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August 31, 2018

Deals and M&As this week: Bluebird Bio, Tjoapack, Emergent BioSolutions

Bluebird Bio has entered a strategic collaboration with Gritstone Oncology for the research and development of novel cancer therapies.

Bluebird Bio has entered a strategic collaboration with Gritstone Oncology for the research and development of novel cancer therapies.

The two companies will conduct research and development of T-cell receptor (TCR) directed cell therapies for cancer, as part of the collaboration.

Gritstone will provide Bluebird with ten tumour-specific targets across several tumour types, as part of the deal. It will leverage its Epitope Discovery in cancer Genomes (EDGE), which is a tumour-specific neo-antigen (TSNA) identification platform to identify tumour-specific targets and natural T-cell receptors (TCRs) for use in Bluebird’s cell therapy platforms.

Bluebird will make an upfront payment of $20m to Gristone and a $10m Series C preferred equity investment in the latter.

Based in the US, Bluebird is a biotechnology company, while Gritstone, also based in the US, is an immuno-oncology company engaged in the development of cancer immunotherapies.

Tjoapack has partnered with UK-based technology firm Veratrak to study the use of blockchain for the pharmaceutical sector.

“Tjoapack has partnered with UK-based technology firm Veratrak to study the use of blockchain for the pharmaceutical sector.”

Blockchain technology enables transparency, reduces service lead times and facilitates information sharing through a secure digital chain.

Tjoapack and Veratrak will launch the first live blockchain tool for the pharmaceutical industry in the last quarter of 2018, as part of the strategic collaboration.

Based in the Netherlands, Tjoapack is a pharmaceutical contract packaging firm specialising in the production of hospital packaging and other smart packaging solutions.

Emergent BioSolutions has signed an agreement to acquire Adapt Pharma and its flagship product NARCAN®, an FDA-approved needle-free emergency opioid overdose treatment.

Adapt Pharma will receive $635m in upfront cash-and-stock payment and $100m in milestone payments through to 2022 from Emergent, as per the agreement.

Emergent BioSolutions is a life sciences company that provides products for biological and chemical threats, and emerging infectious diseases, while Adapt Pharma is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of therapeutic treatments for patients with unmet medical conditions.

Both companies involved in the transaction are based in the US.

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