Axsome pulls off a $51M IPO to bankroll its Phase III pain drug

New York City biotech Axsome Therapeutics raised $51 million in an IPO to support its work on a nonopioid treatment for chronic pain.

Biogen linked to $100M Israeli fund; Sofinnova founds biotech accelerator; Genfit plans IPO

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Biogen and a key employee in the early years of Genentech are considering contributing cash to a $100 million (€93 million) VC fund. Former CEOs of Pfizer and Celgene are involved, too. And more.

TEDMED 2015: A brief history of CRISPR and what's next

Only a scant few years old, CRISPR gene editing technology already is heavily weighted with potential implications for human disease and health. It's already being used to more easily and precisely create genetically modified plants and animals. And for the first time last year, CRISPR was used to genetically modify a human embryo.

Pfizer and Allergan wend toward a $150B merger, reports say

Pfizer and Allergan are coming down to the wire on a merger that would be the biggest pharma deal ever. The all-stock transaction would be worth up to $150 billion, at a price of $370 to $380 per share, according to media reports, though analysts have estimated a per-share price of up to $400.

Eiger BioPharma eyes the shell of Celladon to back its way onto Wall Street

Privately held Eiger BioPharmaceuticals has signed a deal to merge with failed gene therapy biotech Celladon, looking to make its way onto Wall Street and press forward with a handful of treatments for rare disease.

Viehbacher's $2B biotech fund wagers $600M on an R&D upstart

Gurnet Point Capital, a biotech investment firm run by ex-Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher, launched its first company with a $600 million commitment and a plan to partner up with industry and academia.

Macrocure axes staff as PhIII flops take toll on prospects

Macrocure is hunkering down, laying off two-thirds of its staff and weighing up strategic alternatives as it seeks a way forward for the company. The actions follow a pair of Phase III flops that wiped 90% off Macrocure's share price and left its pipeline in tatters.

Meda dismisses fears links to Valeant will hinder M&A plan

Fallout from the scandal engulfing Valeant has hit Meda, which outlicensed the North American rights to a pair of dermatology drugs to the troubled specialty pharma company in 2011. But while Meda has acknowledged that the royalties it receives from Valeant are set to fall by 50%, management has dismissed the possibility of the decline holding back its M&A strategy.

Pfizer snags U.S. rights to Cellectis' white-hot CAR-T therapy

Pfizer has picked up the U.S. rights to Cellectis' closely watched CAR-T asset UCART19. But while Pfizer and Cellectis are working together directly on other immuno-oncology programs, the transfer of the rights to UCART19 was facilitated by a third party: Servier.

KaloBios is back from the dead after Shkreli swoops in to 'save' its lead drug

KaloBios, circling the drain after a slew of clinical failures, said last week it was finally packing it in, recruiting a liquidation consultant to help it gradually wind down operations. But the company saw its share price rocket up more than 700% on Wednesday evening after controversial entrepreneur Martin Shkreli acquired a controlling a stake with plans to rescue KaloBios' lead asset.

Silicon Valley VC shop Andreessen Horowitz sets up $200M bio fund

Andreessen Horowitz is joining the rush of Silicon Valley investors looking for gold in biotech. The renowned VC shop has rounded up $200 million, poached a professor from Stanford University and given him a brief to ferret out the hottest startups at the intersection of software and biotech.

Israeli biotech royalty in talks with Biogen about $100M VC fund

Biogen is in talks about contributing money to a $100 million (€93 million) Israeli biotech VC fund. The fund is being set up by Yuval Cabilly, the son of a scientist who invented technology used by a laundry list of blockbuster biologics during his time working with Genentech.

Sofinnova teams with Italian biotech vets to set up startup accelerator

Sofinnova Partners is setting up an Italian biotech accelerator in partnership with the entrepreneurs who guided EOS to a $420 million (€394 million) buyout. The team's first move was hook up with a tech transfer company in a deal that will give the accelerator a source of potential biotech startups.

Genfit heading toward Nasdaq IPO as PhIII NASH trial revs up

Genfit is working its way toward an IPO on Nasdaq. Listing in the U.S. would give Genfit's bank balance a boost at a time when it is facing the prospect of a €150 million ($160 million) bill for an upcoming Phase III trial of its nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) drug, elafibranor.

Warburg puts up $300M to launch a buyout-hungry drug firm

Private equity giant Warburg Pincus is diving into specialty pharmaceuticals, launching Vertice Pharma and promising to invest up to $300 million in the company as it scouts for buyable assets.

Radius puts off its FDA filing to be 'respectful' of holiday plans

Radius Health's shares slipped on Tuesday after the company said it was postponing a planned FDA filing for its osteoporosis drug. But CEO Robert Ward, looking to calm investors, said the delay was unrelated to clinical data and instead a precautionary move to avoid rushing at the end of the year.

Depomed buys a late-stage pain drug and settles its Endo suit in one swipe

Depomed agreed to pay $25 million for the rights to a novel pain treatment from Germany's Grünenthal, signing a deal that will also settle the company's long-running patent lawsuit against Endo Pharmaceuticals

Merck KGaA, Pfizer bag 'breakthrough' status for PD-L1 immunotherapy

Merck KGaA and Pfizer have bagged FDA breakthrough therapy designation for avelumab, the pair's anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody. And while the immunotherapy is lagging behind rivals' PD-1 and PD-L1 drugs in some indications, Merck KGaA and Pfizer think the breakthrough status could help them steal a lead in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.

Novartis takes a third biosimilar shot at Amgen with a copy of the blockbuster Neulasta

Novartis is moving toward the U.S. market with a biosimilar of Amgen's Neulasta, awaiting FDA approval for a long-acting treatment designed to boost white blood cell count.

Activist investor's new advice for Amgen: Merge with Allergan

Dan Loeb, the activist investor who once called for Amgen to break itself in two, is now advising the Big Biotech to consider merging with Allergan, according to Bloomberg.