Top 20 Life Sciences Deals of 2020 by Total Deal Value

 Top 20 Life Sciences Deals of 2020 by Total Deal Value

Top 20 Life Sciences Deals of 2020 by Total Deal Value

  • Life sciences companies are gearing up to enter new markets as they look to secure their positions after a spate of M&A, licensing, and research partnerships in 2020
  • Artios partnered with Merck with an option to license up to 8 oncology programs proving to be the highest valued deal of 2020 with a total deal value of $6.9B. The second-highest deal valued at $6B was Daiichi Sankyo’s development and commercialization deal with AstraZeneca for DS-1062
  • This article is based on the 2020 biotech and pharma deals data as provided by Chris Dokomajilar of DealForma. Our team at PharmaShots curated the top 20 deals in healthcare and life sciences by disclosed total deal value in R&D partnerships

20. insitro’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Bristol Myers Squibb

Deal Date: Oct 28, 2020

Deal Value: $2.07B

insitro granted Bristol Myers Squibb rights to develop and commercialize therapies for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). insitro will apply its platform, the insitro Human (ISH) platform, to generate induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived disease models for ALS and FTD to provide insights into disease progression after which BMS has the option to select a few targets for further clinical development and commercialization. Insitro received $50M up front and is eligible for up to $20M in operational and up to $2B in discovery, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, plus royalties.

19. Silence Therapeutics’ Development and Commercialization Deal with AstraZeneca

Deal Date: Mar 25, 2020

Deal Value: $2.08B

Silence Therapeutics granted AstraZeneca rights to develop and commercialize 5 liver-based small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapies for cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, and respiratory diseases using Silence’s established GalNAc-siRNA platform. AstraZeneca and Silence will conduct discovery research on the 5 targets during a 3-year research period. Silence is responsible for designing siRNA molecules against gene targets selected by AstraZeneca, and for manufacturing of material to support GLP toxicology studies and Phase I clinical studies. AstraZeneca will lead clinical development and commercialization. AstraZeneca has the option to extend the partnership for a further 5 targets. Silence has the option to co-develop 2 programs of their choice starting from Phase II. Silence received $60M up front, a $20M upfront equity investment, a potential $10M option fee for each selected target, and is eligible for up to $140M in development milestones and up to $250M in commercial milestones for each target, plus high single-digit to low double-digit tiered royalties.

18. UCB’s Research Partnership with Roche and Genentech with an Option to License for UCB0107

Deal Date: July 29, 2020

Deal Value: $2.12B     

UCB granted Roche and Genentech an exclusive, worldwide option to license the development and commercialization of UCB0107 for the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Alzheimer’s Disease. UCB will fund and conduct a proof-of-concept study in Alzheimer’s Disease after which Genentech has the option to either progress with the development or return full rights to UCB. UCB received $120M up front. If Genentech exercises its option, UCB is eligible to receive up to $2B in cost reimbursement, development, and sales-based milestones, plus royalties.

17. Denali’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Biogen for DNL151

Deal Date: Aug 6, 2020

Deal Value: $2.15B

Denali granted Biogen rights to co-develop and co-commercialize Denali’s small molecule leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) inhibitor program, DNL151, for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, Biogen has an exclusive option to license up to 2 preclinical programs including its Antibody Transport Vehicle (ATV), Abeta program (ATV enabled anti-amyloid beta program), and a second program utilizing its TV technology. Biogen also has the right of first negotiation on 2 additional TV-enabled therapeutics. Both companies will co-commercialize DNL151 in the US and China. Denali received $560M up front, $465M as an equity investment, and is eligible for up to $1.125B in development and commercial milestones for DNL151, plus royalties. Biogen and Denali will share responsibility and development costs on a 60:40 basis globally, share costs, profits, and losses 50:50 in the US, and 60:40 in China for the LRRK2 program.

16. Skyhawk’s Research Partnership with Vertex with an Option to License Small Molecules

Deal Date: December 22, 2020

Deal Value: $2.24B

Skyhawk signed a research partnership with Vertex to develop small molecule therapies that modulate RNA splicing using Skyhawk’s SkySTAR platform for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Vertex has a worldwide option to license intellectual property rights to compounds developed under the collaboration. Skyhawk will receive $40M up front and is eligible for up to $2.2B in milestones, plus royalties if Vertex exercises the option.

