Five key drug discovery deals of summer 2023


The life sciences sector has seen significant M&A activity over the last few weeks. DDW’s Diana Spencer provides an overview.

  1. BioIVT acquires PrecisionMed

In July BioIVT acquired biospecimens company PrecisionMed, gaining access to, reportedly, the largest private, global repository of longitudinally collected human CSF for scientific research.

“We are thrilled to announce BioIVT’s acquisition of PrecisionMed. Our vision is to lead the biospecimen industry through expertise and innovation and our acquisition of PrecisionMed pushes us even closer to this goal,” said BioIVT Chief Executive Officer Richard Haigh.

Read more: BioIVT acquires biospecimens provider PrecisionMed

  1. Biogen acquires Reata

During a period of upheaval for the company, Biogen revealed its purchase of Reata Pharmaceuticals for approximately $7.3 billion. The news followed an announcement that Biogen would be cutting around 1,000 jobs, or 11% of its workforce, to allow investment into its product pipeline.

The new acquisition gives Biogen rights to Reata’s portfolio of products for neurological diseases, including the FDA-approved Skyclarys (omaveloxolone), the only approved treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) in the United States.

Read more: Biogen acquires Reata and cuts 1,000 jobs

  1. CS Pharmaceuticals acquires AxeroVision

At the end of July, CS Pharmaceuticals (CSP) acquired AxeroVision and the rights to its novel therapies for dry eye disease and other ophthalmic inflammatory diseases.

Darren Mercer, Chief Executive of CSP, said: “We are thrilled to acquire AxeroVision, and in particular the pipeline product AXR-270 which contains a novel selective glucocorticoid receptor agonist formulated in a cutting-edge drug delivery system that overcomes the issues of poor compliance and inefficient delivery of conventional eye drops.”

Read more: CS acquires AxeroVision’s dry eye disease pipeline

  1. Laboratoires Théa acquires ProQR Therapeutics’ ophthalmic assets

In August, ProQR Therapeutics and Laboratoires Théa announced an agreement in which ProQR will divest its late-stage ophthalmic assets, sepofarsen and ultevursen, to Théa.

“We are very excited to continue the development of sepofarsen and ultevursen for patients,” said Jean-Frédéric Chibret, President of the Théa group. “These two programmes can deliver hope for patients suffering from retinal diseases that lead to blindness.”

Read more: Théa acquires ProQR’s RNA ophthalmic assets

  1. Sygnature Discovery acquires NuChem Sciences

Sygnature Discovery acquired Canada-based contract research organisation NuChem Sciences, expanding its business operations into the North American market.

Marc Lebel, President and Chairman at NuChem Sciences, said: “We are delighted to become an integral part of the Sygnature Group, allowing us to leverage our deep scientific expertise and presence across North America and Europe, to the benefit of customers and employees.”

Read more: NuChem Sciences becomes part of the Sygnature Group

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