Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours:

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours:

Stocks In Focus

Vaccitech To Buy Avidea For $40M

Vaccitech plc (NASDAQ:VACC) announced that it has acquired U.S.-based Avidea Technologies, Inc. The consideration to Avidea's existing shareholders is $40 million, comprised of approximately $12.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in Vaccitech ADSs, in addition to potential future payments that are conditioned upon the achievement of certain development milestones.

Vaccitech sees the proposed deal as strengthening its immunotherapy and vaccine portfolio.

Sigilon Announces Job Cuts As Part Of Strategic Reprioritization

Sigilon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGTX) announced a strategic reprioritization to enable it to focus on MPS-1 and diabetes.
As part of its plan to refocus its pipeline, the company plans to make workforce reductions that are expected to extend its cash runway.

The stock was adding 6.27% to $3.05 in premarket trading.

Mesoblast Announces Termination Of COVID-19 Stem Cell Therapy Partnership With Novartis

Mesoblast Limited (NASDAQ MESO) said it was notified today by Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) that it has chosen to terminate the agreement with Mesoblast prior to closing.

Mesoblast said it remains highly focused on executing on its short-term objective to bring remestemcel-L to market for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to COVID-19.

Mesoblast shares were shedding 7.99% to $5.30 in premarket trading.
Related Link: The Week Ahead In Biotech (Dec. 12-18): Hematology Conference Presentations, FDA Decisions For Calliditas, Argenx, Intra-Cellular & Eagle Pharma And More

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Manufactured By Samsung Biologics Authorized In South Korea; Company Announces Plans For Australian Plant

Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea has issued a marketing authorization for Spikevax, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Samsung Biologics.

Separately, the company announced an agreement in principle with the Australian government to build a state-of-the-art messenger RNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Victoria, Australia, including access to Moderna's mRNA development engine.

Samsung Biologics Expand Manufacturing Partnership To Include COVID-19 Antibody, Cancer Treatments

AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) and Samsung Biologics announced an expanded partnership to include the manufacture of the former's long-acting antibody combination, AZD7442, and said they will start to manufacture a cancer immunotherapy product next year.

Molecular Partners Announces Licensing Pact With Novartis to Develop Radioligand Therapies

Molecular Partners AG (NASDAQ:MOLN) announced a collaboration with Novartis in the form of a license agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize DARPin-conjugated radioligand therapies.

Under the agreement, both parties will collaborate on the discovery and optimization of the therapeutic candidates. Novartis would be responsible for all clinical development and commercialization activities. Novartis will pay $20 million upfront to Molecular Partners; total potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments of up to $560 million; and up to a low double-digit percent of royalties.

Shares of Molecular Partners were advancing 9.66% to $16 in premarket trading.

Stocks Moving On American Society Of Hematology Annual Meeting Presentations

Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRA) announced positive efficacy and safety results from its Phase 3 ALLELE study investigating tabelecleucel for the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease following solid organ transplant or hematopoietic cell transplant.

The stock was up 7.34% at $16.81 in premarket trading.

Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FATE) announced positive interim Phase 1 data from the its FT596 program for patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphoma.

"The interim dose-escalation clinical data from our FT596 program in relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphoma demonstrate that off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived CAR NK cells can bring substantial therapeutic benefit to heavily pre-treated patients in urgent need of therapy, with high response rates and meaningful duration of responses," said Scott Wolchko, CEO of Fate.

The stock was moving 3.1% higher to $5.50 in premarket trading.

Aptose Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:APTO) announced its oral myeloid kinome inhibitor HM43239 has demonstrated durable single agent activity in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

Among FLT3 mutant patients treated with 80 mg, three of eight achieved a durable composite complete response. At the 80 mg dose, a composite CRc rate of 25% was observed in both FLT3 mutant and FLT3 wild-type AML.

The stock was slumping 15.9% to $1.64 in premarket trading.

Clearside, Centessa, Sensei React To Index Inclusion

Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLSD), Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:CNTA) and Sensei Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNSE) are among the biopharma stocks that will be added to the Nasadaq Biotechnology Index (NASDAQ:NBI), the companies announced in separate releases.

Clearside shares were gaining 5.26% to $3 in premarket trading, and Sensei was moving up 6.57% to $5.84.

Selecta Gains On Insider Buying

Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SELB) disclosed in a filing that Timothy Springer, a director of the company's board and a 10% owner of shares, bought 3.82 million shares in the company.

In premarket trading, the stock was up 3.81% to $3.21.


BELLUS Health Inc. (NASDAQ:BLU), which rallied Monday on a positive readout, announced the filing of a preliminary prospectus supplement in connection with a proposed public offering of its common shares of $175 million in shares. The Supplement was filed with each of the securities regulatory authorities in the provinces of Canada.

The stock was slipping 3.49% to $8.01 in premarket trading.

Click here to access Benzinga's FDA Calendar.

On The Radar

Clinical Readouts

The ASH Meeting Presentations

Roche Holding AG (NASDAQ:RHHBY): Phase 3 data from the POLARIX study evaluating Polatuzumab Vedotin with Rituximab, Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, and Prednisone versus Rituximab, Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine and Prednisone in patients with previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. 

Related Link: Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For December PDUFA Dates