Bayer to acquire Asklepios Bio in foray into gene therapy worth up to $4 billion

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bayer BAYGn.DE agreed to acquire unlisted U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical Inc for as much as $4 billion in a bet on gene therapy with the help of modified viruses.

FILE PHOTO: A bridge is decorated with the logo of a Bayer AG, a German pharmaceutical and chemical maker in Wuppertal, Germany August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

Germany’s Bayer will pay $2 billion upfront and up to an additional $2 billion in milestone payments contingent on development achievements, it said on Monday.

The North Carolina-based takeover target, also known as AskBio, is trying to use the harmless adeno-associated virus as a delivery device to bring genetic repair kits against a range of diseases into the body.Drugs and farming pesticides maker Bayer needs to upgrade its drug development pipeline amid a weaker outlook for agricultural sales and as it seeks to finalise an $11 billion settlement over claims its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

Among AskBio’s most advanced projects are early tests on volunteers of prospective treatments against Pompe disease – a rare genetic disease causing buildup of a sugar molecule inside cells – as well as against Parkinson’s disease and congestive heart failure.

Bayer said the deal complements the 2019 acquisition of BlueRock Therapeutics, a developer of stem cell therapies, and underscores Bayer’s intention to create a cell and gene therapy business.

AskBio, which was founded in 2001, and BlueRock will exchange information and collaborate but will each operate as independent entities, prompting a pledge from AskBio’s five main owners, who are co-founders or key scientists, to remain with the firm.

“We are staying on board because of the unique structure that Bayer has provided … We’ll have the ability to make our science decisions,” said Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Sheila Mikhail.

Investors TPG Capital and Vida Ventures are selling a minority stake in the company.

AskBio is also helping other companies with their gene therapy research and production and has licensed experimental drugs to external partners, which has financed much of its own drug development activities. Bayer or AskBio would not provide figures for such fee revenues.

A potential treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, invented by AskBio is currently being developed in clinical trials by Pfizer PFE.N and this month won fast track here status from U.S. regulators.

Bayer in 2018 moved to lean more strongly on external firms to improve drug development, which analysts say needs a boost to make up for an expected decline in revenues from its two pharma bestsellers from about 2024.

Credit Suisse was financial advisor while Baker McKenzie was legal counsel to Bayer. JP Morgan was financial advisor to AskBio, while Ropes & Gray was legal counsel.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Frances Kerry

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Bayer to Buy Gene-Therapy Firm AskBio for Up to $4 Billion

BERLIN—

Bayer AG


BAYRY 0.16%

said Monday it would pay as much as $4 billion for U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical Inc. to strengthen the German company’s drugmaking arm, as Bayer continues to reel from its acquisition of crops giant Monsanto.

The latest deal—for which Bayer will pay $2 billion now and as much as a further $2 billion based on future success milestones—is a bet on cutting-edge gene therapy, in which a functional gene is inserted to counter the effects of a disease caused by a missing or faulty gene.

The German company’s biggest pharmaceutical acquisition since its purchase of domestic rival Schering AG in 2006 is also an attempt to tackle one of a series of challenges that has been plaguing the inventor of aspirin, especially since its 2018 acquisition of U.S.-based Monsanto.

The $63 billion Monsanto deal was meant to give the company another big, fast-growing revenue stream besides pharmaceuticals. Instead, it has saddled Bayer with a protracted legal battle over whether Monsanto’s Roundup weedkillers cause cancer—a dispute that has pummeled Bayer’s share price. Bayer says Roundup is safe.

Then, last month, Bayer shocked investors with a warning that the coronavirus pandemic would hit its agriculture business harder than expected. Bayer has also faced setbacks in settling the Roundup lawsuits for $10.9 billion.

The profit warning cast more doubt on the rationale for the Monsanto deal and its ability to boost Bayer’s profit.

At the same time, Bayer’s drug pipeline has been worrying investors. Two of the company’s bestselling drugs—blood thinner Xarelto and eye treatment Eylea—will start to lose patent protection from around 2024.

Analysts have been concerned that Bayer doesn’t have enough promising new products in its research-and-development pipeline to make up for the expected drop in sales from the blockbusters’ patent losses.

To boost its pipeline, Bayer has been looking for drug-development partnerships or deals to license drugs that are in promising stages of clinical development.

