Company news: Licensepalooza -- Janssen/Evotec, AstraZeneca/Link Medicine, Eisai/Verastem
AstraZeneca acquired a portfolio of neuroscience candidates from Link Medicine Corp., a privately-held Massachusetts-based biopharma. Link Medicine focuses on autophagy, aimed at clearing and recycling misfolded proteins in neurodegernative diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The portfolio will be handled by AstraZeneca's new neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit, established earlier this year. AstraZeneca will assume all R&D activities on the program in exchange for undisclosed upfront and milestone payments.
Eisai is betting on a class of cancer drugs dubbed Wnt inhibitors, having sealed a deal with Cambridge biopharma Verastem for a 12-month collaboration on the products, including VS-507, an agent designed for targeted killing of cancer stem cells.