Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Google Ventures revealed further details of its $100 million (€79 million) European unit, which is hunting for biotechs and startups in other sectors from its digs in London. But the European team is light on life science experience, with Google choosing to use the biotech brainpower in its Boston, MA, office to support the operation. The MedCity initiative has identified the southeast of England as having the opposite problem: plenty of life science know-how, not enough money. Its solution? Encourage wealthy individuals to become biotech angel investors. Forendo Pharma persuaded some rather more experienced investors to back its Series A round. The venture capital units of Merck Serono and Novartis joined with existing investors Karolinska Development and Novo A/S for the €12 million round. Molecular Partners postponed its plans to raise money on the public markets, depriving Switzerland of its first biotech IPO in 5 years. The U.K. government backed a controversial bill to allow physicians to give unlicensed drugs to terminally ill patients. And more. Read the full report >>
A few things struck us while gathering this year's class of the Fierce 15, our 12th annual take on some of the most noteworthy private biotech upstarts making headway these days. First, you'll find a higher than usual accumulation of early-stage companies in the group. And it's not hard to see why. Once the IPO window opened in early 2013, we saw a whole slew of earlier winners jump through--many like bluebird and Agios winning some extraordinary returns for investors. By the end of last year we were beginning to see plenty of other newcomers make the move as well, definitely winnowing out the number of more advanced companies to select from.
Carving out a successful career in biopharma isn't easy, for men or women. The failure rate of experimental drugs is astronomically high. And just because a company wins an approval is no guarantee of success, particularly in this increasingly challenging market. At the same time, though, it was no great feat to find 15 women who have been doing some amazing things. Check out the special report >>
It's better to be lucky than smart, but to be among the best life sciences investors it helps to be both. We've compiled a list of public company investors who have managed to outperform the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI), mostly driven by their participation in some of the top biotech performers this year.
Biotech blew up in 2014. In the first quarter alone, 29 life sciences companies went public, bringing in $2.1 billion. By the middle of the year, 2014 had proven more lucrative than its predecessor, as seemingly every outfit with a small molecule and an on-file S-1 found underwriters willing to carry it to market. And thus this list is our somewhat subjective ranking of the year's most successful biotech IPOs, for which we took a look at pricing compared to range, overall amount raised and postpricing performance. Read the full report >>
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Welcome to the hall of shame, where blockbuster drug projections go to die. Here you'll find some drugs that clearly should never have wound up in Phase III to begin with, a few that were actually steered back to the clinic in a doomed attempt to mine something positive after wasting millions on clinical trials and a couple of notable exceptions that may have helped advance the field by exploring the outer limits of new drug technology. Read more >>
European regulators have recommended an early approval for AstraZeneca's new ovarian cancer treatment, welcome news for the company as it defends rosy sales estimates for its oncology pipeline.
The FDA has postponed its final decision on an orphan drug from NPS Pharma, taking its time with the company's application and delaying the fate of a closely watched therapy.
The newly public Vitae reported after the market closed on Thursday that the oral BI1181181/VTP-37948 hit the goal posts on a key biomarker for BACE, or beta secretase, flushing a prime suspect behind the disease without triggering any red safety flags in a pair of Phase I studies among a small group of healthy volunteers.
The average board of directors in the biotech world is roughly 90% male, according to a new analysis, and more than half of all industry boardrooms host no women whatsoever, striking numbers that illustrate a sector that struggles with diversity.
Finland's Forendo Pharma has pulled in €12 million ($15.2 million) to advance its treatment for a painful uterine condition, drawing the support of a few major drugmakers.
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Pfizer's $11 billion share buyback, announced late Thursday, gave investors something to focus on, rather than fretting about whether the company would renew its pursuit of AstraZeneca once the required cooling off period lapses in November. But some of them immediately started worrying about whether the buyback meant it was less likely Pfizer would do a big deal.
Veterinary medicine researchers at Kansas State University and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have teamed to advance the development of diagnostic tools used to detect infectious diseases, including porcine-related afflictions.