Dermira Grabs Big Pharma Castoff

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About: Dermira, Inc. (DERM), Includes: AZN, NVS, PFE, REGN, RHHBY, SNY
by: EP Vantage
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EP Vantage
Newsletter provider, biotech, healthcare

The deal sealed by Dermira yesterday for certain rights to Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) lebrikizumab echoes a transaction last year between Leo Pharma and Astrazeneca (NYSE:AZN). That too was over an IL-13 targeting antibody and also saw the smaller partner buy into substantial dermatology indications, most notably atopic dermatitis.

Very strong results from Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY)/Regeron's (NASDAQ:REGN) Dupixent, which is already on the market in this space, probably cooled these big pharma names to the opportunity; for a smaller company, a thinner slice of the pie can still be attractive. But it is also true that IL-13-targeting antibodies have a chequered clinical history - several have been abandoned - and the 13% drop in Dermira's