News | October 31, 2019

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma And Roivant Sciences Sign Definitive Agreement For Strategic Alliance

  • Alliance will include Roivant’s ownership interests in Myovant, Urovant, Enzyvant, Altavant, and Spirovant, a new company focused on developing innovative gene therapies for cystic fibrosis
  • Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will leverage Roivant’s technology platforms to digitally transform its business
  • The new company will be led by Chief Executive Officer Myrtle Potter, former President and COO of Genentech and current Vant Operating Chair at Roivant

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, and Roivant Sciences Ltd., a technology-enabled healthcare company, recently announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for the creation of a novel and broad Strategic Alliance and to form a new company (the “New Company”) owned and supported by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.

As previously announced, this will include the transfer to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma of Roivant’s ownership interests in five of their biopharmaceutical companies (“Vants”) and access to Roivant’s proprietary technology platforms, DrugOme and Digital Innovation. In addition, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will take an equity stake of over 10% of shares outstanding in Roivant and will have options (the “Options”) to acquire Roivant’s ownership interests in up to 6 additional Vants by 2024. These 11 Vants collectively have more than 25 innovative clinical programs, with multiple potential product launches expected from 2020 to 2022.

The transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions and any required governmental approvals. Roivant will receive USD $3B from Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma as a payment to enter the Alliance. Exercise of the Options by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will trigger additional payments to Roivant. In addition, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will enter separate strategic client relationships with Datavant and Alyvant to augment development and commercialization activities.

In addition to Myovant Sciences, Urovant Sciences, Enzyvant Therapeutics, and Altavant Sciences, the fifth Vant in the Alliance will be Spirovant Sciences, a newly unveiled Vant focused on developing innovative gene therapies for cystic fibrosis.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma plans to provide financial support to the five Vants in the New Company and intends to leverage potential benefits associated with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma’s global commercial infrastructure. The New Company will be led by CEO Myrtle Potter, Vant Operating Chair at Roivant Pharma. Additional management team members will include Adele Gulfo, Chief of Commercial Development at Roivant Pharma, Dr. Sam Azoulay, Chief Medical Officer at Roivant Pharma, and Dan Rothman, Chief Information Officer.

Prior to joining Roivant, Ms. Potter served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Genentech. Under her leadership, Genentech achieved record sales and earnings growth each year. Prior to Genentech she was President of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s U.S. Cardiovascular and Metabolic business. Potter is a graduate of the University of Chicago, and she serves on the university’s board of trustees and also on the board of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. She has also served on the boards of Amazon, Express Scripts, Medco Health Solutions, and Rite Aid.

“I am happy to announce that we have reached an agreement on the Strategic Alliance with Roivant, one of the strategic investments that we are making to address our challenges laid out in the Mid-Term Business Plan 2022,” said Hiroshi Nomura, Representative Director, President and CEO of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. “This Strategic Alliance allows us to not only acquire potential blockbusters and innovative health technology platforms developed by Roivant, but it will also enable us to deepen our relationship with Roivant, a company that possesses an innovative business model and underlying culture. We expect this relationship will contribute significantly to the establishment of a position as a ‘Global Specialized Player’ which we aspire to be in by 2033.”

“We are proud to enter this unique Alliance with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma,” said Vivek Ramaswamy, Founder and CEO of Roivant Sciences. “We hope that our contributions to this Alliance will enable Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma to realize its vision to be a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition, we believe that this Alliance will increase the long-term value of each Vant in the Alliance through a combination of strong financial backing and other capabilities.”

About Spirovant Sciences
Spirovant is developing two investigational therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. SPIRO-2101 uses a proprietary adeno-associated virus vector (AAV) to deliver a functional CFTR gene to airway epithelial cells. SPIRO-2102 uses a proprietary lentiviral vector, which has been engineered to be tropic and to transduce airway epithelial cells, to deliver the CFTR gene. Both vectors have demonstrated phenotypic restoration of CFTR function in animal models of cystic fibrosis. Spirovant’s innovative aerosolization technology has been engineered to maximize uptake in the lungs.

SPIRO-2101 and SPIRO-2102 leverage technology pioneered at the University of Iowa Center for Gene Therapy at the Carver College of Medicine. Spirovant has a collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to manufacture pre-clinical supply of AAV product. Expert faculty from the University of Iowa and CHOP have joined Spirovant’s Scientific Advisory Board.

About the DrugOme and Digital Innovation Technologies
DrugOme is a platform that facilitates asset selection and informs clinical development strategy through computational techniques. This proprietary platform integrates data from the entire universe of drug development: molecules, targets, indications, institutions, and trials. These inputs help with the identification of high-value assets for further diligence and the optimization of development strategies.

Digital Innovation is a platform for applying technology to business problems to optimize business value. The involved technologists are embedded in each Vant and improve workflow by developing new technologies and enabling automation.

About Roivant Sciences
Roivant aims to improve health by rapidly delivering innovative medicines and technologies to patients. Roivant does this by building Vants – nimble, entrepreneurial biotech and healthcare companies with a unique approach to sourcing talent, aligning incentives, and deploying technology to drive greater efficiency in R&D and commercialization. Roivant today is comprised of a central technology-enabled platform and 20 Vants with over 45 investigational medicines in clinical and preclinical development and multiple healthcare technologies. For more information, visit www.roivant.com.

About Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is among the top-ten listed pharmaceutical companies in Japan, operating globally in major pharmaceutical markets, including Japan, the U.S., China and the European Union.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is based on the merger in 2005 between Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Today, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has more than 6,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.ds-pharma.com.

SOURCE: Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd