Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. The decline of ThromboGenics continues. Having seen its stock price peak at €45 two years ago, the Belgian biotech has experienced a series of share slides, the latest of which was triggered by its partner Novartis. The Swiss Big Pharma doubts Jetrea will ever live up to expectations, in part because Phase III data were relatively weak. Karolinska Development also spent 2014 watching its share price go in the opposite direction to the rest of the buoyant biotech sector. Bruno Lucidi took over as CEO in October to reverse KDEV's fortunes, but has now left the company after disagreeing with the board. Sweden's Cantargia filed for a small, local IPO to finance the advancement of its antibody-based cancer therapy into the clinic. Basilea Pharmaceutica began dreaming of blockbuster sales after a FDA advisory panel backed its Astellas Pharma-partnered antifungal treatment. AnaMar put severe inflammation and fibrosis at the top of its development priorities after looking for positives in a failed Phase IIa trial. And more. Read the full report >>
Biogen Idec has taken its next big step toward building its own gene therapy program for hemophilia A and B. The Big Biotech and its newly named in-house expert Olivier Danos have executed a research deal with the San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (TIGET) to develop what they believe promises to be a durable treatment for hemophilia. Read more >>
Rolling out disappointing numbers today, Roche CEO Severin Schwan played the immuno-oncology card while trying to make the case that the pharma giant still has a hot hand in the late-stage drug development game. Over the course of this year, Roche says it will pursue Phase III data for its anti-PD-L1 drug in bladder cancer and three different tumor types, setting it up for its first potential regulatory approvals in 2016. Read more >>
Alexion Pharmaceuticals has found its next CEO. With more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, David Hallal, 48, is set to take the reins, effective April 1. Read more >>
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Intercept Pharmaceuticals has nabbed the FDA's breakthrough therapy designation (BTD) for obeticholic acid (OCA), a closely watched therapy in the pipeline for a blockbuster NASH indication. The biotech says the BTD win was based on data from a pair of midstage studies of OCA, which persuaded some analysts to tap it as a major new therapy in the clinic for a rapidly growing population of patients suffering from liver disease. While no guarantee of success, the agency has been handing out BTDs as a hall pass for companies looking for quick access and feedback from the agency. In this case, the company says a breakthrough designation should help grease the tracks for the late-stage program. Read more >>
Spark Therapeutics, at work on one-time treatments for rare diseases, pulled off a $161 million IPO, pricing above its range and keeping biotech's Wall Street hot streak rolling.
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $215 million to sequence the genomes of 1 million Americans and help develop a new generation of medicines, part of a sweeping plan to accelerate biomedical R&D.
Astellas Pharma is teaming up with biotech Immunomic Therapeutics on a vaccine that could relieve a common allergy that affects millions in its native Japan.
Pfizer is walking away from a $70 million collaboration with Waltham, MA's Repligen, handing back some early-stage treatments for the rare spinal muscular atrophy.
Cancer drug developer Tracon Pharmaceuticals pulled in $36 million in an IPO, pricing well below its expected range as it works to get its top drug into late-stage trials.
From Our Sister Sites
As the med tech industry homes in on next-generation devices for peripheral artery disease, medical experts are questioning the necessity of procedures to treat the disease, pointing to large Medicare payments made to physicians performing the operations.
Scientists in Florida have found a virus in ticks that is connected to hemorrhagic fever, which was thought to have disappeared globally more than 40 years ago.