The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: Tibotec

No Company is an Island: More Pharma and Biotech Collaboration

Island Nihoa_aerialTwo deals this week showcase collaborative efforts between major pharma players:



These follow last month’s earlier-stage collaborations between GSK and Pfizer for HIV treatments and betwen AstraZeneca and Merck for cancer treatments.

Why are we seeing these collaborations?  I have a couple of thoughts:

  1. This is a tough regulatory environment and companies are going to reach for every advantage they can get … maybe putting more effort into initial approvals that they might otherwise dole out over time.
  2. I think it’s notable that these projects are all aimed at HIV and cancer, two complex and incredibly tenacious diseases.  The low hanging fruit is (a) gone, and (b) not finishing the jobs. 

Is this the end of magic bullets and the beginning of biotech patent pools?  Too soon to say.

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Trends Update — Nonprofits Funding Commercialization: TB Alliance Splits Development Costs With J&J Sub for TB Drug

Mycobacterium_tuberculosisOne of the trends in 2009 we have been following is the increasing willingness of non-profits and disease advocacy groups to fund commercial product development by for-profit companies. 

Today, the nonprofit Global Alliance for TB Drug Development announced that it will share the development costs for J&J subsidiary Tibotec’s drug TMC207, and that the TB Alliance and Tibotec will collaborate on future pipeline products.

This is not the TB Alliance’s first foray into commercial development.  In May, they announced four other drug development collaborations, including 3 with academic institutions, and one with Anacor Pharmaceuticals.  Under the Anacor collaboration, Anacor gets unspecified “support” from the TB Alliance, and the TB Alliance gets a non-exclusive, royalty-free worldwide license for TB.

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