What makes Woodford such a potent figure is the example he sets in backing global drug development, where even small companies knit together scientific, administrative and support functions from an international cast of players.
Polaris Partners, an ambitious venture investor that's been behind a legion of cutting-edge biotech startups, has come up with $450 million for its latest fund. The cash tops the $400 million mark that the VC had outlined in an SEC filing last summer, signaling another success for the year's blossoming class of new biotech venture funds.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced today that it had cashed in its royalty stream from Vertex Pharmaceuticals' breakthrough CF drugs it backed for a $3.3 billion windfall. But where the foundation trumpeted the blockbuster deal with Royalty Pharma as a prelude to more investments into next-gen drugs, the New York Times' Andrew Pollack had no trouble finding a critic eager to lambaste the foundation for the ultimate sin: putting profits ahead of patients.
The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development created the industry standard on R&D budgets when it pegged average R&D costs at close to $1 billion for each new drug. Today, Tufts researchers updated their figures and boosted the total to $2.9 billion.
Chris Viehbacher took the helm of Sanofi with one clear message about the future: R&D at the Big Pharma had to undergo a radical restructuring. The lost decade in drug development following 2000 proved that Sanofi and others had to mend their ways, he said, forcing the company to reach outside the organization for innovation and shed the dead wood that had accumulated in its research ops.
It's become a matter of commonly accepted faith in the biopharma biz that it takes more than $1 billion and 10 years to develop a new drug. Industry associations like to cite that factoid as a reason for the big prices we're seeing on new therapies, often while prodding the FDA for faster action.
Thomson Reuters BioWorld took a deep dive into the subject and surfaced today with a detailed report outlining a bustling new global business with roughly 700 so-called follow-ons put in the clinic by 245 companies and institutions. Looking ahead to 2020, analysts say, you can anticipate that biosimilars will account for about $25 billion out of $100 billion in sales for off-patent biologics.
An expert panel assembled by the FDA has taken a big step toward blunting the fast-growing market for low-testosterone drugs, raising a thorny issue not just for the companies that sell such remedies, but also for two biotechs trying to gain approvals for new ones.
The 12th annual Fierce 15 report will be rolling out at the BioPharm America meeting in Boston on Monday just before we go live with the report on the website.
Over the last few years we've seen some big changes in the way some drugs are developed. What better time to host a new FierceBiotech executive panel discussion on current trends in late-stage development?