Guest post by Raveena Bhambra, Senior Analyst at Current Partnering
EBD’s annual BIO-Europe Spring® conference will take place in Paris this week. One of the key themes to be in focus will be regenerative medicine and cell therapies. So I’m going to take a quick peek into the dealmaking activities of this growing field.
Regenerative medicine, sometimes seen as controversial but generally very promising, really took off about 30 years ago when the ideas of stem cells and gene therapy became a reality with the first bone marrow transplant. Since then the field has progressed rapidly with new breakthroughs in the field; late last year the first stem cell therapy product, Holoclar, for the replacement of corneal damage, developed by Italian company Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A., was approved by the EU; and this week patients in the UK are successfully undergoing a new pioneering stem cell treatment that is successfully reversing the effects of multiple sclerosis.
With all this promising scientific activity, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are sniffing around to seek out the best deals and snap up the hottest therapies as soon as they are developed. This is why many of the deals taking place in the regenerative medicine market are taking place at the early stages of development, particularly at the discovery and preclinical stages. Between 2010 and 2015 almost 750 partnering deals were made in the regenerative medicine field (according to Current Agreements deals database), these include deals that focus upon cell therapy, organ and tissue regeneration.
The highest deal over the five-year period was a USD 2.05 billion deal between Cephalon and Australian Mesoblast to develop and commercialize novel adult mesenchymal precursor stem cells for a number of degenerative conditions; this is a good example of the values that can be achieved in this market. In addition to neurodegeneration, stem cells hold promise in a number of other therapy areas including brain/spinal disorders, myocardial infarction, diabetes, ophthalmics, wound healing and infertility. For any prospective dealmakers….these are probably good areas to explore in terms of partnering…Wishing you all a productive time in Paris!