Fierce Pharma Asia—Roche's TIGIT readout; Daiichi's ADC patent win; LegoChem's $411M raise

Roche's TIGIT antibody has posted a positive phase 3 result that probably won't lead anywhere. In a win for Daiichi Sankyo, a U.S. agency has invalidated a Seagen patent. LegoChem has sold a large stake, worth $411 million, to fuel antibody-drug conjugate R&D. And more.

1. Roche racks up phase 3 TIGIT win, but trial design leaves doubts

Roche’s TIGIT drug tiragolumab delivered positive data in a phase 3 esophageal cancer trial in Asia. But the trial design means the results probably won’t lead to any approvals. The SKYSCAPER-08 trial showed that combining tiragolumab and Roche's Tecentriq with chemotherapy helped patients live longer than chemo alone did. But there’s no data supporting the contribution of the TIGIT component.

2. US agency nixes Seagen patent, handing Daiichi Sankyo a win in long-running Enhertu entanglement

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has invalidated Seagen’s so-called '039 patent at the center of a yearslong legal battle with Daiichi Sankyo. The patent covers certain peptides conjugated to an antibody through various linkers; Seagen had argued that Daiichi’s AstraZeneca-partnered Enhertu is associated with the technology. The two companies are simultaneously fighting in court.

3. LegoChem, riding ADC sugar rush, raises $411M from confectionery company

The booming antibody-drug conjugate field has attracted Korea’s confectionery giant Orion to take stake in local firm LegoChem Bioscience. Orion has become LegoChem’s largest shareholder after spending 548.5 billion South Korean won ($411 million) for a 25% stake. The investment supports LegoChem’s plan to invest 1 trillion won in R&D over the next five years.

4. J&J, AZ/Daiichi Sankyo cancer therapies lead Clarivate's annual rundown of notable new meds

In its annual drugs to watch list, Clarivate expects AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s TROP2 antibody-drug conjugate datopotamab deruxtecan will reach $2.7 billion in sales in 2029. Astellas’ CLDN18.2 agent zolbetuximab, which was recently rejected by the FDA because of third-party manufacturing issues, is projected to reach $1.1 billion by 2029.

5. After 17-year courtship, Sun and Taro finally agree on $348M buyout

Sun Pharma is finally able to bring Taro into its fold in its entirety. The Indian drugmaker agreed to pay $43 per share, or $348 million in total, for the remaining stake it didn’t already own in the Israeli manufacturer. Sun’s first attempt to acquire Taro came back in 2007, and the company had to sweeten its latest offer to win over Taro.

6. AstraZeneca to drop $26.5M in China for new production line for diabetes drugs: report

AstraZeneca will invest $26.5 million to build a new production line at its manufacturing facility in China’s Taizhou. The line will be used to make the company’s Xigduo, which is a combination of dapagliflozin and metformin hydrochloride. The British pharma’s Taizhou base was launched in 2014 and is expected to have an annual output value of $1.4 billion, according to local reports.

Other News of Note:

7. Takeda picks up 2nd FDA-approved indication for immune globulin treatment HyQvia

8. Bora plants its flag in the US with $210M acquisition of generics manufacturer Upsher-Smith

9. Windtree blows towards Lee's Pharma once again, signing new deal

10. Asia-based financial group launches $50M US biotech fund