By Jason Derry --
ZymoGenetics Licenses Ex-North American Rights to IL-21
ZymoGenetics, Inc. has announced that it has licensed the rights to development and commercialization of interleukin 21 (IL-21) outside North America from Novo Nordisk A/S. The agreement means that the Seattle-based biotech company now has worldwide rights to IL-21. ZymoGenetics has indicated that it will develop IL-21 to treat cancer, focusing initially on treating renal cell carcinoma and metastatic melanoma.
Roche Seeks Hostile Takeover of Genentech
Roche has indicated that it will turn to Genentech shareholders in an attempt to complete its desired purchase of the 44% of Genentech it does not own (see N.Y. Times report). Roche offered Genentech $89 per share in July of 2008 to takeover the company (see Forbes.com report), which it has partially owned since 1990. Genentech's board rejected that offer, and now Roche has decided to offer shareholders $86.50 per share in cash. It appears, perhaps, that Roche is hoping the current market climate renders it more likely that shareholders are willing to take the lower offer, which is above Genentech's current trading price. A tender offer is expected within the next couple of weeks.
EXACT Sciences Avoids Hostile Takeover
EXACT Sciences Corp. has announced that it has sold $24.5 million in assets to Genzyme (see Forbes.com report). The assets include intellectual property relating to prenatal and reproductive health and three million shares of the company. Sequenom Inc. recently announced a hostile takeover bid after EXACT Sciences rejected its buyout proposal (see FierceBiotech report). The bid was dropped in response to news of the asset sale.