Bayer Acquires to Expand Prostate Cancer Pipeline

08.06.2021 - Bayer has announced plans to acquire Noria Therapeutics and PSMA Therapeutics, thereby obtaining exclusive rights to a differentiated alpha radionuclide investigational compound based on actinium-225 and a small molecule directed towards prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

The German group said the acquisition broadens its existing oncology portfolio of targeted alpha therapies (TATs), which currently includes Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride). The two US companies have exclusive worldwide rights to technology licensed from Weill Cornell Medicine of New York and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

With the first and only approved targeted alpha therapy, Xofigo, in its portfolio, Bayer has established this as a TAT for men with mCRPC, symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastases. Adding actinium-225-labeled small molecule to the platform of investigational targeted thorium conjugates supports its commitment to researching differentiated treatment options for cancer patients, the group said.

Baxalta settles with Bayer on Hemophilia Lawsuit

In other news, after losing its appeal in March this year, Takeda subsidiary Baxalta has given up its two-year resistance against paying $173 million in damages a court levied in a hemophilia patent infringement lawsuit brought by Bayer.

The drugmaker and Nektar Therapeutics have inked a settlement with Bayer over the patent infringement case, according to a court filing, and Bayer has said it will not seek claims for the considerable damages it was owed through the 2019 verdict and a subsequent appeals ruling. Under the settlement, each company will cover its own legal expenses, and Baxalta will forfeit right to any further appeal of the 2019 verdict.

The case dates back to a lawsuit filed by Bayer in 2016, claiming that Baxalta’s Adynovate infringed its patent on recombinant Factor VIII technology for hemophilia. Bayer said the infringement came out of a licensing deal between Baxalta and Nektar Therapeutics, which had partnered with both Bayer and Baxalta on hemophilia research in the 2000s. The latter then belonged to Shire.

At the time, the jury awarded Bayer $155 million in damages, flanked by an additional $18 million in supplemental damages. In its March decision, a US appeals court rejected Baxalta’s argument that the patent had not been infringed and was invalid for “lack of enablement.” However, the court agreed that Baxalta did not have "specific intent to infringe” on Bayer’s hemophilia intellectual property. 

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist