News

Seres guts out a $134M IPO to fuel microbiome R&D

Cambridge, MA's Seres Therapeutics pulled off an above-its-range IPO, grossing about $134 million to bankroll its work on drugs that change the weather in the gut to treat disease.

Celladon pulls the plug on R&D after a crushing gene therapy failure

Celladon is circling the drain, suspending all research tied to its failed gene therapy and again halving its payroll as management searches for a sale and flirts with liquidation.

Aquinox's bladder pain drug misses the mark in Phase II

Aquinox's lead drug failed its main goal in a Phase II trial on bladder pain syndrome, but the company believes its oral treatment showed enough to promise to merit further study.

Google backs £320M Oxford fund, DBV heads to Phase III, Biophytis files for Paris IPO

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, two corners of Britain's great hope for competing with the likes of Boston and San Francisco, the area dubbed the "golden triangle," spent the week talking about the one area in which they indisputably fall short of their rivals: Cash. And more.

Allergan calls a cease-fire after thousands of job cuts at its HQ

Allergan, still working through its $66 billion merger with Actavis, is through shedding jobs at its California headquarters, CEO Brent Saunders said, moving on from laying off more than 1,000 workers over the past year.

Genomics giant Illumina blueprints new Euro HQ/science center in Cambridge, UK

The gene-sequencing pioneers at Illumina are planning to build a major new science center and European headquarters in the U.K.'s growing biotech hub in Cambridge. Illumina signed a lease on a 155,000-square-foot facility, designed to grow another 70,000 square feet as needed for future expansion.

Catabasis pulls off a $60M IPO as biotech's Wall Street window stays open

Catabasis, at work on treatments for muscular dystrophy and high cholesterol, raised $60 million in an IPO, cashing in on investors' continued enthusiasm for bets on biotech companies.

AbbVie hands back rights to Biotest's RA drug after trial flop

AbbVie has walked away from its claim to Biotest's anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody, tregalizumab. The decision comes two months after Biotest posted Phase IIb data showing tregalizumab failed to outperform the placebo in terms of improvements to ACR20 scores.

UPDATED: Bristol-Myers rips up its R&D group, adding, eliminating and moving 800-plus

Bristol-Myers Squibb's R&D organization is being revamped in a major shakeup that will see a new research center open in Cambridge, MA, two other research centers close, with hundreds of jobs being relocated in Massachusetts and Connecticut while about 100 researchers are axed as the Big Biotech shutters its discovery work in virology.

London's mayor suggests quick $15B fix for financially ailing biotech sector

The general consensus about the U.K.'s place in the biotech world can be summed up in a few words: Great science, world-class academic centers and way too little cash to finance promising new companies. But London Mayor Boris Johnson has come up with a radical idea to fix the funding gap virtually overnight, suggesting that the country leverage its place as a leading global financial center to create a $15.7 billion (£10 billion) megafund that could finance a fast biotech revolution.

DBV makes a beeline for Phase III as peanut allergy race hots up

DBV Technologies has exited its end-of-Phase II meeting with FDA with a plan for the next steps of development of its peanut allergy vaccine. And with Aimmune Therapeutics breathing down its neck, the French biotech is keen to get its pivotal trial up and running before the end of the year.

London mayor moots £10B biotech 'megafund' to close gap on U.S. hotspots

The mayor of London has come up with a scheme to bridge the financial chasm between the U.K. and U.S. biotech hubs. Officials have called Eli Lilly, Pfizer and JP Morgan to a meeting to discuss the plan, which entails creating a £10 billion ($15 billion) fund to invest in drugs across the development spectrum, The Financial Times reports.

Little NeuroRx boasts big about a new ketamine combo for bipolar depression

Once again, a tiny open-label study using the potent anesthetic ketamine has kicked up stellar data for combating depression, grabbing headlines in some prominent publications. But this time a small, largely unknown private biotech company has seized on the study to tout its potential for gaining an FDA approval for a unique combination of drugs aimed at achieving a quick yet durable response for bipolar patients.

Google teams with the Broad to tackle Big Data

Google Genomics is partnering with the Broad Institute to address some of the infrastructural issues around storing huge data sets as well as developing new tools needed to analyze the data and come up with some new directions on human health and treatments.

CAR-T's explosion puts Juno and Kite under the M&A spotlight

The promise of new treatments that use the body's own immune cells to fight cancer has sent soaring the value of a handful of biotech startups, and analysts say Big Pharma may be waiting in the wings with buyout offers as the science continues to progress.

New Cellectis video showcases allogeneic CAR-T tech

The race to develop the world's best CAR-T therapy for cancer has inspired some fancy marketing efforts on behalf of some of the leaders in the field.

Baxalta provides a peek at progress with hemophilia gene therapy

Baxalta won't formally debut as an independent Baxter drug spinoff for a few more days, but the company isn't waiting to discuss an early peek at efficacy results from a Phase I/II study of their long-term gene therapy for hemophilia.

Hackers are targeting biotech with eyes on insider trading

The SEC is investigating data breaches at publicly traded biotech companies, according to Reuters, worried that hackers are stealing proprietary information to fuel stock bets.

Alcobra's drug misses the mark in Fragile X trial after flunking in ADHD

Alcobra's lead drug failed to help patients with the rare Fragile X disorder focus their attention in a Phase II study, a clinical setback that comes on the heels of a Phase III failure in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Langer startup SQZ hopes to spark a tech revolution in immuno-oncology

Another one of Robert Langer's former grad students at MIT has leveraged a lab project into a new and fast-growing biotech. A mentoring relationship with the hyper-entrepreneurial star scientist and MIT's Klavs Jensen has put Armon Sharei at the head of a small biotech upstart--Boston-based SQZ Biotech--that hopes to largely replace decades of work on viral vectors with a new technology that's designed to quickly and easily put "stuff" inside a cell.