French drugmaker Ipsen is the latest global giant turning to the Boston area for a leg up in R&D, cutting the ribbon on a Cambridge research center and breaking it in by signing a deal with Harvard University.
Ipsen has handed over €6 million ($6.8 million) for the option to buy British biotech Canbex Therapeutics.
Ipsen has its eye on swelling its North American presence from 5% to 30% of its overall business by 2020, with a new indication on the way for cancer drug Somatuline that it thinks could help it get there. If the launch is right, that is.
Ipsen announced "positive results" in a Phase II trial of Dysport in patients with urinary incontinence. That could put Ipsen's drug in line for more head-to-head competition with Allergan's Botox, which has successfully expanded into several medical uses.
France's Ipsen is the latest drug developer with eyes on Cambridge, MA's booming biotech hub, plotting to move its U.S. R&D activities to Kendall Square.
The French company has struck a deal to buy the biotech and its drug development platform for $37 million upfront with promises of about $170 million more, with most of the money pinned to the fate of a mid-stage therapy for a rare ailment.
A Lonza plant in the U.S. has been struggling for 18 months to get its manufacturing practices back up to FDA expectations. But the shortcomings are now leading to shortages for one of its key clients.
French drugmaker Ipsen says shortages of its orphan drug Increlex appear inevitable because of ongoing issues at Lonza plant in the U.S. The drug is used to treat a rare condition in children called IGF-1 deficiency, which results in them being very short for their age.
Ipsen is closing a tumultuous foray into the hemophilia area. With its broke biotech partner Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Ipsen has agreed to sell a hemophilia drug candidate placed on clinical hold by the FDA last year to Cangene in a deal worth up to $55.9 million in upfront and commercial milestone money.
Baxter International ($BAX) is grabbing a hemophilia A candidate in late-stage development from partners whose collaboration ran aground last year.