News

Boehringer, Vitae survive first clinical challenge in a crowded Alzheimer's race

The newly public Vitae reported after the market closed on Thursday that the oral BI1181181/VTP-37948 hit the goal posts on a key biomarker for BACE, or beta secretase, flushing a prime suspect behind the disease without triggering any red safety flags in a pair of Phase I studies among a small group of healthy volunteers.

In biotech's boardrooms, there are 10 men for every one woman, report says

The average board of directors in the biotech world is roughly 90% male, according to a new analysis, and more than half of all industry boardrooms host no women whatsoever, striking numbers that illustrate a sector that struggles with diversity.

Women's health biotech Forendo raises $15M from some pharma giants

Finland's Forendo Pharma has pulled in €12 million ($15.2 million) to advance its treatment for a painful uterine condition, drawing the support of a few major drugmakers.

Novartis racks up a new slate of promising PhIII data for secukinumab

Just days after an FDA advisory group gave its unanimous blessing to Novartis for secukinumab (AIN457) as a new treatment for plaque psoriasis, the pharma giant has produced a new slate of Phase III data backing the IL-17 therapy for ankylosing spondylitis.

Lilly bets another $375M on Zymeworks' two-pronged cancer tech

Eli Lilly is expanding its relationship with Canadian biotech Zymeworks, signing a broader deal that promises up to $375 million in milestones for its partner as the two collaborate on cancer immunotherapies.

Celgene adds $1B-plus immuno-oncology deal, buyout option for Sutro

Close to two years after Celgene closed its first development deal with Sutro Biopharma, the prolific partnering machine at the big biotech has come back and taken an option on buying the company and its antibody-drug conjugates and bispecifics. And Celgene is expanding their collaboration to include immuno-oncology drugs, the hottest R&D field in biotech.

J&J heads to Texas with its R&D farm system, scouting for biotech startups

Johnson & Johnson is expanding its network of biopharma incubators, taking to Texas with a plan to host as many as 50 local biotech startups.

Pfizer, Novartis chip in on $17M round for an Atlas upstart focused on pain

The busy partners at Atlas Venture have gathered together a $17 million Series A for their latest biotech creation: Quartet Medicine, which pairs together two scientific founders who have been exploring the frontiers of pain management. This is Atlas' fourth maiden round for one of their biotech launches in a little more than a week, with Cambridge, MA-based Quartet joining Unum, Raze and Bicycle in a rare streak of startups. And there are likely some more to come.

Proteon banks $61M in a down-sized IPO as it moves on without Novartis

Proteon Therapeutics priced its IPO below its expected range, clearing $61 million to pay the way for its investigational vascular drug.

Viamet drops IPO, spins out cancer drug as ex-Elan chief funds $60M round

Confronted by an increasingly tough group of biotech investors, Research Triangle Park, NC-based Viamet Pharmaceuticals has scrapped plans for an IPO, instead opting to grab a $60 million venture round to finance its development work on antifungals while spinning out one of its assets into a separate company. And it's working with one of the most controversial figures in biotech to push the company forward.

Roche blueprints a sprawling $1.8B R&D complex for pRED

They're building a new home for John Reed and Roche's pRED research group in Basel--and the pharma giant is thinking big. Roche said today that it is committing $1.8 billion to build a new research center in Switzerland that will encompass four new office and lab buildings to house 1,900 R&D staffers.

Regulus soars on promising--but early--results for its hep C contender

Regulus Therapeutics, at work on a microRNA approach to hepatitis C, watched its shares skyrocket on positive early data for its lead candidate, which significantly reduced viral loads with a single dose.

J&J gives the Ebola vaccine push a $200M boost

With several players now in the race toward a vaccine for Ebola, Johnson & Johnson says it is ramping up development efforts toward its own program, devoting $200 million to the cause.

GlaxoSmithKline weighs an IPO for HIV-focused ViiV as it sharpens the budget ax

GlaxoSmithKline is considering taking its HIV joint venture public, tersely dropping hints of an IPO for ViiV Healthcare as it lays out plans to again slash R&D costs and refocus its business.

Activist investor joins the Amgen breakup crusade, and shareholders are listening

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb is lending his voice to the chorus of investors who believe Amgen would do better as two companies. And his firm, Third Point, has upped its stake in the Big Biotech, giving him a bigger stage from which to pressure executives.

Inovio, MedImmune and Penn unite to fight the flu on DARPA's dime

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca's MedImmune and the University of Pennsylvania have joined forces to study influenza and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, drawing on $12.2 million in federal funds.

Meet Unum, a new immunotherapy biotech with Fidelity, Atlas and Sanofi in its corner

As the promise of harnessing the immune system to fight cancer grabs headlines around the industry, venture stalwarts Fidelity Biosciences and Atlas Venture have teamed up to launch Unum Therapeutics, a Cambridge, MA, startup with a hybrid approach to the field.

Omeros halts a Phase II Huntington's trial over alarming rat results

Following the FDA's advice, Omeros has hit the brakes on a mid-stage human trial of its Huntington's disease treatment in light of data from a separate animal study, news that tanked the biotech's share value.

AbbVie's $55B deal for Shire is officially dead. Now what?

Shire and AbbVie have formally called it quits on a planned $55 billion merger, leaving each company to get by on the merits of its own pipeline and talk up the benefits of life without the other.

Despite a mid-stage miss, Cytokinetics is taking its ALS drug toward Phase III

Earlier this year, Cytokinetics tanked as its lead prospect, a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), missed its primary endpoint and a slew of secondary goals in a mid-stage trial. But the drug did come through on one measure of lung function, and, upon analysis of the results, the biotech believes that could be its ticket to FDA approval.