targeting follow-up.

The option deal comes amid an expansionist phase for Almirall, which exercised an option to buy Dermira’s anti-IL-13 antibody lebrikizumab – heading for phase 3 testing in atopic dermatitis or eczema – last June for $50m upfront.

If approved, that would be a rival to Sanofi and Regeneron’s fast-growing atopic dermatitis therapy Dupixent (dupilumab). Meanwhile, Almirall is in the launch phase for Ilumya/Ilumetri (tildrakizumab) for psoriasis, with ambitions to extend its use into eczema.

The biggest deal to date however was Almirall’s acquisition of Allergan’s US dermatology unit last year in a deal valued at $650m, that included first-in-class tetracycline-derived drug Seysara, billed as the first oral antibiotic specifically designed for dermatology use in 40 years.

Article by
Phil Taylor

8th January 2020

From: Sales

Share

Tags

COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs

PMHub

Add my company
Publicis Resolute

Publicis Resolute provides real-life practical solutions to your issues, without fuss or fluff. We are an experienced team with a...

Latest intelligence

Women in science
The role of women in science and technology
Why the lack of female leaders in pharma and life sciences is a problem that still needs to be fixed...
Maria Dahl
China’s homecoming heroes fuel a biotech boom with rapid CAR-T advances
China secures a place at the forefront of innovative medicine...
Virtual Research Grants Submission and Approval Program
Impetus Digital summarizes how a client established an independent grant review committee and a virtual grant submission and approval program, without having to travel and meet in person....

Infographics