News

Novartis chief: Sometimes you have to kill your R&D darlings

Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez presides over one of the industry's largest R&D budgets, committing about $10 billion a year to drug development. But the American-born executive, in contrast to his predecessor, has made a habit of ditching projects when they start to look futile, a philosophy that trickles down to Novartis' lab work.

Cellectis upscales IPO toward $200M as CAR-T fever continues

Cellectis has tossed aside its earlier IPO targets as strong demand and a surge in its European stock price have encouraged it to pitch for a bumper listing. The French CAR-T player is now aiming to raise $197 million before the overallotment, 70% more than it was targeting when it first filed its papers last month.

New Alzheimer's study escalates the old amyloid-tau debate

While biotech companies herald early-stage advances in Alzheimer's disease R&D, neuroscientists remain sharply divided as to just which protein--beta amyloid or tau--most contributes to the disorder's memory-destroying effect, and a new study has rekindled the debate.

Blueprint plots a $100M IPO for its precision medicine platform

Cambridge, MA's Blueprint Medicines is lining up to raise $100 million in an IPO to advance a stable of personalized cancer treatments and build out its pipeline.

VC vets break new ground with $42M Polish life science fund

Joint Polish Investment Fund Management is claiming a first. The Warsaw, Poland-based group has reportedly become the country's first institutional venture capital fund dedicated to life sciences after it held the initial closing of its $42 million (€38 million) investment vehicle.

Google's Calico widens its R&D net with QB3 partnership

Calico, the Google-backed biotech with ambitions to decode the aging process, has aligned itself with California's QB3, a Bay Area brain trust, to further flesh out its R&D mission.

Bristol, Sanofi and Novartis lead pack in big year for blockbusters

Thomson Reuters is predicting a big year for blockbuster drugs. Its analysts forecast 11 drugs approved this year will go on to rack up blockbuster sales in 2019, with new treatments from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi and Novartis leading the pack.

Bristol-Myers picks up an autoimmune project as Novo quits the field

Novo Nordisk, not long for the world of autoimmune R&D, has found a new home for one of its early-stage programs, handing it over to Bristol-Myers Squibb for an undisclosed sum.

FierceBiotech Radio and EP Vantage on biotech's big 2014

EP Vantage's Amy Brown joins FierceBiotech Radio to talk about her retrospective look at a big year for biotech and peek ahead at what might be in store for 2015.

Diabetes startup rakes in $44M and teams up with Novartis on cell therapy

Cambridge, MA, biotech Semma Therapeutics is developing a stem cell technology that could help diabetics return to producing their own insulin, and the nascent company picked up $44 million and a handshake with Novartis to get rolling.

Video: Is this a biotech bubble?

FierceBiotech Editor in Chief 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 marketfor biotech is sustainable or has transformed into a fragile bubble ready to pop.

GlaxoSmithKline taps Cold Spring Harbor for diabetes R&D

GlaxoSmithKline has reached out to the storied Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to collaborate on a potential treatment for Type 2 diabetes and obesity, inking a multiyear R&D deal.

Investors hype Silence Therapeutics after cancer drug shows promise in PhIIa

Shares in Silence Therapeutics jumped more than 20% on the back of Phase IIa data. The small trial was designed primarily to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of the pancreatic cancer drug, but that did little to deter investors from latching on to some encouraging early efficacy data.

Novartis, Lilly lead a $44M round for rare disease biotech Aeglea

Austin, Texas, biotech Aeglea Biotherapeutics raised $44 million in Series B cash to bankroll its enzyme-replacement therapy for a rare metabolic disorder, with Eli Lilly and Novartis leading the round.

Biogen's future: Bigger bets on CNS, smaller name

Biogen's latest evolution is more than just a nominal shift, according to its CEO, as the Big Biotech lops the Idec from its name and hopes to parlay its success in multiple sclerosis into some tough-to-treat diseases.

In a squeaker, FierceBiotech readers warn of a biotech bubble

The big question of the day is whether the unprecedented bull market we've been seeing generate billions of dollars for biotech is sustainable or has transformed into a fragile bubble ready to pop. And we decided to put that question to our audience of subscribers, looking for a revealing snapshot of what the industry is thinking today.

FDA removes the brakes on Pfizer and Lilly's pain drug

A once-halted pain candidate from partners Pfizer and Eli Lilly now has the green light to resume late-stage testing, as the FDA has lifted a clincal hold tied to some serious safety concerns for the whole class of drugs.

ImmunoGen strikes $440M ADC deal with Takeda

ImmunoGen has struck a $440 million antibody-drug conjugate licensing deal with Takeda, moving it a step closer to recovering from the body blow of last year's Phase III flop. The heavily backloaded deal was cheered by investors, sending ImmunoGen's stock up 21% in premarket trading.

MEI's second go at cancer R&D flunks a Phase II MDS trial

MEI Pharma's lead candidate failed to meet its primary goal in a Phase II study on myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow disorder that often develops after cancer treatment, sending the biotech trawling for a positive spin on the data.

Seventure adds €25M to microbiome investment fund

Seventure Partners has added €25 million ($27 million) to its microbiome investment fund, bringing the total under management to €100 million. The move ups the financial firepower of the fund--which has invested in 5 companies since it started late in 2013--at a time when microbiome R&D is starting to take off.