Stefan Oelrich, chief executive of Bayer’s pharmaceutical branch, said the purchase of AskBio was slightly larger than the acquisitions Bayer had been seeking in the pharmaceutical space, but added that he was convinced after the first phone call with the U.S. company’s co-founders that it would be the “perfect fit.”

“What we now have is a comprehensive pipeline,” Mr. Oelrich said in an interview. “I feel like things are really coming together on the pharma side.”

Mr. Oelrich said it was too early to predict how much in sales the AskBio treatments are likely to generate, but added that he expects the deal to help Bayer build a leading position in gene therapy. That treatment area has been gaining momentum after setbacks occurred during the first testing in humans in the 1990s, when several patients died.

Dozens of gene therapies are now undergoing clinical trials and big drug companies have been acquiring gene-therapy firms, betting on the success of those treatments in the future.

AskBio was co-founded by Richard Jude Samulski, who pioneered the use of what are known

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The global clinical microbiology market size is projected to reach USD 5.3 billion by 2025 from USD 3.9 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 6.5%

Factors such as the technological advancements in the market are propelling the growth of the clinical microbiology market. Additionally, rising inclination epidemics like COVID-19 and investments from private and public sectors affect the growth of clinical microbiology market.

New York, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Clinical Microbiology Market by Application, Disease, Product, End User – Global Forecast to 2025” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p03887589/?utm_source=GNW
However, unfavorable reimbursement scenarios in some countries is hampering the growth of this market.

The recent COVID-19 global pandemic has also impacted the clinical microbiology market.Demand from the main end-users has declined as key regions, and countries have imposed social distancing rules and lockdowns.

This impact is expected to be short-term, and no adverse effects are to be foreseen after the market gradually reopens.

The reagent segment to witness the highest growth rate in the clinical microbiology market, by product, during the forecast period.
The reagent segment is expected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period. The high growth in this owes to the high prevalence of infectious diseases across major markets (resulting in a growing number of clinical diagnostic procedures), the increasing trend of reagent rental agreements along with instrument sales, and a rising number of life science researches in the field of specific reagents for targeted infectious disease diagnosis and treatment, especially across emerging countries.

The respiratory diseases accounted for the largest share of the clinical microbiology market, by diseases, in 2019.
The respiratory diseases segment accounted for the largest share of the clinical microbiology market in 2019.This segment is also estimated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

The large share and high growth rate of this segment can be attributed to factors such as the large patient population suffering from respiratory diseases, rising prevalence of target respiratory diseases (such as TB, asthma, COPD, and bronchitis) across developing countries, and growth in the number of epidemic outbreaks of respiratory infections.

The hospitals & diagnostics centers segment accounted for the largest share of the clinical microbiology, by end-users, in 2019
The hospitals and diagnostic centers segment accounted for the largest market share in 2019. The large share of this segment is attributed to the high incidence of target diseases (such as tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, malaria, and epidemic diseases), availability of technologically advanced products (such as molecular diagnostic products and PCR and NGS-based instruments) for infectious disease diagnosis, growing awareness among doctors and clinicians regarding the advantages offered by molecular diagnostic products for fast and effective disease diagnosis, and ongoing expansion of healthcare infrastructure across emerging countries.

The Asia Pacific market to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
The clinical microbiology market is segmented into five major regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Government efforts to increase awareness related to genome-based infectious disease diagnosis, supportive regulations for the development and commercialization of advanced clinical microbiology products, rising healthcare expenditure, an increasing number of hospitals and

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DOJ Reaches $8 Billion Settlement With OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma | Politics

Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, reached an $8 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges in connection with its role in America’s opioid crisis.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it had reached a resolution in its investigation into individual shareholders from the Sackler family, who own the pharmaceutical company.

Purdue Pharma will plead guilty in a New Jersey federal court to three felony counts, including one count of dual-object conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and two counts of conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

The deal does not release the company’s executives or owners from criminal liability and a criminal investigation is ongoing.

“The abuse and diversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and deaths, in addition to those caused by illicit street opioids,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in the announcement. “With criminal guilty pleas, a federal settlement of more than $8 billion, and the dissolution of a company and repurposing its assets entirely for the public’s benefit, the resolution in today’s announcement re-affirms that the Department of Justice will not relent in its multi-pronged efforts to combat the opioids crisis.”

