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Biotech Analysis Central Pharma News: Novartis's Gene Therapy Catch, AstraZeneca's NASH Move, Clovis's Expanded Rubraca Market

Apr. 11, 2018 12:31 AM ETGILD, ICPT, RHHBY, TSRO, AVXS, AZN, CLVSQ, IONS, NVS, GNFTF7 Comments


  • Novartis acquires AveXis for $8.7 billion.
  • AstraZeneca fronts $30 million upfront for NASH licensing deal with Ionis Pharmaceuticals.
  • Clovis Oncology obtains FDA approval for expanded use of Rubraca.

Welcome to Biotech Analysis Central Daily News, a daily news report and analysis about what has happened lately in the biotech industry.

Novartis Acquires AveXis For $8.7 Billion

News: Recently, Novartis (NVS) announced that it would acquire AveXis (AVXS) for $8.7 billion. This total amount registers at $217 per share, which was a 72% premium to AveXis's 30-day volume weight average stock price. The biggest reason for the deal was because of AveXis's knowledge in gene therapy. In addition, AveXis's main clinical candidate, AVXS-101, treats spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which is a rare disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord. It causes the loss of walking, eating, breathing, and other imperative functions.

Analysis: This was a good move by Novartis. That's because this acquisition will help the company build upon its neuroscience division. It is highly committed to advancing gene therapies to help treat a wide range of rare diseases. This wasn't the first rodeo for the company in stepping its foot in the gene therapy space. Back in January of this year, Novartis made a licence agreement with Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) to license its gene therapy treatment, Luxturna, for all markets outside of the United States. Novartis expects the acquisition of AveXis to go through my mid-2018. If all goes well, Novartis believes that it can file a BLA filing for AVXS-101 by the second half of 2018. That would put approval for the drug in 2019.

AstraZeneca Looks To Get Its Foot Into The NASH Space

News: AstraZeneca (AZN) has recently licensed a NASH drug from Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) for $30 million. This deal was made possible because of a pact that was developed between both companies for developing a drug candidate targeting the cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal disease arena. If it all

This article was written by

Terry Chrisomalis profile picture

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Comments (7)

HGWells profile picture
Why CLVS offering ? Seems very negative, shocking. Opinions appreciated
Everyone seems to think that AVXS-101 is just going to sail through trials and approval. Sure anything's possible but what about the rumors that 9 patients on the original P1 trial are now on or seeking Spinraza? What about the FDA? Are they really likely to approve such a new unproven drug on such flimsy testing even with NVS deep pockets?

Don;t get me wrong. I'm not saying that Avexis technology doesn't have potential, but IMO it's just that- potential, not all neatly wrapped up in a bow for regulators, Insurance companies, doctors & patients.
spinraza likely has a benefit as an add-on treatment. it doesn‘t mean that 101 doesn‘t work. 101 followed by spinraza is probably going to be the treatment of choice in the future. this would still support pricing around 3m for 101
And you think Insurance companies will be on board with that?
who is not on board if it involves babies?
Ceeport Capital profile picture
thx-Long CLVS
vmaxJim profile picture
You’ve forgot to mention that Rubracas extension came with a "clean label." Rubraca will compete in this indication against Lynparza from AstraZeneca (AZN), which has a label warning for pneumonitis, as well as Zeluja from Tesaro (TSRO), which warns for blood toxicity and cardiovascular events.
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