Week In Review: Sorrento Therapeutics Fights $933 Million Take-Private Bid

Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE), a San Diego-Nanjing-Suzhou biopharma, rejected a $7 per share take-private offer from an unnamed PE company that valued the company at $933 million (see story). Sorrento, which is facing a cash crunch, reported a loss of $57 million over the last 12 months, while it has only $35 million of cash on hand. Nevertheless, the board of directors said the offer "significantly undervalues" the company, which has a portfolio of immunoncology assets in its pipeline and one marketed drug, ZTlido (lidocaine) for pain.

Ocumension, a China ophthalmology company, announced a $12 million agreement for Greater China rights to Dexycu® 9%, a treatment for inflammation following ocular surgery, from EyePoint Pharma (Nasdaq: EYPT) of Massachusetts (see story). Dexycu® 9%, a sustained release product, can provide a benefit for up to 22 days following cataract surgery. Ocumension will pay $2 million upfront and also make up to $10 million in milestone payments, plus royalties. Ocumension was established by 6 Dimensions Capital in 2018 to in-license ophthalmology products for China use.

Biotheus, a Guangdong biotech, in-licensed greater China rights to an oncolytic virus from Finland's TILT Biotherapeutics. TILT's proprietary technology codes novel oncolytic viruses for cytokines (see story). The candidate, TILT-123, is a human 5/3 chimeric adenovirus capable of replicating only in cells defective in retinoblastoma/p16 pathway, which are found in most human tumors. Biotheus is developing a broad portfolio of me-better/novel drugs focused on immuno-oncology and metabolic diseases. The company plans to out-license late-stage clinical and commercialization activities to global partners.

Ningbo NewBay Medical Technology (SIX: ROG) in-licensed greater China rights to a novel small molecule Pan-PIM inhibitor from Genentech, a Roche company (see story). GDC-0570 showed efficacy against multiple myeloma and prostate cancer in preclinical tests, according to the company. The PIM kinases regulate cell metabolism, and GDC-0570 is a potential first-in-class drug candidate. Ningbo NewBay is a subsidiary of Ningbo Tai Kang Medical Technology. NewBay and Tai Kang own greater China rights for two EP4 antagonists from AskAt and global rights for a c-KIT inhibitor from AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN).

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