15. Kymera Therapeutics’ Development and Commercialization Deal with Sanofi for Inflammatory Diseases

Deal Date: July 9, 2020

Deal Value: $2.33B

Kymera granted Sanofi exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize 2 programs outside of oncology/immuno-oncology: a preclinical IRAK4 lead compound for immune-inflammatory diseases and an earlier stage program for an undisclosed use. Kymera is responsible for discovery and preclinical research and conducting a Phase 1 trial for at least 1 protein degrader directed against IRAK4, plus up to 3 backup degraders. Sanofi will be responsible for further clinical development and commercialization and will also be responsible for all clinical development activities for the second program. Kymera has the option to co-develop and co-commercialize both programs in the US and share all the costs and profits equally. Kymera will receive $150M up front and is eligible for up to $1.48B in the development milestones (more than $1B of the $1.48B relates to IRAK4 dev. and reg. events), up to $700M in sales milestones ($400M of the $700M relates to IRAK4), plus tiered royalties from the high single digits to high teens, subject to low-single digits upward adjustments in certain circumstances.

14. Taiho and Astex’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Merck

Deal Date: Jan 6, 2020

Deal Value: $2.55B

Taiho and Astex granted Merck exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Taiho and Astex’s combined small molecule and data for the treatment of cancer. Taiho and Astex received $50M up front, undisclosed R&D funding, and are eligible for up to $2.5B in milestones, plus royalties. Also, Taiho has co-commercialization rights in Japan and an option to promote in specific areas of South East Asia.

13. Nurix’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Sanofi for Cancer

Deal Date: Jan 9, 2020

Deal Value: $2.58B

Nurix granted Sanofi exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize immuno-oncology therapeutics discovered by Nurix using its DELigase platform. Nurix’s drug discovery platform integrates DNA-encoded libraries and a portfolio of E3 ligases to create small molecules designed to induce protein degradation of drug targets. Nurix granted Sanofi 3 specific targets and Sanofi has the option to expand to 5 targets. Sanofi is responsible for clinical development and commercialization. Nurix has the option to co-develop and co-promote up to 2 products in the US under certain conditions. The partnership excludes Nurix’s lead degradation programs for which Nurix retains all rights. Nurix received $55M up front, undisclosed option payments for additional targets, and is eligible for up to $2.5B in total payments including undisclosed research, preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and sales milestones. If Nurix exercises its option to co-develop and co-promote certain products, the partners will split US profits and losses for those products 50/50. Nurix to receive undisclosed royalties on ex-U.S. net sales on all optioned products. In January 2021, Nurix received $22M following Sanofi exercising its option for a total of five targets.

12. Precision BioSciences’ Development and Commercialization Deal with Eli Lilly

Deal Date: Nov 20, 2020

Deal Value: $2.66B

Precision BioSciences granted Eli Lilly exclusive rights to develop and commercialize in vivo therapies for genetic disorders with the initial focus on Duchenne muscular dystrophy and 2 undisclosed gene targets by applying Precision’s ARCUS genome editing platform. Eli Lilly will have an option to expand the partnership to 3 additional targets. Precision BioSciences received $100M up front, $35M in an upfront equity purchase of its common stock, and is eligible for up to $420M per product in development, regulatory, and sales milestones (up to $2.52B for 6 targets), plus tiered royalties ranging from the mid-single digits to low-teens.

11. Sangamo’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Biogen

Deal Date: Feb 27, 2020

Deal Value: $2.72B

Sangamo granted Biogen exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize gene regulation therapies, including ST-501, for the treatment of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease, ST-502 for the treatment of synucleinopathies, including Parkinson’s disease, a third undisclosed neuromuscular disease target, and up to nine additional undisclosed neurological disease targets using Sangamo’s zinc finger protein (ZFP) technology. Sangamo received $125M up front, $225M in upfront equity for approximately 24M shares at $9.21 per share, and is eligible for up to $2.37B in milestones, plus royalties.

