Big Pharma’s cash flows in a flurry of partnerships


Big Pharma wields enormous influence over the prescription drug and medical device markets around the globe.

By  | It’s become a rite of passage for local biotech startups: After you’ve launched, raised venture capital, and set up labs, it’s time to find a partner to share the costs and risks of drug development.

Jounce Therapeutics Inc. did it Tuesday, drawing a $225 million upfront payment from Celgene Corp. to bankroll its immuno-oncology research. Moderna Therapeutics Inc. last month pocketed $200 million from Merck & Co. as part of a licensing deal for Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccines. And in May, serial dealmaker Celgene handed over $200 million to another cancer drug developer, Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc., focused on fixing metabolic irregularities.

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