Speaking before a global audience of millions, President Barack Obama threw his support behind the potential of personalized medicine, skimping on details but hinting at a federally funded R&D effort in keeping with the $4.5 billion BRAIN Initiative.
Over the past 6 months the up-and-coming Zymeworks has leveraged its expertise in bispecific antibodies into expanded development pacts with two marquee Big Pharma partners. Later today, positioning itself for what it sees as a pivotal year, the biotech plans to announce another research deal with the prolific Big Biotech Celgene, which is inking one of its classic collaborations sweetened by an upfront payment, an equity stake and up to $164 million per project for a slate of programs that represent its biggest potential payoff yet.
SAN FRANCISCO--Waiting for an elevator at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, Celgene CEO Bob Hugin and I were chatting about the frenzied pace of deals that were announced in the lead-up to the annual JP Morgan confab. "The whole industry is on fire," he said with a happy smile.
Pfizer appears to be speeding toward a crucial early FDA approval for palbociclib, a breast cancer treatment with blockbuster potential, pivoting from its failed bid for AstraZeneca and building up an oncology pipeline of its own.
Yesterday's news that Moderna raised $450 million on the back of its preclinical R&D work--on top of the $500 million it already banked--stood out as the biggest new venture round recorded for an early-stage biotech like this. But it's still just a piece of the money that's been flowing into biotech over the past year--and a likely harbinger of more good things to come in 2015.
Billions of dollars in new biotech investments are being made, R&D is being globalized more than ever before and new technologies and drug classes are moving fast through the clinic. FierceBiotech assesses what we believe are the 5 top trends to watch in the year ahead.
When AbbVie spun off from Abbott two years ago, it had one giant plus in its favor: the world's top-selling drug Humira. R&D, though, hasn't been very productive in the past decade in terms of new drug approvals.
In biotech, you don't raise money when you need it. You raise cash when you can. And right now, Juno Therapeutics is bundling cash in bulk.
Fundamental scientific and patient advances, as well as the investors who embrace them, have transformed biotech in just the last few years. As this has coincided with a broader resurgence in the stock market, industry valuations have skyrocketed. Suddenly, big cap biotechs Gilead Sciences and Amgen are larger than all but four of their pharma peers as measured by market cap.
In biotech, here are the top 10 news stories of the year so far, based on web traffic.