Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda's manufacturing expansion; Leqembi's sales prospects; GSK's PrEP generics

Takeda is investing heavily in plasma-derived therapies. GlobalData expects Eisai and Biogen's Leqembi to accumulate $12.9 billion in sales through 2028. Viatris, Cipla and Aurobindo will make generic versions of GSK's long-acting HIV PrEP med in India. And more.

1. Takeda pledges close to $765M for plasma-derived therapy production site in Japan

Riding strong demand for plasma-derived therapies, Takeda has unveiled a plan to invest about 100 billion Japanese yen ($765 million) to build a new production facility in Osaka. The plant will expand the company’s plasma-based manufacturing capacity in Japan nearly fivefold and will be in operation by around 2030. The manufacturing expansion marks Takeda’s largest in Japan.

2. Eisai, Biogen's Leqembi set to generate $12.9B in sales through 2028: report

Eisai and Biogen’s Leqembi could accumulate $12.9 billion in sales through 2028 if the Alzheimer’s disease drug gets full approval from the FDA followed by favorable Medicare coverage, GlobalData estimates. Additional approvals in Europe and Japan, expected this fall, should contribute about $5 billion to the total.

3. Viatris, Cipla and Aurobindo sign up to make generics of GSK's long-acting HIV PrEP drug

The Medicines Patent Pool has granted Aurobindo, Cipla and Viatris the rights to make generic versions of GSK’s long-acting PrEP injection Apretude for low- and middle-income countries. GSK’s ViiV Healthcare licensed the patent to MPP last year, and the health organization selected the three sublicensees after a blinded assessment and on-site technical reviews.

4. Daiichi finds line of attack on once-undruggable CNS target by penning $182M Confo collaboration

In a deal worth up to 168 million euros, Daiichi Sankyo has tapped Confo Therapeutics to discover small-molecule agonists of “a previously undruggable” GPCR target in central nervous system diseases. The exact disease wasn’t shared. Belgium-based Confo also counts Regeneron and Eli Lilly among its partners. 

5. Esperion, Daiichi Sankyo milestone payment feud heats up with new lawsuit

Meanwhile, Daiichi’s milestone payment dispute with Esperion Therapeutics has escalated. After Daiichi refused to pay $300 million in milestones related to trial data, Esperion has filed a lawsuit. The dispute centers on whether the language in the agreement was specifically about overall CV risks, or if heart attacks alone count.

6. Brii Bio shelves once-promising COVID antibody combo that stood up to variants

Chinese company Brii Biosciences has decided to stop making its long-acting combination of two COVID-fighting antibodies, which boasts an approval in China. The company has also withdrawn its submission for an emergency use authorization in the U.S. The decision follows reduced demand and delayed FDA inspections at Brii’s contract manufacturer, WuXi Biologics.

7. Pharmaron snares UK grant to scale out cell and gene facility it bought from AbbVie

After buying a biologics plant in England from AbbVie in 2021, Chinese CDMO Pharmaron has recently started construction on a more than 8,000-square-meter expansion. The project is backed by a grant from the U.K.’s Life Sciences Innovation Manufacturing Fund and will support the company’s viral vectors and nucleic acid manufacturing capabilities.