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.

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.

Novo Nordisk speeds back to the FDA with its once-rejected insulin

After a surprise FDA rejection sent it back to the drawing board in 2013, Novo Nordisk is finally ready to resubmit Tresiba, a long-acting insulin with blockbuster potential.

MorphoSys tanks after Celgene walks away from $818M pact

Celgene has walked away from its $818 million multiple myeloma co-development pact with MorphoSys less than two years after striking the deal. The decision means Celgene has nothing to show for the $92 million upfront payment it made in 2013, but MorphoSys was hit harder by the news.

Ohr Pharma's eye drop fails a Phase II AMD trial

Ohr Pharmaceutical, at work on an eye drop to complement the blockbuster Lucentis, watched its top prospect fail to meet the main goal in a Phase II trial, dimming hopes for the drug's future.

Billionaires drive Malin to €330M IPO, Push for EU JOBS Act, RNAi stock jumps on PhIIa data

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Malin pulled in a blockbuster €330 million IPO, putting it among the biggest ever European biotech listings. Malin is targeting pre-IPO biotechs, a group that will find it easier to access public markets if a European equivalent of the JOBS Act, the U.S. legislative rethink that opened the current biotech IPO window, is passed. And more.

Genfit's NASH drug flunks Phase II, but management sees a silver lining

Genfit's in-development drug for a pervasive liver disease failed to beat placebo in a midstage trial, but the company, undaunted, is setting sights on late-stage studies with eyes on what could be a blockbuster market.

After Salix's $10B deal, is Synergy Pharma on the block?

Gastro drug developer Synergy Pharmaceuticals is considering putting itself up for sale, Bloomberg reports, perhaps emboldened by the high price secured by competitor Salix Pharmaceuticals.

Conatus heralds success for its NASH drug and plots Phase III

San Diego's Conatus Pharmaceuticals said its in-development liver disease drug came through in a Phase II trial, results the company believes create a path to late-stage development.

Big Pharma joins the U.K.'s genomics project with eyes on drug discovery

A group of the world's leading drugmakers have joined the U.K.'s ambitious initiative to sequence the genomes of 100,000 Britons, mining the data with hopes of finding new pathways to treat cancer and rare diseases.

FierceBiotech Radio on the biotech bubble and #FierceMadness

John Carroll sits down with Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Asthika Goonewardene to discuss the results of an informal survey in which readers weighed in on whether the unprecedented bull market for biotech is sustainable or a bubble ready to pop. Then, Carly Helfand discusses #FierceMadness, a single-elimination tournament of drug names going on over at FiercePharmaMarketing.

Flagship banks $537M to back the next batch of biotechs

Biotech VC stalwart Flagship Ventures put together a $537 million new fund, its largest ever, with eyes on a new generation of life sciences upstarts.

Finance giants lobby for JOBS-style reforms to EU IPO laws

A consortium of financial trade groups has begun lobbying the European Commission to implement the sort of changes that triggered the U.S. biotech IPO boom. The European IPO Task Force specifically wants politicians to slash the regulatory and administrative cost of going public by up to 50%, a move that would make it financially feasible for more small companies to float.

Amgen uncovers trove of gene knockouts in 'molecular national selfie'

Amgen's deCODE Genetics has published a series of papers that hint at how the the Big Biotech could begin to recoup the $415 million it paid for the population-scale sequencing pioneer. For Amgen, the meat of the project lies in the discovery of 8,000 human knockouts, people who lack a working version of one of 1,171 genes.

Cellectis pulls off a $228M IPO to bankroll its CAR-T ambitions

Cellectis, a French company with a proprietary spin on one of biotech's hottest fields, made an up-sized debut on Wall Street, grossing more than $228 million.

Novartis' psoriasis rivals tout impressive data with next-gen treatments

Novartis became the first to win approval among a scrum of drugmakers with new antibody treatments for autoimmune disease, but its rivals are bounding toward the FDA with positive data of their own.