Insight journal - Deals and alliances

Current Agreements Deals Update – March 2011

Posted on 09 March 2011

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Review of deals and alliances during February 2011.


Deal of the month

Collaborative R&D and commercialisation agreement for tivozanib

Astellas, AVEO Pharmaceuticals - February 16, 2011

Worldwide agreement outside of Asia to develop and commercialize tivozanib, AVEO's lead product candidate designed to optimally block the VEGF pathway by inhibiting all three VEGF receptors, for the treatment of a broad range of cancers more

Breaking news...

Deals of note just announced in the past few days:

Collaborative R&D and licensing agreement for phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1) inhibitors Takeda, Intra-Cellular Therapies

Collaborative R&D and licensing agreement for small molecules that target T-helper 17 (Th17) cells Merck, Lycera

Collaborative R&D and licensing agreement for darinaparsin product (Zinapar or ZIO-101) and related organic arsenic molecules Solasia Pharma, Ziopharm Oncology

For more breaking deals as they are announced, visit:

Month In Review


Welcome to the March 2011 edition of Current Agreements Deals Update.

Every month, we will be providing you with an overview of deal making activity in the life sciences, covering the previous months partnering and M&A.

As we move into spring, partnering activity appears to continue at a good pace. A total of 230 partnering deals were announced during the month, with the top deal by value being the collaborative R&D and licensing agreement between Astellas and Aveo for tivozanib. The deal had a headline value of $1425 million. Further details can be viewed here.

M&A also saw significant activity, with the leading deal being the acquisition of Beckman Coulter by Danaher for $6.8 billion. Full details here. And of course, there was the conclusion of the Sanofi-Aventis acquisition of Genzyme.

With a new year, comes a brand new set of Scorecards for 2011: Top partnering deals 2011 | Top M&A deals 2011. Each has already been populated with the leading deals of the year - check it out.

In addition, we have also published our 2010 Yearbook - detailing every deal announced during the past 12 months - Full details at: Partnering Agreements in Pharma and Biotech Yearbook 2010.

A complete list of top partnering and M&A deals by value for 2010 are still available and can be viewed at: Top partnering deals 2010 | Top M&A deals 2010 | Biggest dealmakers of 2010 | Scorecard review - Q4, 2010

We welcome your comments and feedback on this newsletter. We also welcome contact from any company has a deal not already announced by press release, allowing us to add non-publicized deals to the database.


Steve Poile

The Top Ten


The following are the top 10 deals and alliances by value, as announced in February 2011.

  • Collaborative R&D and commercialisation agreement for tivozanib - Astellas, Aveo - $1,425m
  • Licensing agreement for Relistor - Salix, Progenics - $350m
  • Asset purchase agreement for Zovirax - GlaxoSmithKline, Biovail, Valeant - $300m
  • Joint venture agreement for biomedicals - Quintiles, Samsung - $265.5m
  • Collaborative R&D and licensing agreement for fidaxomicin - Astellas, Optimer - $224m
  • Grant award for new flu vaccine technology - Dept Health and Human Services, Novavax - $179.1m
  • Research and development agreement for boron-based small molecule compounds - Anacor, Medicis - $160m
  • Asset purchase agreement for International Surgical Products (ISP) distribution business - CareFusion, Medline Industries - $130m
  • Grant and research agreement for broad-spectrum antioxidant drug known as AEOL 10150 - Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Aeolus - $118.4m
  • Development and licensing agreement for non-robotic applications of Fiber Optic Shape Sensing and Localization (FOSSL) technology - Hansen Medical, Philips - $107m

Full details of each deal available at Current Agreements Subscription required

Bigpharma Partnering

February saw 34 partnering deals announced where bigpharma were at least one of the parties to the deal. This is down from the 43 deals recorded in the previous month.

Most active during the month with 4 deals was Novartis and Pfizer.

For Pfizer the key deal was signed with Takeda for co-promotion of tofacitinib.

The key terms were:

  • Co-promotion agreement in Japan for the investigational drug tofacitinib (development code: CP-690,550), formerly known as tasocitinib, which is being studied for multiple inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The co-promotion agreement between Takeda and Pfizer for Tofacitinib is for RA and certain other potential indications in Japan.
  • Pfizer will receive a milestone payment from Takeda at the launch of Tofacitinib and Takeda will receive a percentage of sales (based on certain conditions specified in the contract) as a co-promotion fee from Pfizer.
  • Contractual details are not disclosed.

For Novartis the key deal was signed with InVivoScribe for collaborative R&D, development and licensing agreement for companion diagnostic test for FLT3 positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients.

The key terms were:

  • Collaboration agreement with Novartis to develop and commercialize a companion diagnostic test.
  • The test aims to identify FLT3 positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients for specific use in connection with the Novartis development compound, midostaurin (PKC412).
  • Invivoscribe and LabPMM will develop, manufacture and work with the Novartis
  • Molecular Diagnostics (MDx) unit to obtain regulatory approval for the companion diagnostic.
  • Invivoscribe and Novartis MDx will then work together to make the companion diagnostic for treatment of AML available throughout the world

Deal Update Articles

Recent deals and alliances in life sciences - here's our take:

Gilead moves into cancer with acquisition of Calistoga

Gilead is making the bold move in the oncology field and taking on competitors such as Pfizer, Roche and Novartis, through the acquisition of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals.

Forest swallows Clinical Data in $1.2 billion buyout

Only weeks after Clinical Data obtained approval for a new antidepressant, Forest has acquired the company in a deal worth $1.2 billion.

AVEO and Astellas in $1.4 billion development deal

In return for a whopping $1.4 billion deal, Astellas gets its hands on AVEO's tivozanib, currenty in development for kidney cancer.

Sanofi - Genzyme deal finally goes through

French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis has finally struck a deal to acquire U.S. biotech company Genzyme for $20.1 billion plus future payments based on the performance of Genzyme's experimental multiple sclerosis drug, Lemtrada.

Danaher finally gets Beckman Coulter

Investors reacted positively to Danaher's announcement that it had agreed to acquire Beckman Coulter for an overall total of $6.8 billion, its biggest ever takeover deal. Danaher's stock was up 2% on the deal news, reflecting the consensus that diagnostics has a positive future what with ageing populations around the world.


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