September sees the most licensing deals of the year so far
Minhua Chu ·10/28/2021
China Deals Tracker

China biopharamceutical companies closed 22 licensing deals on innovartive drugs in September 2021, the highest number so far this year.

Among the 22 deals, 14 were worth $2.566 billion. Dominating the dealmaking space in September, Everest Medicines and Innovent Biologics announced deals worth $1.06 billion and $529 million, respectively, representing 62% of the total value of all disclosed deals.

Everest obtains mRNA vaccines and other assets

In September, Everest announced four licensing deals, three of which were valued at over $100 million. The amount of one deal remains undisclosed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has ramped up the pursuit of mRNA technology. Everest also joins the mRNA vaccine team through the deal with Providence Therapeutics. Per the agreement, Everest will pay $50 million in cash upfront to hold mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates in certain Asian emerging markets, including Greater China. The deal also included $100 million profit-sharing and outside of China and Singapore, mid-teens royalties in other regions.

The two companies reached another separate agreement to develop prophylactic or therapeutic products based on Providence’s mRNA technology platform. The deal includes $50 million upfront in cash and up to $300 million milestone payments, the second most highly valued deal of the month.  

Just four days later, Everest signed a third licensing deal with Suzhou Sinovent Pharmaceuticals and SinoMab BioSciences for XNW1011, also known as SN1011.

Everest will pay $12 million upfront and up to $549 million in milestones for the BTK inhibitor for renal diseases. This was the highest-valued deal of the month.

The Shanghai-based company also signed a multi-year partnership and licensing agreement with Canadian biotechnology firm AbCellera to discover therapeutic antibodies for up to 10 targets. The deal amount did not disclose.

Innovent expands its pipeline through two deals

Innovent signed two licensing deals this month as well. One was with Union Therapeutics to obtain the exclusive development and commercialization rights of orismilast in China. Innovent will pay $20 million upfront and up to $247 million in  milestones and tiered royalty payments based on its sales in China.

Developed originally by LEO Pharma, Orismilast is a potent next-generation PDE4 inhibitor for inflammatory dermatology conditions.

Its other deal is with Shanghai biotechnology company GenFleet Therapeutics. Innovent paid an upfront of $22 million to get the exclusive right to develop and market GenFleet’s lead KRAS G12C candidate, GFH925 in Greater China. The deal also includes $50 million development support, $240 million milestones and tiered royalties based on the annual sales. Innovent will reatin additional option-in rights for global development and commercialization.

Keywords: licensing deals September Chinese drugmakers $2.566 billion Everest Medicines mRNA vaccines Innovent Biologics
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