Sumitomo Dainippon, Roivant to create £2.4bn biopharma alliance

Japan-based Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is set to take ownership of the stakes held by Roivant Sciences across five biopharma companies (Vants) in a deal worth $3bn (£2.43bn).

Under the deal, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will have the option to acquire up to six more Vants of Roivant. Additionally, the Japanese firm will take an equity stake of more than 10% in Roivant, which is engaged in building entrepreneurial biotech and healthcare companies.

The Japanese pharma company will also gain access to Roivant’s technology platforms – DrugOme and Digital Innovation. DrugOme is designed to help in accelerating pipeline acquisition and clinical development, while Digital Innovation uses technology to enhance business processes.

The companies have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this connection to form a partnership called Sumitomo Dainippon-Roivant Alliance, which will be fully-owned by the Japanese company. A definitive agreement for the same is expected to be signed by the end of next month.

Roivant founder and CEO Vivek Ramaswamy said: “Sumitomo Dainippon’s expertise in commercializing major products globally, combined with support from our technology-oriented Vants and the central Roivant platform, will enhance the value of the product portfolio included in this Alliance.

“We view this partnership as a major validation of the Roivant platform and we will continue to launch other innovative Vants in the future.”

As per the MoU, the Sumitomo Dainippon-Roivant Alliance is expected to assume Roivant’s stakes in Myovant Sciences, Urovant Sciences, Enzyvant Therapeutics, Altavant Sciences, and an additional company, which will be revealed before signing of the definitive agreement.

Myovant Sciences is engaged in women’s health and prostate cancer, while Urovant Sciences is focused on urinary diseases. On the other hand, Enzyvant Therapeutics and Altavant Sciences are centred on paediatric rare diseases and respiratory rare diseases, respectively.

The 11 Vants to be involved in the alliance put together have more than 25 clinical programmes. The parties expect to see multiple potential product launches from the Vants between 2020 and 2022.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma representative director, president and CEO Hiroshi Nomura said: “I am hopeful that through this Alliance between the two companies, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will not only obtain growth engines after expiry of the U.S. market exclusivity of LATUDA, but also address issues identified in the Mid-term Business Plan 2022 and contribute significantly to establish a position as a ‘Global Specialized Player’ which we aspire to be by 2033 through our transformation into a novel pharmaceutical business model leveraging data and digital technologies.”

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