10. Schrodinger’s Development and Commercialization Deal with BMS

Deal Date: Nov 23, 2020

Deal Value: $2.76B

Schrodinger granted BMS exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune, and neurologic diseases using Schrodinger’s physics-based computational platform. Schrodinger received $55M up front and is eligible for up to $2.7B in preclinical, development, regulatory, and sales milestones, plus royalties.

09. Repare’s Development and Commercialization Deal with BMS for Oncology

Deal Date: May 26, 2020

Deal Value: $3.06B     

Repare granted BMS exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize multiple oncology products using Repare’s SNIPRx synthetic lethal discovery platform for the treatment of cancer. Repare’s SNIPRx platform is a genome-wide CRISPR-based screening approach that utilizes proprietary isogenic cell lines to identify novel and known synthetic lethal gene pairs and the corresponding patients who are most likely to benefit from therapies based on the genetic profile of their tumors. Repare received $65M up front comprised of $50M in cash and $15M in an upfront equity investment and is eligible for up to $3B in license fees and milestone payment, plus royalties.

08. Fate Therapeutics’ License Option Deal with Janssen Biotech for Cancer

Deal Date: Apr 2, 2020

Deal Value: $3.1B

Fate Therapeutics granted Janssen exclusive, worldwide option to develop and commercialize up to four iPSC-derived chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) NK and CAR T-cell therapies using Fate’s iPSC product platform for the treatment of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Janssen will reimburse development cost until IND after which Janssen has the right to exercise its option. Fate received $50M up front, a $50M upfront equity investment at $31.00 per share, and is eligible for up to $1.8B in development and regulatory milestones and up to $1.2B in commercial milestone, plus double-digit royalties. Additionally, Fate has the option to co-commercialize and share equally in profits and losses in the US in place of certain clinical development costs and adjustments in milestone and royalty payments.

07. Sage Therapeutics’ Development and Commercialization Deal with Biogen

Deal Date: Nov 27, 2020

Deal Value: $3.12B

Sage Therapeutics granted Biogen exclusive rights to develop and commercialize zuranolone for the treatment of the major depressive disorder (MDD), postpartum depression (PPD), and other psychiatric disorders, and SAGE-324 for the treatment of tremor and other neurological disorders outside the US excluding rights to zuranolone in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Sage received $875M in upfront cash and $650M in upfront equity in exchange for approximately 6.2M newly issued shares of Sage common stock at $104.14 per share and is eligible for up to $1.6B in development and commercial milestones. Both companies will equally share the responsibility and development costs and profits for commercialization in the US, whereas Biogen will be responsible for development and commercialization outside the US excluding Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea for which Sage will receive royalties.

06. Alteogen’s Development and Commercialization Deal with an Undisclosed Company

Deal Date: June 24, 2020

Deal Value: $3.88B

Alteogen granted an undisclosed company non-exclusive, worldwide rights to ALT-B4, Alteogen’s Hybrozyme technology, a hyaluronidase-derived technology used for subcutaneous administration of biologic products which are otherwise administered as an IV injection. The undisclosed company has the right to elect to develop additional products in combination with ALT-B4 upon achievement of a pre-specified milestone. Alteogen will be responsible for regulatory development and commercial supply of ALT-B4. Alteogen received $16M up front and is eligible for up to $3.865B in development, regulatory, and sales-based milestones.

