News

Kite doubles down on crucial NCI partnership, expands work on CAR-T/TCRs

Today, Kite took that relationship one step further, expanding the CRADA to cover additional programs and targeting tools needed to beef up its pipeline during a critical stage of development for this hotly competitive niche in the cancer arena.

Amgen hands off an IL-15 drug--strings attached--for upstart effort on celiac disease

A week after first raising the flag on their newborn biotech, a pair of entrepreneurs unhatched a deal today to take down a drug program that has been gathering dust on Amgen's R&D shelves for the past 7 years and test it as a new treatment for celiac disease.

Mersana grabs a $35M round, posts ex-Millennium chief Protopapas at helm

For more than a year now, NEA general partner David Mott has helmed Mersana Therapeutics, a Cambridge, MA-based biotech that has been working on next-gen antibody-drug conjugates. But this morning he's handing the reins over to longtime biotech vet Anna Protopapas (while remaining chairman) after organizing a $35 million B round that will be announced later this morning.

China biotech makes FDA 'breakthrough' for HIV drug

China's TaiMed Biologics has won the FDA's breakthrough drug title for its HIV therapy, ibalizumab (TMB-355), making it apparently the first Chinese med to get onto the list.

Novartis looks to squelch neuro worries over its would-be cardio blockbuster

Novartis, at work on a cardio drug widely expected to bring in billions of dollars once approved, is working to tamp down concerns that the oral treatment could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, adding measures of brain function to an ongoing trial.

Chiasma hauls in $70M to write its post-Roche future

Israeli-American biotech Chiasma has raised $70 million in Series E cash, moving on from an aborted collaboration with Roche and rolling toward FDA approval with a treatment for the hormone disorder acromegaly.

Viehbacher joins PureTech board in first post-Sanofi venture

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and retirings throughout the industry.

Viehbacher wades into the startup world, joining PureTech in his first post-Sanofi move

Months after a bitter exit from the top spot at Sanofi, Christopher Viehbacher is back out in public, joining Boston startup factory PureTech to help steer its portfolio of fledgling companies.

Exclusive: AstraZeneca spinning out its anti-infectives R&D unit in Waltham

Pushing through on a plan to get out of the early-stage anti-infectives R&D space, AstraZeneca is spinning out its Waltham, MA-based company into an independent biotech, a move that will have an impact on the 95 staffers remaining in the swiftly dwindling operation.

Stealthy Lyric Pharma bags $20M for its gastro drug

South San Francisco's Lyric Pharmaceuticals raised $20.4 million in first-round financing to support its work on a hush-hush gastrointestinal drug.

Woodford forms Imperial-heavy board, Prexton exits Serono's shadow, Chiesi bags stem cell nod

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Woodford looks set to go all in on south east England's academic hotspots. The U.K. government is set to further bolster the credentials of the region by setting up an international dementia institute within 5 years and lending its support to a dementia R&D investment fund. Prexton Therapeutics grabbed a slice of the CNS funding that is available today, raising €8.7 million ($9.9 million) to take its Parkinson's disease candidate into the clinic. And more.

Vitae slammed as another BACE inhibitor trips and Boehringer halts Alzheimer's study

Boehringer Ingelheim has put a hold on its Phase I work with a BACE inhibitor for Alzheimer's, marking the latest in a series of missteps for this category of therapeutics, which has emerged as one of the key arenas in the field.

Ablynx gets caught in Merck KGaA's R&D retreat

A fast-changing Merck KGaA is backing away from discovery and preclinical R&D deals it set up with the antibody specialists at Ablynx. And the Belgian biotech saw its shares slide 14% today after news of the prospective breakup--included in Ablynx's annual summary--spread in the markets.

After painful odyssey, Newron wins European OK for Parkinson's add-on

More than three years after Merck KGaA decided to dump its partnership with Milan-based Newron Pharmaceuticals, which in turn iced a planned buyout by Biotie, the Italian biotech has persevered to win European approval to market safinamide as an add-on drug for Parkinson's disease.

Hospira and Celltrion hit a speed bump in their biosimilar dash

The FDA wants some more time to review Hospira and partner Celltrion's copy of Johnson & Johnson's blockbuster autoimmune drug Remicade, possibly delaying the drug's march onto the U.S. market.

Growing Dicerna moves into Cambridge supercluster

Local VIPs are gathering this morning to cut the ribbon on the biotech's new 37,000-square-foot office and R&D center in Cambridge.

Amgen completes PhIII trifecta as AMG416 goes head-to-head with Sensipar

Amgen hit the trifecta with a successful conclusion to its third, and last, Phase III study of AMG416, a new drug for secondary hyperparathyroidism which handily beat out its in-house rival Sensipar in a head-to-head study.

Actavis wins FDA approval for a new 'superbug' antibiotic

Actavis won the FDA's blessing for a new combination antibiotic treatment targeting drug-resistant infections, setting the stage for a showdown with Merck and its $9.5 billion splash into the field.

FDA OKs Sanofi's Toujeo. Will a diabetes drug price war follow?

Sanofi has received the FDA marketing approval it badly needed for the long-acting basal insulin Toujeo, a product designed to preserve its multibillion-dollar franchise revenue from Lantus. But at least one prominent analyst was quick to question its impact, noting that the label will offer little compelling reason for a switch from the established market blockbuster. And that is likely to set up some early price discounting that will further roil the huge and growing diabetes market for all the key players.

Ex-Merck Serono team bags €8.7M for PhI Parkinson's program

Prexton Therapeutics, the first company to emerge from the €30 million ($34 million) biotech-creation program Merck Serono set up amid the shuttering of its Geneva R&D center, has closed a Series A round.