News

Selecta banks $20M for trial work, inks a pact with Sanofi on diabetes

Selecta Biosciences has banked a $20 million-plus round designed to get its lead treatment into the clinic with an eye to providing some basic proof-of-concept data to show that their vaccine particle technology platform will be useful for a full slate of programs.

DNAtrix pockets $20M to get its cancer-fighting virus into Phase III

DNAtrix, at work on viral treatment that selectively infects brain cancer cells, picked up $20 million in venture cash, funds the company said will help speed its candidate into late-stage study.

Shire shares are hammered as AbbVie looks to renege on $54B buyout

AbbVie to Shire: Maybe that idea about merging regardless of what the Obama administration thinks wasn't so hot after all.

AstraZeneca's $2B cancer contender lines up for EU scrutiny

AstraZeneca is expecting word from European regulators next week on whether they'll recommend approval for its new ovarian cancer treatment, a drug the company hopes can bring in $2 billion a year at its peak.

Astellas dives into gene therapy with a Harvard expert in tow

Japan's Astellas Pharma is the latest big drugmaker allured by the promise of gene therapy, mounting an R&D effort that could lead to a new treatment for an inherited eye disease.

GW Pharma's cannabis-based drug comes up short in ulcerative colitis

GW Pharmaceuticals' in-development treatment for ulcerative colitis missed its primary endpoint in a midstage trial, a setback for the U.K. drugmaker and its pipeline of cannabinoid treatments.

Flailing Wilex finds a lifeline as Roche steps in with an ADC deal

Germany's Wilex has long been on the way out of biotech, but a new collaboration with Roche provides the company with some cash up front and a shot at down-the-line royalties.

Pharma VCs cluster behind a brainchild of UK biotech pioneer Sir Greg Winter

While Atlas Venture was busy putting together a syndicate for Raze in Cambridge, MA, the venture group was also engaged in hatching a $32 million round across the Atlantic in the scientific hotbed of Cambridge, U.K. Atlas partnered with SV Life Sciences and three corporate venture arms--Novartis Venture Fund, GlaxoSmithKline's SR One and Astellas Venture Management--to back Bicycle Therapeutics.

Novartis joins an Atlas syndicate to back cancer drug upstart Raze

Atlas Venture is launching one of its newly built biotechs with a Series A of $24 million, a founding partner on the board, a pair of its entrepreneurs heading the crew and some marquee investors in the syndicate, which includes Novartis. They've begun a voyage of discovery with Raze Therapeutics, part of Atlas's growing fleet of startups, to see how far they can go down a pathway that offers its investigators a shot at throwing a monkey wrench into the metabolic processes cancer uses to thrive.

Eisai wins FDA nod for a drug to treat chemo-caused nausea

Eisai and partner Helsinn secured the FDA's blessing to market Akynzeo, a combination treatment designed to prevent nasuea and vomiting among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Alnylam trumpets early promise for its Sanofi-partnered RNAi drug

Alnylam's in-development RNAi treatment successfully staved off nerve damage related to a rare disease in an ongoing study, the biotech said, early but promising results as the company heads into Phase III with partner Sanofi in tow.

MGH investigator Tanzi claims breakthrough will 'revolutionize' Alzheimer's R&D

Massachusetts General Hospital investigator Rudy Tanzi has created a new "Alzheimer's-in-a-dish" approach to growing brain cells that he claims provides clear proof of the much-debated amyloid hypothesis as well as a solid target for the disease. And now he reportedly plans to race ahead with his new research process to find a potential megablockbuster drug that can stop the disease in its tracks.

Pfizer nabs a fast FDA review for breast cancer pipeline star palbociclib

Pfizer has picked up a priority review designation for its closely watched cancer drug palbociclib, potentially slicing four months off the review timeline for a therapy that is being hustled along at an accelerated rate.

Smith & Nephew hit by setback as PhIII regenerative med study flops

Last spring a prominent analyst suggested that a successful late-stage study for Smith & Nephew's spray-on cell therapy for wound healing could be a catalyst to break up the company a la Abbott and Baxter. But today, the discussion of the much buzzed-about trigger event turned bitter after the company reported that the Phase III trial flopped.

2014's most successful biotech IPOs

In 2013, biotech toasted its warmest Wall Street reception since the frothy days of the early millennium, helping more than 45 drug developers pull off IPOs that brought in more than $3 billion to...

Gilead wins FDA approval for its hep C combo pill, a blockbuster in the making

Gilead Sciences picked up a much-anticipated FDA approval for Harvoni, a combination therapy for hepatitis C that promises to cure the majority of patients without the need for painful injections that have plagued patients for years.

Novartis taps Oxford BioMedica in $90M immuno-oncology deal

Novartis has expanded its relationship with the U.K.'s Oxford BioMedica, signing a deal worth up to $90 million that will support the drugmaker's efforts in CAR-T immunotherapies.

Prosensa heads to the FDA with its once-failed DMD treatment

Prosensa has begun the FDA submission process for its treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, planning to fully file by year's end with hopes of finally winning approval for a drug that has survived a few brushes with failure.

Isis rolls into Phase III with an orphan drug as it waits on Biogen

Isis Pharmaceuticals has kicked off a Phase III trial on ISIS-SMNrx, a treatment for the rare spinal muscular atrophy, moving forward with the orphan drug as partner Biogen Idec considers whether to take the plunge on the program.

Novartis to shed three division heads in midst of Glaxo, Lilly deal prep

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)...