PureTech, Nektar put an end to deal discussions, citing too much 'uncertainty' – Endpoints News

In a twist of events, PureTech and Nektar said the media frenzy around their merger talks has pushed them to call things off for now.
London-based PureTech put out a release last week disclosing it “has exchanged indicative, non-binding proposals with Nektar Therapeutics” regarding a possible combination, “which may include, amongst other things, an offer for share capital of PureTech.” The statement, it added, was made in response to unspecified media speculation.
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With household names like Botox and cancer treatment Keytruda, it’s no surprise that the global injectable drugs market is expected to top $1.2 trillion between 2022 and 2030. With a projected 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in that same period, the market is quickly expanding to provide desperately needed treatments in areas like oncology and orphan disease to psychiatric disorders and immunodeficiencies.
This article was published prior to the announcement of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Congratulations to Dr. Bertozzi, Dr. Meldal, and Dr. Sharpless.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, which is nearly one in six deaths. Recently, we have seen incredible advances in novel cancer therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, cell therapies, and antibody-drug conjugates that have revamped cancer care and improved survival rates for patients.
Novartis’ blockbuster gene therapy Zolgensma has proven to be a major success story as a spinal muscular atrophy treatment, helping children who might not otherwise be able to stand or walk due to the rare condition.
But last week, the journal Nature Biotechnology surfaced a new flaw in the therapy’s earliest phase of development, and despite the authors’ objections, the journal retracted an article from February 2010 noting “multiple inaccuracies in the reported mouse lifespans and in the animal inclusions and exclusions.”
Amid what one member of the European Parliament called “SMS-gate,” a Pfizer executive on Monday denied that the company’s vaccine deal with the bloc could have been negotiated via text message.
The news comes months after the European Ombudsman condemned the Commission’s handling of requests for text messages between president Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. The texts reportedly led to Pfizer’s European deal for 1.8 billion vaccine doses, the New York Times reported last April. But upon a public records request, the Commission said it hadn’t located any of the alleged texts.
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As it continues to fight for its merger with Grail, an early-detection cancer test company, the sequencing behemoth Illumina is making another push into drug development.
Tuesday morning, Illumina and AstraZeneca announced a partnership for AI drug discovery. Illumina will pitch in two AI tools — PrimateAI, which predicts diseases from mutations using primate data, and SpliceAI, which predicts how pre-mRNA sequences are cut. AstraZeneca brings its own set of AI tools, including JARVIS, which looks at non-coding genes. The initial phase of the collaboration is set to go for six months, after which “the two companies will assess opportunities for a long-term partnership,” Illumina’s chief strategy officer Joydeep Goswami told Endpoints News in an email.
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Groceries, home goods, auto care and … clinical trial recruitment?
Walmart has joined the wave of health and retail conglomerates jumping in on pharmaceutical research, unveiling the new Walmart Healthcare Research Institute (WHRI) on Tuesday. While the retail chain won’t be running actual trials, its initial focus will be on identifying patients who may benefit from studies in chronic conditions, CMO John Wigneswaran told Endpoints News. 
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With the number of biopharma acquisitions in 2022 so far falling below recent years, the investment bank SVB Securities on Sunday published a new report on M&A and where there may be some action in the near term.
As far as the acquirers, the report notes that large biopharma companies’ execs have a “broad appetite for M&A and BD,” and companies like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are both carrying cash balances of about $33 billion each as of June 30, while other companies like Novartis with $20 billion, and Bristol Myers Squibb with $13 billion, can take the lead.
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Move over Facebook, pharma marketers are getting hip to TikTok. Amgen and AstraZeneca are two of the newest — with branded work for co-marketed severe asthma med Tezspire — joining the influx of pharma companies piloting marketing efforts on the social video channel.
Amgen and AZ debuted their effort by adopting popular TikTok trends to better connect with users. For instance, the team is using the “Tell me without telling me” trend in its newest post in which a young woman says, “Tell me you have severe asthma without telling me. I’ll go first.” She then runs down a daily checklist including checking air quality, never leaving home without her inhaler and taking the Tezspire her allergist added to her treatment plan.
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The computational chemistry experts at Nimbus have always taken pride in selecting compelling targets and deploying a structure-based approach to drug them. Eli Lilly is now swooping in to partner on one such target.
In a $496 million deal — which covers research funding as well as milestones — Lilly wants Nimbus to come up with isoform-selective small molecule activators of AMPK. Finding the right way to activate AMPK, the companies say, can open the door to new treatments for diabetes, obesity and related disorders.
Bioscience & Technology Business Center
The University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
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