News

Sarepta's embattled CEO steps down as DMD drug heads to the FDA

Chris Garabedian, the bullish, controversial CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics, has resigned from his post, leaving the company just as it prepares to file its Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment for FDA approval.

A massive M&A day stokes hopes for more biotech buyouts, but where's the bottom?

Thanks to deals signed on Monday alone, another $17 billion is set to change hands in the hyperacquisitive drug business, a single-day record that closes out a bracing quarter for buyouts. But with industry titans paying ever-higher prices for a shrinking number of assets, how long can the good times roll?

Parisian IPO boomlet continues with Sensorion setting terms

The quick-fire pace of biotech IPOs in Paris is set to continue. Inner ear disease specialist Sensorion is the latest to set terms for an IPO that will see it join Cerenis Therapeutics, Ose Pharma and Poxel in a Parisian class of 2015 that has already almost swelled to the size of last year's crop.

Chi-Med's fruquintinib meets colorectal cancer PhII primary endpoint

Hutchison China MediTech has met the primary endpoint of progression-free survival in a Phase II clinical trial for its metastatic colorectal cancer candidate fruquintinib (HMPL-013), putting it one step closer to an approval in China, according to FiercePharmaAsia.

On the road to Cambridge, migraine drug biotech CoLucid files for an $86M IPO

Back in mid-January, CoLucid Pharmaceuticals raised about $37 million to back its Phase III study of a new migraine drug. A week ago the biotech said it had pulled up stakes in Durham, NC, and had temporarily located its HQ in Burlington, MA, as it searched for new offices in Cambridge. And now it has pulled back the covers on an $86 million IPO.

GlaxoSmithKline leads a $21M round for PhII kidney drug developer Thrasos

SR One, GlaxoSmithKline's venture arm, has joined a syndicate backing a big midstage study of a new kidney drug developed by Montreal-based Thrasos Therapeutics.

Can-Fite sinks 60% to all-time low after PhII/III flop

Bearish interpreters of the interim Phase II/III data Can-Fite ($CANF) presented in 2012 have been proven right. Final top-line results from the trial of CF101 in psoriasis patients showed it failed to meet its primary endpoint, sending shares in the Israeli biotech down 60% to close at a new low for the company.

Bayer taps the Broad Institute for cardio R&D

Bayer is deepening its ties with Harvard and MIT's Broad Institute, delving into cardiovascular genomics in hopes of spotlighting new therapeutic approaches to deadly diseases.

Merck ties up with tiny Syndax on a 'breakthrough' cancer combo

Are two breakthrough cancer drugs better than one? Pharma giant Merck and Waltham, MA-based Syndax plan to find out in a Phase Ib/II study matching the tiny biotech's entinostat with Keytruda, Merck's big anti-PD-1 therapy newly approved for melanoma.

Aegerion reaches a cease-fire with its activist agitators

Nearly two months after activist investor Sarissa Capital disclosed a major stake in Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, the biotech has signed an agreement giving Alex Denner's group some board representation in exchange for a reprieve from tension.

Fujifilm bags stem cell pioneer Cellular Dynamics in $307M buyout

Fujifilm has dipped into its multibillion-dollar cache of buyout cash for the $307 million it needed to acquire Cellular Dynamics International, one of the pioneers in the stem cell research business.

Houston-based gene therapy outfit files for $70M IPO

The small, Houston-based gene therapy company MultiVir has filed for a $70 million IPO with plans to advance its lead program for Ad-p53.

BioDelivery tanks as its pain gel comes up short in Phase III

BioDelivery Sciences' in-development pain gel failed to meet its main goal in a late-stage trial, a surprise turn for the company as it looked forward to an FDA submission.

Skincare startup bags $50M to get its acne drug into Phase III

Durham, NC's Novan Therapeutics raised $50 million to bankroll a new treatment for acne, persuading the high-profile European investor Malin to buy into the idea.

UPDATED: Merck KGaA forges a $941M CAR-T development deal with Intrexon

Four months after Pfizer stepped up with a $2.85 billion promise to partner with Merck KGaA on a preclinical PD-L1 oncology effort, the German pharma company has turned around to partner with Intrexon on an upstart CAR-T cancer drug development project.

Novartis tackles immuno-oncology with a $750M Aduro deal for new R&D group

Novartis, a leader among companies using the immune system to fight cancer, is betting up to $750 million on a promising therapeutic approach from Aduro Biotech, widening its arsenal of potential treatments.

UPDATED: Teva scoops up Auspex and NDA-ready CNS drug in $3.2B buyout

Three months after Auspex Pharmaceuticals excited the market with news that its Phase III study of a new drug for controlling the involuntary movements triggered by Huntington's disease had succeeded, Teva has swooped in to buy the company in a deal that values the biotech at $3.2 billion.

Lilly and Boehringer roll toward EU approval with diabetes combo

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim secured a recommendation from European regulators for their combination diabetes treatment, making for a likely continental approval in the coming months.

Former Teva CEO Levin returns to biopharma as chairman of upstart Ovid Therapeutics

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or...

Shire, BioMarin and the snowball effect of buyout rumors

Shire is an acquisitive company with a focus on rare diseases. BioMarin fits the same description. A blog post that, by its own admission, "might be codswallop," reported that the former is considering buying the latter. And those three facts combined to send the shares of BioMarin, far from a penny stock, up as much as 15% on Friday, illustrating how the biotech boom has changed Wall Street's perception of the drug industry.