According to the Justice Department, the resolution includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical company and includes a criminal fine of $3.544 billion, an additional $2 billion in criminal forfeiture and a $2.8 billion civil settlement.

Separately, the Sackler family has agreed to pay $225 million in damages.

A Rebirth Behind Bars

June 3, 2018 | Colonial Heights, Virginia | Patsy Tucker, 32, center, prays with her family during a weekly Sunday get-together at her mother's house in Colonial Heights, Va. June 3, 2018. 

Patsy started using heroin at 25, after a car accident and a prescription for opioids turned into a full-blown heroin addiction. Patsy was born to Diana McArthur, far left, when she was 16 years old. "We grew up together," Diana said. During Patsy's years of drug abuse, Diana said she couldn't imagine it ever ending. But just over two years ago, it did. Patsy found recovery when she was locked up in the Chesterfield County Jail. As she lay on the jail floor in the throws of heroin withdrawal, Sheriff Karl Leonard told her to get up - she was going to be the first female participant of HARP (Heroin Addiction Recovery Program), an in-jail, Narcotics Anonymous-styled recovery group. "The Sheriff saw in me what I couldn't see in myself," Patsy said.

Steve Miller, who became chairman of the company’s board in 2018, said in a press release that the company “deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice.”

The company filed for bankruptcy last year as it wades through thousands of civil lawsuits. As part of the resolution, Purdue Pharma would cease to operate in its current form and would instead transition to a public benefit company owned by a trust or similar entity. The new company would be operated under different ownership and “will work to provide for free or at cost millions of doses of lifesaving opioid addiction treatment and overdose reversal medicines,” the press release stated.

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The global home healthcare market size is projected to reach USD 274.7 billion by 2025 from USD 181.9 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 8.6%

during the forecast period. The market growth is mainly driven by factors such as the rapid growth in the elderly population and the rising incidence of chronic diseases, growing need for cost-effective healthcare delivery due to the increasing healthcare costs, and technological advancements in-home care devices.

New York, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Home Healthcare Market by Product, Service, Indication, Region – Global Forecast to 2025” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05208355/?utm_source=GNW
On the other hand, changing reimbursement policies, limited insurance coverage, and concerns regarding patient safety are factors limiting the growth of the market to a certain extent. The growing popularity of telehealth and untapped developing regions present significant growth opportunities for players in the home healthcare market.

The cancer segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period.
Based on indication, the global home healthcare market is segmented into cancer, respiratory diseases, mobility disorders, cardiovascular diseases & hypertension, pregnancy, wound care, diabetes, hearing disorders, and other indications.The cancer segment accounted for the largest share of the home healthcare market in 2019.

The large share of this segment can primarily be attributed to the high prevalence of cancer cases across the globe and the transforming healthcare system, which allows the management of cancer at home.

Testing, screening & monitoring segment will witness the highest growth in the home healthcare products market.
Based on products, the home healthcare market is segmented into testing, screening, and monitoring products; therapeutic products; and mobility care products.The testing, screening, and monitoring products are expected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

The high growth of this segment can primarily be attributed to factors such as the rising emphasis on preventive medicine and an increasing number of patients with chronic diseases. The potential to reduce healthcare complications and ensure the portability of devices with high accuracy is also expected to create a significant demand for monitoring and testing devices in the coming year.

North America will dominate the market during the forecast period.
Geographically, the home healthcare market is segmented into North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.In 2019, North America accounted for the largest share of the home healthcare market.

The large share of this region in the global market is attributed to the rising prevalence of chronic conditions, high healthcare expenditure, high disposable income, the increasing overall geriatric population, high disposable income, and the presence of superior healthcare infrastructure.