05. Genmab’s Development and Commercialization Deal with AbbVie for Cancer

Deal Date: June 10, 2020

Deal Value: $3.9B

Genmab granted AbbVie worldwide rights to co-develop and co-commercialize three bispecific antibody programs: epcoritamab (DuoBody-CD3xCD20), DuoHexaBody-CD37, and DuoBody-CD3x5T4 using AbbVie’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform for the treatment of hematological cancers. Additionally, AbbVie has the option to develop four additional antibody-based therapeutics using Genmab’s DuoBody technology and AbbVie’s ADC technology for solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Both companies will be responsible for the co-commercialization of epcoritamab in the US and Japan and will be responsible for the worldwide development and commercialization of DuoHexaBody-CD37, DuoBody-CD3x5T4, and any product candidates developed under the agreement in the US and Japan. Genmab has the right to co-commercialize these products outside of the US and Japan and AbbVie has the right to opt-in to program development. Genmab received $750M up front and is eligible for up to $1.15B in development and commercial milestones for epcoritamab (DuoBody-CD3xCD20), DuoHexaBody-CD37, and DuoBody-CD3x5T4 and up to $2B in success-based milestones for additional antibody product candidates developed under the collaboration, plus 26% royalties for epcoritamab outside the US and Japan. Both companies will share profits on a 50:50 basis.

04. Seagen’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Merck

Deal Date: Sep 14, 2020

Deal Value: $4.2B

Seagen (formerly Seattle Genetics) granted Merck exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize ladiratuzumab vedotin, a Phase II antibody-drug conjugate targeting LIV-1 for the treatment of cancer. The partners will develop ladiratuzumab as a monotherapy and in combination with Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, and other LIV-1-expressing solid tumors. Seagen will be responsible for the marketing applications in the US and Canada and will book sales in the US, Europe, and Canada. Merck will be responsible for the marketing applications in Europe and other territories and will book sales worldwide excluding the US, Europe, and Canada. The partners will share development costs and profit equally. Seagen received $600M in cash and Merck invested $1B in Seagen common stock by purchasing 5M shares at $200.00 per share. Also, Seagen is eligible to receive up to $850M in development milestones and up to $1.75B based on sales performance. The partners will share costs and profits equally.

03. Myovant’s Development and Commercialization Deal with Pfizer for Orgovyx

Deal Date: December 28, 2020

Deal Value: $4.25B

Myovant Sciences granted Pfizer rights to develop and commercialize Orgovyx (relugolix) for prostate cancer and relugolix combination tablet (relugolix 40 mg, estradiol 1.0 mg, and norethindrone acetate 0.5 mg) for women’s health in the US and Canada. Pfizer has an exclusive option to commercialize relugolix in oncology outside the US and Canada, excluding certain Asian countries. Both companies will equally share profits and expenses for Orgovyx and relugolix combination tablets. Myovant will receive $650M up front and is eligible for up to $200M in regulatory milestones for FDA approvals for the relugolix combination tablet in women’s health and up to $3.35B in sales-based milestones upon reaching certain thresholds up to $2.5B. If Pfizer exercises its option, Myovant will receive $50M and will be eligible for double-digit royalties.

02. Daiichi Sankyo’s Development and Commercialization Deal with AstraZeneca for DS-1062

Deal Date: July 27, 2020

Deal Value: $6B

Daiichi Sankyo granted AstraZeneca worldwide rights to develop and commercialize DS-1062, a trophoblast cell-surface antigen 2 (TROP2)-directed antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) for the treatment of multiple tumors. Both companies will equally share development and commercialization costs and profits worldwide whereas Daiichi Sankyo will be responsible for all costs and will pay mid-single-digit royalties to AstraZeneca for Japan. Daiichi Sankyo received $1B up front and is eligible for up to $1B in regulatory milestones and up to $4B in sales-based milestones.

01. Artios’ Research Partnership with Merck with an Option to License up to 8 Oncology Targets

Deal Date: Dec 3, 2020

Deal Value: $6.9B

Artios signed a research partnership with Merck to discover and develop therapies using Artios’ nuclease targeting discovery platform for the treatment of cancer. Merck has an exclusive, worldwide option to license the development and commercialization of up to 8 cancer targets. Additionally, Artios has opt-in rights for joint development and commercialization with Merck. Artios received $30M in upfront and near-term payments. If Merck chooses to exercise the option, Artios will receive undisclosed option fees and is eligible for up to $860M in milestones for each target, plus royalties.


Tuba Khan

Tuba Khan is Senior Editor at PharmaShots. She is curious, creative, and passionate about recent updates and innovation in the Life sciences industry. She covers Biopharma, MedTech, and Digital health segments. Tuba also has an experience of digital and social media marketing and runs the campaigns independently. She can be contacted on tuba@pharmashots.com

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