News

AstraZeneca adds Advaxis to a growing roster of immuno-oncology partners

AstraZeneca has partnered up with Princeton, NJ-based Advaxis on a program that pairs the pharma giant's closely-watched immuno-oncology drug MEDI4736 with the biotech's therapeutic cancer vaccine for HPV-related cancers.

Atlas, NEA bankroll a $30M round for synthetic biology upstart Synlogic

This morning Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates announced that they have committed $29.4 million to launch Synlogic, a new Cambridge, MA-based upstart initially seeded last fall that has set out to build a platform that can create therapeutic microbes.

Bullish biotechs shoot for $400M in another big week for IPOs

After Sage Therapeutics staged a stellar debut on Friday, 6 more drug developers are expected to price IPOs this week, looking to buck some bearish trends in biotech and raise about $400 million combined.

Will AbbVie now emerge as the next megamerger target?

Now that AbbVie has hammered out its $55 billion takeover deal for Shire, analysts are looking for the next big biopharma tax inversion deal.

Cerecor raises $16M for PhII study of 'Special K' depression remedy

Baltimore-based Cerecor has gathered up the first half of a $33 million B round, with plans to devote much of that money to a midstage development program for an experimental depression therapy recently punted by a restructuring Merck.

UPDATED: Allergan aims ax at R&D, eliminating 1,500 jobs in bitter takeover fight

Struggling to escape Valeant's unwanted $53 billion takeover attempt, Allergan came up with plans to chop back its budget--axing 1,500 workers and eliminating another 250 vacant positions. Allergan's release Monday morning is light on details, but the company clearly plans to cut back on early discovery work in what had been a rapidly growing R&D division.

New Science Ventures joins the biotech VC boom, plots $100M fund

With investors revved up about biotech's future, a string of funds have outlined plans to raise billions of dollars to back a new generation of life science companies. And New Science Ventures is joining the frenzy with a $100 million game plan of its own.

J&J partner Aduro grabs an FDA 'breakthrough' nod for its immuno-oncology combo

Aduro BioTech joined the short list companies outside Big Pharma to pick up the FDA's coveted breakthrough therapy designation, impressing the agency with strong mid-stage results for its combo cancer therapy.

AstraZeneca dishes on its $500M new home in Cambridge, U.K.

AstraZeneca's sweeping new Cambridge, U.K., campus will be constructed with collaboration in mind, the company said, unveiling plans for the $500 million site it aims to open in 2016.

Sage soars after banking $90M in an up-sized IPO

Sage Therapeutics rocketed up more than 60% in its first day on Wall Street, bringing in $90 million to bankroll the company's CNS treatments and stirring hopes for a return to bullishness in biotech IPOs.

AbbVie and Shire come to terms on a $55B union

After months of semi-clandestine courtship, AbbVie and Shire have settled on a price: For $54.7 billion in cash and stock, the U.S. drugmaker will absorb its Irish target, securing a pipeline of promising rare disease treatments and a new address that should slash its tax rate.

Merck KGaA brings on U.S. Merck's Rossetti to head R&D

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 Michael Gibney (email | Twitter)...

Biotech VCs bet $1.8B in a colossal Q2

Biotechs raked in a whopping $1.8 billion in venture cash last quarter, the industry's biggest haul since PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association started keeping track in 1995.

U.K. gov names ex-biotech VC as life sci chief, Genfit's stock jumps, Woodford backs biotechs

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, the U.K. government underlined the importance it places on life sciences--and the jobs it brings--by creating a position dedicated to the industry, which is being filled by George Freeman, the former biotech venture capitalist who has shaped the government's life sciences strategy. And more.

Amgen's kidney dialysis drug clears its first Phase III hurdle

Amgen's in-development treatment for patients on kidney dialysis met its primary and secondary goals in a late-stage trial, step one in the drug's three-part Phase III program.

InterMune bags a 'breakthrough' nod of its own in a race with Boehringer

InterMune secured the FDA's breakthrough therapy designation for an in-development treatment for a rare lung disease, evening the regulatory score with rival Boehringer Ingelheim as the two angle for position on the U.S. market.

GlaxoSmithKline's melanoma combo beats Roche's Zelboraf in Phase III

GlaxoSmithKline is touting stellar Phase III results for an in-development combo therapy for melanoma, saying its treatment beat out Roche's Zelboraf in overall survival and led independent advisers to recommend an early end for the study.

Salix wins FDA approval for a rare disease drug

Salix Pharmaceuticals picked up FDA approval for an orphan therapy, giving the company another revenue source as it plots a tax-saving move to Ireland.

Sage up-sizes its ambition on the eve of a much-watched IPO

Biotech luminary Sage Therapeutics is boosting the size of its planned IPO, upping its share offering and expected price range as investors look to its Wall Street debut as a bellwether for the industry.

Virobay banks $8M to accelerate its treatments for pain, autoimmunity

Menlo Park, CA, biotech Virobay tacked another $8 million onto its Series B financing, collecting cash to advance its treatments for neuropathic pain, autoimmune disease and fibrosis.