Fierce Pharma Asia—Novartis and BeiGene's PD-1 breakup; Genentech's PeptiDream deal; Biocon's new CEO

BeiGene and Novartis have parted ways on the PD-1 drug tislelizumab. Roche's Genentech signed a radiopharmaceutical-peptide conjugate deal with Japan's PeptiDream. Biocon named its CDMO subsidiary's former chief as the new group CEO. And more.

1. After TIGIT divorce, Novartis returns tislelizumab to BeiGene as PD-1 gains first European nod

Novartis has terminated its tislelizumab deal with BeiGene, citing the changing PD-1 inhibitor landscape. The news comes two months after the two parted ways on BeiGene’s TIGIT candidate ociperlimab. Meanwhile, tislelizumab has won its first ex-China approval, as the European Commission cleared its use in previously treated esophageal cancer. The FDA also accepted a new application in the front-line setting.

2. Genentech sees more potential in peptides, signs $1B biobucks deal with PeptiDream

Genentech has tapped Japan’s PeptiDream to develop radioisotope-peptide conjugates, which use peptides as guides to deliver radiotherapy payloads. The Roche unit is paying $40 million upfront, plus potential milestones of up to $1 billion. PeptiDream also counts Merck & Co., Eli Lilly and newly IPO-ed RayzeBio among its collaborators.

3. Biocon's Peter Bains jumps from the board to group CEO amid company's expansion push

Biocon has named Peter Bains as its new group CEO. Bains has previously led the Indian company’s CDMO arm Syngene for five years. He will step down from Biocon’s board as part of the appointment and report directly to Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

4. For Biocon Biologics' CEO, the Humira biosimilar clash isn't only about market share

Meanwhile, biosimilars are a key growth area for Biocon, and the company is in the middle of the fierce biosimilar clash targeting AbbVie’s Humira. But its biologics unit chief, Shreehas Tambe, said the battle doesn’t solely revolve around market share. He believes the right pricing strategy, reliable global supply and the delivery device are key to success.

5. Takeda settles antitrust lawsuit over gout drug Colcrys after trial kicked off

Takeda has reached a settlement with drug wholesalers in a pay-for-delay lawsuit. The plaintiffs accused Takeda and some generics makers of using anticompetitive deals to delay generic entry to the Japanese pharma’s gout drug Colcrys. Other defendants in the lawsuit include Endo’s Par Pharmaceutical, Amneal and Teva through its acquisition of Watson Laboratories.

6. Samsung Biologics adds to BMS manufacturing partnership with new $242M antibody agreement

Samsung Biologics penned a deal with Bristol Myers Squibb to produce drug substance for an unnamed commercial cancer antibody. The contract is worth about $242 million, and the manufacturing will take place at the CDMO’s brand-new Plant 4 in Incheon, South Korea. This is an expansion of the two companies’ long-running partnership.

7. India's Torrent scouts for funding to make a play for larger rival Cipla: Reuters

A major consolidation may be brewing in India’s drug industry. Torrent Pharmaceuticals is looking to secure financing of about $3 billion to $4 billion for a stake in Cipla, Reuters reports. For about 60% of Cipla’s share that would be up for grabs if Cipla’s founding family sells their holdings, a deal would be worth as much as $7 billion, potentially making it India’s largest pharma deal, according to Bernstein analysts.

Other News of Note

8. Astellas touts 2-year trial of geographic atrophy drug Izervay but shares few details

9. CDMOs SK pharmteco, Oxford Biomedica make cell and gene therapy manufacturing M&A plays

10. Takeda revives Eohilia hopes with FDA resubmission (Tracker)