Servier - Intarcia

Back in November, Boston-based Intarcia closed a more-than-billion-dollar deal with France's Servier to commercialize its late-stage diabetes dosing device, setting the stage for a smaller Novartis ($NVS) deal and a sizable investment in 2015.

Intarcia has been developing a subcutaneous implant for diabetics that would offer a novel dosing approach, giving a patient consistent pumping of exenatide to control blood sugar for up to a year at a time. Servier's deal came in the form of $171 million up front, three early-stage regulatory milestones for $230 million and up to $650 million down the road in development and sales milestones.

The company has been picking up these large sums since the spring of 2013, when it nabbed a $200 million investment. And these amounts of money are what it takes to compete with diabetes heavyweights Sanofi ($SNY), Novo Nordisk ($NVO), Merck ($MRK) and Eli Lilly ($LLY)--especially for a newcomer such as Intarcia.

Teaming up with Servier back in November was an important step for Intarcia on its way to this year's deals, which included a development deal in March with Novartis on a diabetes cell therapy, along with $44 million investments, as well as $225 million from unnamed investors just this April. That brought its total public investments to $806 million, and with earlier investments taken into account, close to $1 billion.

It could be said that the deal with Servier got the ball rolling on that front.

Intarcia CEO Kurt Graves

"We are already the highest valued private biotech company in history with world-class investors, and now we are firmly set up to retain full control of the U.S. operations as we continue on our path to build a fully capable and disruptively innovative biotech company with a pipeline of game changing, once-yearly medicines," boasted Intarcia CEO Kurt Graves in a statement at the time of the Servier deal. "We are very pleased to partner with Servier, who shares our passion and vision for ITCA 650, and the goal of leveraging our technologies to open up a totally new way of delivering important GLP-1 therapy to patients with type 2 diabetes."

-- Michael Gibney (email | Twitter)

For more:
Servier gambling up to $1B-plus on Intarcia's PhIII diabetes drug/device
Intarcia's annual diabetes treatment aces two Phase III trials
Intarcia's once-a-year diabetes treatment shines in early PhIII results
Special Report: FierceBiotech's 2007 Fierce 15 - Intarcia Therapeutics

Servier - Intarcia
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