News of Note—Roche's blockbuster licensing deal; FibroGen's roxadustat application and more

Roche's gene therapy licensing deal with Sarepta headlines today's news of note. (Pixabay)

> In a blockbuster licensing deal, Roche is paying Sarapta more than $1 billion up front for ex-U.S. rights to a Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy candidate. Under the agreement, Sarepta is eligible for up to $1.7 billion in milestones and royalties. The deal comes right after Roche built up its gene therapy presence through its Spark Therapeutics buyout. FierceBiotech story 

> FibroGen has submitted its AstraZeneca-partnered anemia med roxadustat to the FDA. The med scored an approval in China back in August. Release 

> Pfizer inked a licensing deal with Theravance Biopharma, paying $10 million up front for global rights to the company's preclinical JAK inhibitor candidates. Under the agreement, Theravance is eligible for up to $240 million in milestones, plus potential royalties. Release

> BioMarin submitted its hemophilia A gene therapy candidate valoctocogene roxaparvovec to the FDA. Meanwhile, the biotech said the European Medicines Agency accepted its application, and the drug's review at that agency will start in January. Release | Release

> Leo Pharma has sold a group of anti-hemorrhoid and dermatology drugs to Karo Pharma for €90 million ($100 million). Leo intends to focus more on innovative meds, and CFO Anders Kronborg said in a statement the “well-established portfolio will be better served by Karo Pharma and its team.” Release 

> AstraZeneca scored approval for its triple-combination therapy for COPD in China, where there are nearly 100 million patients. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are reviewing the med, which won approval as Breztri Aerosphere in Japan back in June. Release 

> Johnson & Johnson inked a buyout of Taris Biomedical, getting access to the private biotech’s drug delivery technology for bladder diseases. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Release