Takeda's rare disease business shrank in the previous two quarters, thanks to competition facing Shire's legacy hemophilia drugs and a surprise U.S. recall of Natpara. Astellas is paying Pandion Therapeutics $45 million upfront for a collaboration on Type 1 diabetes. And as Chinese biotechs rush to Hong Kong for their initial public offerings after a listing rule tweak, Shanghai-based immunotherapy player I-Mab Biopharma has chosen Nasdaq instead, aiming to raise up to $100 million. And more.
Takeda’s rare disease business is suffering. In the first half of Takeda’s fiscal year ended in September, the unit’s underlying revenue dropped 11%. Due to competitive pressure—likely from Roche’s Hemlibra—sales of Advate, once Shire’s flagship hemophilia A drug, plummeted 16% during the period to JPY 83.2 billion ($766 million). And the U.S. recall of hypoparathyroidism drug Natpara further dragged down its performance.
Astellas is teaming up with Pandion Therapeutics to work on bispecific drugs for Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases of the pancreas in a deal worth up to $795 million. Pandion will use its modular immune effector and tissue tether tech to discover and design candidates, while Astellas will take care of preclinical and clinical development and commercialization.
3. Chinese immunotherapy biotech I-Mab files for $100M Nasdaq IPO (SEC filing)
I-Mab Biopharma has filed to list on Nasdaq, planning to raise up to $100 million. The Shanghai-based company is focused on developing biologics in immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. Last year, it raised a massive $220 million in series C. The company’s lead drug, TJ202/MOR202, an anti-CD38 antibody it licensed in China from MorphoSys, is in phase 3 trial for multiple myeloma there.
Sanofi has decided to leave Bangladesh by selling its 54.64% stake in the local operation. It intends to “negotiate a collective employment guarantee clause for at least twelve months” with the buyer, the French pharma said. But the employees said they are not convinced. Pointing to GlaxoSmithKline’s recent deal to exit the country, the Sanofi Bangladesh workers are asking for compensation packages.
After selecting Ireland for its first manufacturing site outside of China, WuXi Biologics has won approval to build a 15,520-square-meter vaccine facility right next to where it’s building a biologics facility in Dundalk, Ireland. CEO Chris Chen said the project was for a single, as yet unnamed client.
6. Local immunotherapy player SinoMab eyes $223M Hong Kong IPO (Caixin story)
SinoMab BioScience plans to raise as much as HK$1.75 billion ($223 million) in a Hong Kong IPO. Chinese pharma giant Yunnan Baiyao Group pledged to subscribe for $50 million. The Hong Kong-based clinical-stage biotech focuses on immunological diseases. Its lead drug, SM03, is in late-stage studies for rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Singapore skin diagnostics company Sequential launches
Singapore skin diagnostics company Sequential is launching with a technology that uses the Asian Skin Microbiome Project’s data to give a picture of the genetics and microbiome that affect a person’s skin.