News

Shire chief: We want to be like Gilead, Biogen and Celgene

On the rebound after a dalliance with AbbVie and its $55 billion red herring, Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov is back on the offensive, talking up his company's potential to rub elbows with the biggest among Big Biotech.

ChemoCentryx soars on new hope for its once-maligned kidney drug

A year after former partner GlaxoSmithKline closed the door on what could have been a $1.5 billion collaboration, Mountain View, CA's ChemoCentryx is touting a Phase II victory for its kidney disease treatment, news that promptly doubled its share value.

Novartis' psoriasis drug tops J&J's Stelara as it speeds toward approval

Novartis' new anti-inflammatory treatment cleared up psoriasis better than Johnson & Johnson's Stelara in a Phase III trial, a second head-to-head victory for the injectable drug as it nears U.S. and European approvals.

Small molecule chief named head of gRED in rejig at the top of Genentech

Having shepherded Genentech's R&D operations through the takeover by Roche, Richard Scheller will retire at the end of 2014. Roche has lined up Michael Varney, Genentech's head of small molecule drug discovery, to replace Scheller.

Shire steps up arGEN-X alliance, Big Pharma gives MRC drugs, Woodford backs Midatech IPO

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Shire impressed analysts with its bullish forecasts for sales growth between now and 2020, while also taking steps to ensure its pipeline is well stocked beyond that date by moving antibody candidates discovered in its 2012 alliance with arGEN-X into preclinical development. And more.

Merck wins FDA approval for Gardasil's heir

Merck won the FDA's blessing for a next-generation HPV vaccine designed to usurp Gardasil, putting it in line for billions in revenue.

Takeda targets gastrointestinal disease with its latest R&D deal

Takeda, in the process of trimming down its R&D efforts, has inked a collaborative research deal with Australia's Monash University to discover and develop new treatments for gastrointestinal diseases.

Bellicum battles for CAR-T spotlight with a $121M IPO pitch

Houston's Bellicum Pharmaceuticals has laid out plans to raise as much as $121 million in an IPO, cash that'll support its proprietary take on a promising new approach to oncology.

Merck hits a hiccup with its new Ebola vaccine

Investigators have suspended a Phase I study of NewLink Genetics' Ebola virus vaccine just weeks after Merck stepped in to license it, citing a safety issue that could delay the pharma giant's plans to quickly ramp up production.

Amicus eyes a 2015 EU filing for its rare disease drug with FDA in sight

Amicus Therapeutics says it's on track to file its Fabry disease treatment for European approval next year, the next major step for a biotech in the midst of comeback.

Naurex posts the positive PhIIb data that helped it reel in $80M

Fresh from raising $80 million and being featured in The New York Times, Naurex has posted Phase IIb data to back up its belief it will be the company that finally turns the receptor affected by party drug Special K into a viable target for treatment of depression.

Merck shows PD-1's promise in breast cancer with positive early results

Merck's pembrolizumab, sold as Keytruda, showed promising signs of efficacy in a particularly deadly brand of breast cancer, early data that could expand the use for a new class of treatments expected to take the market by storm.

Pierre Fabre plans deep cuts to R&D, shedding hundreds of jobs

Unhappy with declining drug sales and diminishing returns on R&D, French drugmaker Pierre Fabre is planning to slash 551 jobs, shifting the balance of its business away from pharmaceuticals.

Versant wraps up an overstuffed $305M fund with eyes on Canada

Biotech backer Versant Ventures has put together a $305 million new purse, cash that will bankroll a new generation of drug developers with a particular focus on Canada's startup scene.

Shire says it's sitting on a $3B pipeline with M&A on tap

Shire, settling into life on its own after a failed merger with AbbVie, believes its in-development drugs can bring in a combined $3 billion in sales by 2020, sharpening its focus on rare diseases and keeping an eye out for bolt-on acquisitions.

R&D returns are getting better, but not by much and not for everyone, report says

After three years of declining returns on R&D spend, the 12 largest operations have finally achieved an uptick in what they receive for each dollar of outlay. But the result is more of a bottoming out than a major turnaround, with returns still well below levels seen in 2010 and at least one company posting a negative yield.

Juno preps an IPO worth up to $191M amid CAR-T fever pitch

Juno Therapeutics, whose approach to treating cancer has turned heads around the industry, has set terms for its highly anticipated IPO, looking to raise as much as $191 million as it works to train the immune system to better fight tumors.

Amgen and Merck kick off a combo cancer trial

Amgen and Merck have launched an early-stage trial pairing their respective cancer immunotherapies, looking to confirm the clinical and commercial promise of combination approaches to cancer.

Angiochem heralds preclinical promise with brain-penetrating cancer therapy

Angiochem pulled off the rare feat of getting an anticancer antibody through the brain's protective mesh in a preclinical study, and now the Canadian biotech is on the hunt for partners to take the next step.

Pfizer strikes another immunotherapy deal to widen its oncology pipeline

With its designs on AstraZeneca at least temporarily abandoned, Pfizer has set out to create an immuno-oncology portfolio of its own, signing a deal with a Belgian biotech to get its hands on treatments that promise to sharpen the body's anticancer weaponry.