Fierce Pharma Asia—Astellas' brief IRA fight; Otsuka's psychedelic buy; Takeda's court loss

Three Japanese pharma companies lead our news stories from Asia this week. Astellas has abandoned its challenge against the Inflation Reduction Act. Otsuka bought a Canadian psychedelic biotech. And Takeda has been ordered to pay AbbVie because of a manufacturing hiccup. Plus more.

1. Astellas withdraws IRA lawsuit after avoiding CMS' price negotiations list

Less than two months after filing a legal challenge against the Inflation Reduction Act, Astellas decided to pull out. The Japanese pharma has requested that a U.S. court dismiss the company’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the act. The move came after Astellas’ Pfizer-partnered prostate cancer drug Xtandi didn’t get onto the first list of drugs up for Medicare price negotiation.

2. Otsuka adopts new Mindset, dropping $59M to buy Canadian psychedelic biotech

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is paying $59 million to purchase Canadian biotech Mindset Pharma. The deal gives Otsuka a preclinical pipeline of psychedelics. The most advanced asset, MSP-1014, is a psilocybinlike conjugate still in the lead optimization phase. Mindset has suggested the drug might be useful for depression. Otsuka has two marketed antipsychotic agents—Abilify and Rexulti—partnered with Lundbeck.

3. AbbVie in line for hefty payout after Takeda breached supply contract on Lupron

A Delaware court has sided with AbbVie in a breach of contract lawsuit against Takeda. The court is granting AbbVie nearly all of the $480.6 million it was seeking in damages from the Japanese pharma over supply problems for Lupron. The court had previously ruled that Takeda breached its contract when manufacturing issues at its plant led to a shortage of AbbVie’s drug.

4. South Korea's Celltrion earmarks $94.5M for new manufacturing plant: reports

Celltrion plans to invest $126 million Korean won ($94.5 million) to build a new production facility at the company’s Songdo campus near Seoul, Korea Biomedical Review reports. Expected to be operational by 2027, the new facility will have an annual capacity of 8 million vials.

5. Biocon buys US plant for $7.7M, advances Viatris integration efforts and plots hires

Biocon Generics acquired Eywa Pharma’s New Jersey solid dosage manufacturing plant for $7.7 million. The facility has room to grow production capacity to 2 billion tablets or capsules a year, Biocon said. Separately, Biocon Biologics just completed the integration of Viatris’ biosimilars franchise in North America.

6. Singapore's HiRO snaps up US oncology CRO Courante

Harvest Integrated Research Organization, or HiRO, has acquired Minnesota-based Courante Oncology. With the deal, HiRO, a Singapore-based CRO, is getting a boost in oncology services and a global footprint. Financial terms were not disclosed.