News

VC's biotech investing slips in Q3, but '14 still looks like a record-breaker

Last quarter biotech attracted a whopping $1.8 billion in new venture cash, the biggest quarter since 2005.

Ireland to end 'Double Irish,' Innovations talks investment plan, German biotechs bag €15M

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, AbbVie showed that efforts to clamp down on inversions are having an effect, while Ireland committed to closing the door on the "Double Irish" tax scheme. And more.

Novartis' psoriasis drug looks good enough to approve, FDA staff says

The benefits of Novartis' new anti-inflammatory treatment outweigh its risks, according to FDA reviewers, an opinion that improves the odds of approval for a drug the company hopes can bring in blockbuster sales.

Canaan debuts $675M fund with an eye for biotech, med tech deals

Today Menlo Park, CA-based Canaan is rolling out a new fund, its 10th, with $675 million to invest in new companies--about a third of which will be devoted to biotech and healthcare.

Moderna teams up with Karolinska to flesh out its mRNA promise

Well-funded biotech Moderna Therapeutics has inked a long-term deal with Sweden's Karolinska Institutet to spotlight new applications for the company's messenger RNA technology.

J&J adds an $817M cancer drug pact with ambitious Aduro

A banner year for Berkeley, CA-based Aduro just got better. The biotech has inked its second licensing pact of the year with Johnson & Johnson, which kicked in a $30 million upfront and boosted its total milestone package to the $1 billion-plus category.

AstraZeneca deepens its Cambridge ties with hopes for Alzheimer's and cancer

AstraZeneca, two years away from a big relocation to Cambridge, U.K., is broadening its relationship with the local university, signing a slew of new agreements that will bolster its R&D efforts in neuroscience and oncology.

AbbVie cuts and runs from $55B Shire deal, signaling retreat from tax inversions

After first vowing to see the merger through despite new tax rules designed to make a merger much more difficult, AbbVie's board publicly hesitated yesterday and then early this morning recommended against going through with the tie-up, essentially killing the deal.

InterMune and Boehringer win tandem FDA nods for 'breakthrough' lung drugs

InterMune and Boehringer Ingelheim have spent the last year or so jockeying for the spotlight with in-development treatments for a rare lung disease, hoping to take pole position upon reaching the market. Now, as the FDA has decided to approve both drugs at once, the two companies will set off from equal starting points in the race for dominance.

Penn-Novartis team 'amazed' at remissions, responses in leukemia CAR-T study

Investigators working on Novartis' personalized CTL019 CAR-T program at the University of Pennsylvania say that 90% of a small group of children suffering from very advanced cases of treatment-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia achieved complete remission after being treated in the newly updated trial.

Ex-Merck employee charged in biotech's latest insider trading scheme

This summer, as Merck inched closer and closer to its $3.9 billion buyout of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, one of the company's employees tipped off a friend that a deal was imminent, federal prosecutors say. With that information, the pair made hundreds of thousands of dollars on insider trades, according to the SEC, the latest scandal for an industry increasingly vulnerable to such manipulation.

Orexigen pockets $100M in milestone cash for Contrave

It took a while, but San Diego-based Orexigen has just earned a $70 million milestone from its deal with Takeda on the obesity drug Contrave.

Meet some of the revolutionaries in biotech R&D

It's become a matter of commonly accepted faith in the biopharma biz that it takes more than $1 billion and 10 years to develop a new drug. Industry associations like to cite that factoid as a reason for the big prices we're seeing on new therapies, often while prodding the FDA for faster action. 

Forward Pharma pulls off a $221M IPO with eyes on unseating Biogen

Danish drug developer Forward Pharma came through with one of the year's biggest biotech IPOs, raising $221 million to support its plot to battle Biogen Idec in the blockbuster multiple sclerosis market.

Selecta banks $20M for trial work, inks a pact with Sanofi on diabetes

Selecta Biosciences has banked a $20 million-plus round designed to get its lead treatment into the clinic with an eye to providing some basic proof-of-concept data to show that their vaccine particle technology platform will be useful for a full slate of programs.

DNAtrix pockets $20M to get its cancer-fighting virus into Phase III

DNAtrix, at work on viral treatment that selectively infects brain cancer cells, picked up $20 million in venture cash, funds the company said will help speed its candidate into late-stage study.

Shire shares are hammered as AbbVie looks to renege on $54B buyout

AbbVie to Shire: Maybe that idea about merging regardless of what the Obama administration thinks wasn't so hot after all.

AstraZeneca's $2B cancer contender lines up for EU scrutiny

AstraZeneca is expecting word from European regulators next week on whether they'll recommend approval for its new ovarian cancer treatment, a drug the company hopes can bring in $2 billion a year at its peak.

Astellas dives into gene therapy with a Harvard expert in tow

Japan's Astellas Pharma is the latest big drugmaker allured by the promise of gene therapy, mounting an R&D effort that could lead to a new treatment for an inherited eye disease.

GW Pharma's cannabis-based drug comes up short in ulcerative colitis

GW Pharmaceuticals' in-development treatment for ulcerative colitis missed its primary endpoint in a midstage trial, a setback for the U.K. drugmaker and its pipeline of cannabinoid treatments.