News

Actavis, Richter tout new PhIII data for their tarnished schizophrenia drug

Fourteen months after the FDA rejected the new antipsychotic cariprazine, the developers say they have gathered together a new batch of late-stage data to demonstrate its effectiveness for schizophrenia, but the statement has done little to dispel the lingering doubts about this one-time blockbuster hopeful.

CytRx surges after FDA lifts a partial hold on late-stage cancer drug

Shares of CytRx bounced up 10% this morning as investors responded to the news that the FDA had lifted its partial hold on its late-stage cancer drug aldoxorubicin.

Exclusive: Constellation chops staff, plots go-it-alone strategy as Genentech option deadline looms

Back in January of 2012, Third Rock's upstart epigenetics play Constellation Pharmaceuticals landed a three-year deal with a marquee development partner. Genentech agreed to step in, provided a cash commitment of $95 million to cover part of the Cambridge, MA-based biotech's R&D overhead, and added an option to buy the company. Now the collaboration part of the deal is complete, and on Friday the biotech quietly laid off 23 staffers as it sketched out a path that would allow it to go it alone--if Genentech doesn't acquire the company by its deadline later this year.

Singapore to detail trial of MicroVAX novel cancer vaccine

The National Cancer Centre Singapore will brief on the status of a first-in-human clinical trial using an adenovirus under a protocol endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Singapore's Health Sciences Authority, highlighting the wealthy city-state's push to be a leader in early stage clinical trials in Asia.

GlaxoSmithKline mulls more spinoffs amid a widespread rethink

Months after announcing plans to pursue an IPO for its HIV-focused joint venture, GlaxoSmithKline says it may take a similar tack with some of its other businesses.

Playing catch-up, Pfizer looks to leapfrog Big Pharma's immuno-oncology line

Pfizer is well behind its rival titans in the race to cash in on a new class of cancer treatments. But instead of playing catch-up in skin cancer, the industry first immuno-oncology target, the drugmaker is skipping ahead to the next wave of malignancies.

J&J gets $116M to help hustle along new Ebola vaccine

Just days after Johnson & Johnson began a Phase I study of its new Ebola vaccine the pharma giant has organized an alliance to help accelerate its work and picked up a $116 million-plus grant to add to its $200 million commitment to get the job done as quickly as possible.

UCB taps Neuropore in a $480M Parkinson's collaboration

Belgian drugmaker UCB has inked a $480 million deal to team up with Neuropore Therapies on some early-stage treatments for Parkinson's disease.

Roche bets $545M on Trophos' once-failed orphan drug

Roche has signed a deal to trade up to €470 million ($545 million) for Trophos, a company at work on a mid-stage treatment for the rare and debilitating spinal muscular atrophy.

MannKind COO Hakan Edstrom appointed CEO after founder steps down

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 Michael Gibney (email | Twitter)...

Big rounds push 2014 biotech venture funding to near-record $6B

With a big assist from Moderna's recent monster round, the biotech industry came within a rounding error of breaking the record for new venture investing in 2014, racking up $5.96 billion in total investments in a frenzied year of deals, data and buyouts, according to The MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters.

Irish gov backs €85M fund, AZ-partnered Redx plans £80M IPO, Alcobra raises $28M for ADHD

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, having unveiled plans for an £80 million ($121 million) listing on AIM this week, the AstraZeneca-partnered Redx is set to be among the first biotechs of the year to test the United Kingdom market. And more.

Canadian VC CTI unveils a $112M new biotech fund

CTI Life Sciences, a Montreal-headquartered biotech backer, has put together a $112 million new purse, scouting for promising startups in Canada and abroad.

Roche's long-dead drug dalcetrapib may be revived in new study

Scientists in Canada say they have drilled down into the massive data files from the development effort for cholesterol drug dalcetrapib and found that a subset of patients with the right genetic profile benefited greatly from the drug. And now they plan to follow up with a new study in an effort to revive the long-dead drug.

An inside look at the FDA's approach to speeding new drug approvals

The FDA enjoyed some industry kudos at the end of 2014 after handing out a record number of new drug approvals for the past decade. And now it's crunched the numbers for the year to underscore the kind of trends regulators see in the biopharma world.

Ex-employees say Soon-Shiong's Big Data venture is a fraud

NantHealth, an arm of billionaire physician and biotech entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong's empire, promises to improve cancer diagnostics through a marriage of genomics and high-speed computing. But behind its sleek marketing campaign and Soon-Shiong's bravura, the company is misleading customers and putting patients at risk, according to a lawsuit filed by two former employees.

The 2015 biotech takeover target list includes some hot new players

With the big multinationals like Merck, Roche, Pfizer and J&J joining some of the most aggressive biotechs (think Shire) in roaming the planet in search of the right biotech targets to acquire, you can expect to see a steady stream of fresh speculation among analysts over which companies figure as the most likely buyout--and the next place to score some quick cash by investors.

Enanta plots a future in NASH, chasing another blockbuster

Enanta Pharmaceuticals, perhaps best known as AbbVie's partner in hepatitis C, has blueprinted its next big solo step, joining the race to develop treatments for a pervasive liver disease with blockbuster potential.

The JP Morgan mood: Damn the biotech valuations and full speed ahead in 2015

SAN FRANCISCO--Waiting for an elevator at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, Celgene CEO Bob Hugin and I were chatting about the frenzied pace of deals that were announced in the lead-up to the annual JP Morgan confab. "The whole industry is on fire," he said with a happy smile.

NeuroPhage wraps a $27M round to advance its Alzheimer's drug

Cambridge, MA's NeuroPhage banked an additional $10 million in Series D cash, bringing its latest round to $27 million and filling out the biotech's war chest as it marches toward the clinic with a treatment for neurodegenerative disease.