The primary interviews conducted for this report can be categorized as follows:
• By Company Type – Tier 1: 36%, Tier 2: 45%, and Tier 3: 19%
• By Designation – C-level: 33%, D-level: 40%, and Others: 27%
• By Region – North America: 36%, Europe: 28%, Asia Pacific: 19%, and Rest of the World: 17%

List of Companies Profiled in the Report
• Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA (Germany)
• GE Healthcare (US)
• Linde plc (Ireland)
• F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (Switzerland)
• A&D Company (Japan)
• BAYADA Home

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Research Antibodies and Reagents Market worth $14.1 Billion by 2025

CHICAGO, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — According to the new market research report Research Antibodies and Reagents Market by Product (Antibodies (Type, Form, Source, Research Area), Reagents), Technology (Western blotting, Flow Cytometry), Application (Proteomics, Drug Development), End User – COVID-19 Impact – Global Forecast to 2025“, published by MarketsandMarkets™, the global market size is projected to reach USD 14.1 billion by 2025 from USD 10.1 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period.

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The growth is due to evolution of market owing to factors such as growth in proteomics and genomics research, rising demand for high-quality antibodies for research reproducibility, and increasing R&D activity and expenditure in the life sciences industry. Fueled by the growing demand for personalized medicine and structure-based drug design, the global market is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years.

Browse in-depth TOC on “Research Antibodies and Reagents Market”

220 – Tables
45 – Figures
278 – Pages

Download PDF Brochure:

https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/pdfdownloadNew.asp?id=94212793

The COVID-19 outbreak has boosted research activity due to efforts to understand the dynamics of the infection. We estimate that the major share of research antibody and reagent manufacturing, along with personalized medicine, will grow at a stable pace in the next five years. Due to the increase in research activity, both the availability of funding for research and the demand & manufacturing of reagents and antibodies are expected to grow. As companies after pandemic have scaled up their operations for testing and tracking the infection of COVID-19. This has given a chance for growth in profits for companies operating in the NGS and PCR markets. The growth in revenue is 5–7%, as COVID-19 testing has increased with the use of the latest technology of genetic and molecular testing. The shift in demand for research for COVID-19, neurobiology, and oncology has created a huge scope for testing solutions, such as western blotting, flow cytometry, ELISA, and drugs for researchers and laboratories.

The antibodies segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period

Based on product, the research antibodies market is segmented into reagents and antibodies. The antibodies segment is expected to grow at highest CAGR in forecast period. This is due to the research-use antibodies offer high specificity and selectivity and are used ubiquitously in biochemical and medical research for protein-target identification, regulatory characterization, and discovery.

The primary antibodies segment is accounts for the largest share of the research reagents market

Based type, the research reagents market is segmented into primary antibodies and secondary antibodies. The primary antibodies segment held the largest share of the global research antibodies market in 2019. This segment is witnessing a strong growth due to the use of these antibodies in numerous types of assay formats. Their accuracy in biomarker detection and their high specificity and sensitivity are also driving their adoption

The media & sera reagent is expected to account for the largest share of the market, by type, in 2019

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UN stockpiling billion syringes for Covid-19 vaccine

The United Nations said Monday it would stockpile one billion syringes around the world by the end of 2021, to be used for the delivery of any future coronavirus vaccine.

UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, said it aims to get 520 million syringes in its warehouses by the end of this year, to guarantee an initial supply in countries ahead of the vaccine.

“The world will need as many syringes as doses of vaccine,” UNICEF said in a statement.

UNICEF said it was also buying five million safety boxes for used syringes.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed 40 million on Monday, according to an AFP tally based on official sources. More than 1.1 million deaths have been recorded across the globe.

“Vaccinating the world against Covid-19 will be one of the largest mass undertakings in human history, and we will need to move as quickly as the vaccines can be produced,” said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore.

“By the end of the year, we will already have over half a billion syringes pre-positioned where they can be deployed quickly and cost effectively.”

The syringes will be used by Covax, the international coronavirus vaccine procurement, production and distribution pool created by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Covax is run by the Gavi vaccine alliance, which will reimburse UNICEF for the syringes.

A public-private partnership, Gavi helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the deadliest diseases on the planet.

Syringes have a five-year shelf life and tend to be shipped by sea, rather than vaccines, which are heat-sensitive and transported more quickly by air freight.

The billion syringes come on top of the 620 million that UNICEF would purchase for other vaccination programmes against diseases such as measles and typhoid.

The WHO says 42 vaccine candidates are currently being tested on humans, of which 10 have reached the mass testing third and final stage.

A further 156 are being worked on in laboratories in preparation for human testing.

Typically, only around 10 percent of vaccine candidates make it through the trials.

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