Soon-Shiong bets $90M on Sorrento's next-gen Abraxane with $1.2B on the line

NantWorks, the nebulous empire of biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, is handing over $90 million to partner Sorrento Therapeutics in exchange for a Phase III cancer drug heralded as a successor to the blockbuster Abraxane.

Celladon halves its workforce to conserve cash after gene therapy meltdown

Reeling after the Phase IIb failure of its "breakthrough" gene therapy for heart failure, Celladon is slashing its budget and payroll, vowing to find a way forward that preserves value for its investors.

Heading for startup Denali, Tessier-Lavigne to leave Pfizer board

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 Eric Sagonowsky (email) or...

Racing a crowded field, Amgen says migraine drug looks promising in PhII

Amgen says it got the positive data it was looking for from a Phase II study of AMG 334, one of several experimental migraine drugs that share the same target and are in the running to compete against an old generation of drugs on the market.

Circassia snags a pair of asthma biotechs for $371M

Circassia, the U.K. biotech that pulled off a major IPO last year, spent a combined $371 million on two asthma-focused drug developers in an effort to expand its pipeline beyond its home turf of allergy immunotherapies.

AbbVie, J&J on board for Galapagos' IPO, Ablynx salvages Serono deal, Investment in Israel soars

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Galapagos ratcheted up the expectations for its IPO once again and came good on its dialed-up forecast. AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson ordered one-fifth of the shares between them, setting the stage for a potential tug of war over Galapagos and its rheumatoid arthritis drug. And more.

Galapagos pulls off a $275M IPO as biotech hopefuls eye $195M more

Belgian biotech Galapagos came through with a $275 million IPO on the strength of its pipeline of immunology treatments, stirring hopes among a new crop of companies that the industry's Wall Street window will remain open through the year.

Eli Lilly to work with Sanford-Burnham on autoimmune diseases

Eli Lilly has signed up to collaborate with researchers at Sanford-Burnham on a new generation of immunological drugs for diseases like lupus, Sjögren's syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and other autoimmune disorders.

MPM rounds up $400M for biotech VC with Novartis and Astellas on board

Biotech investor MPM Capital has put together a $400 million new fund with help from Big Pharma, scouting for innovative startups with an eye on build-to-buy deals.

The ASCO roundup: Thumbs down for Puma, up for Roche, mixed for Bristol-Myers

The curtain has been raised on the first act of the annual cancer drug lollapalooza at ASCO, with the first round of abstracts spotlighting a series of early winners and at least one big loser: Puma Biotechnology.

UPDATED: Ex-Genentech dream team garners $217M to launch neurodegenerative player Denali

A group of high-profile ex-Genentech execs has rounded up a monster $217 million A round to launch Denali Therapeutics with plans to tackle neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS.

MorphoSys swoops for Lanthio as biotech investment plan matures

MorphoSys has acquired Lanthio Pharma. The deal comes 30 months after MorphoSys originally hooked up with Lanthio, which was the first company to receive an investment from its biotech financing initiative.

Galapagos inflates IPO again as AbbVie, J&J jockey for position

Galapagos has ratcheted up its IPO expectations for the second time in a week. The latest maximum offering is just shy of $290 million (€258 million), one-fifth of which is expected to come from potential suitors AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson.

Surge in overseas investment drives Israel to life sci fundraising record

Israel has joined the list of countries that obliterated their life science fundraising records in 2014. Data from IVC Research Center show Israeli life science companies pulled in $801 million (€708 million) last year, a 55% jump on the previous high that was underpinned by foreign investors opening their checkbooks with unprecedented regularity.

Ablynx salvages Merck Serono alliance with slimmed-down deal

Ablynx has avoided the worst-case scenario for the collaboration with Merck Serono it entered into in 2013. The deal appeared dead in February but Ablynx has renegotiated the terms, keeping Serono tied into the development of two bispecific single-domain antibodies.

Sage steps up to a pivotal PhIII as brain seizure drug aces trial challenge

Sage Therapeutics has successfully wrapped a small Phase I/II study of its lead drug for rare brain seizures, coming out with a 77% response rate among evaluable patients that was a slight step up from its interim results last fall. That successful end to the study puts the biotech on the threshold of a pivotal study with a clear shot at a new drug approval that would thrust it into the commercial world.

EU's investment bank continues move into R&D financing with €50M Bavarian Nordic loan

Bavarian Nordic is the latest company to benefit from the European Investment Bank's newfound willingness to finance drug development, snagging access to up to €50 million ($56 million) in loans for its Ebola and immunotherapy programs.

The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015

A lot of people make news in the biopharma business. Few of them are influential. Influence, simply put, is the ability to make your mark in such a way as to cause people in this business to rethink the way they do business. The people on this year's list of influentials are doing everything from helping change the metrics on R&D performance, crusading new technologies and redefining biotech in a boom, to trying to forge a new definition for Big Pharma--still a hot topic after many of the old definitions failed to generate real growth.

PureTech's Gelesis scraps plans for a $60M IPO

A flood of IPOs can't raise every biotech boat. Gelesis has scrapped its plans for a $60 million IPO after evidently failing to find a big enough appetite for its stomach-filling particle approach to combating obesity.

One of Takeda's big cancer bets flops in a Phase III lymphoma trial

Alisertib, a jewel of Takeda's $8.8 billion acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals back in 2008, failed to make the grade in a Phase III lymphoma trial, forcing the Japanese drugmaker to pull the plug and pivot to other indications.