News

Novartis reshuffles its $9B R&D operation to save $1B a year

Swiss pharma giant Novartis is changing up its massive R&D organization in hopes of squeezing out some savings while betting big on new medicines.

Facing extinction, MannKind is reportedly looking to sell itself

Struggling drugmaker MannKind is looking for a way out of its perilous financial situation, according to Reuters, scouting for a buyer in the wake of ex-partner Sanofi's decision to abandon the company and its inhaled insulin.

Langer-backed biotech reboots with $38M, new name and new cancer drug tech

Four-year-old biotech Blend Therapeutics, launched with the scientific backing of MIT's Robert Langer and colleagues, is jettisoning its one-time lead drug program and focusing on a new top drug and platform tech with a $38 million C round. And it's taking a new name to help underscore the shift in focus.

Backed by Novartis and Orbimed, Adicet joins immunotherapy crowd with $51M round

Adicet Bio has jumped out of stealth mode--more or less--with a $51 million A round and plans to combine two platform technologies into a next-gen approach on immunotherapies. The company was founded in 2014 and quietly launched a few months ago, says ex-Kite CEO and Adicet founder Aya Jakobovitz, who's been working as a partner at Orbimed while she assembled her new team.

Codiak piles on more venture cash, amassing $92M for exosome R&D

Startup Codiak BioSciences got off the ground in November with ambitious plans to turn exosomes into cancer therapies and venture commitments totaling more than $80 million. Now the Cambridge, MA, company has boosted its funding total to $92 million, extending its runway as it works through early-stage R&D.

China's CARsgen raises $30M for CAR-T work

Shanghai-based CARsgen Therapeutics has rounded up a $30 million B round to advance its work on CAR-T therapies. The biotech has been working on personalized CAR-T programs, reengineering T cells from patients and turning them into cancer attack weapons.

With a Duchenne MD patient struggling for life, little Akashi suspends study

Nonprofit-backed Akashi Therapeutics has suspended a trial of its lead drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy after a patient on the highest dose experienced "life-threatening health issues."

Amgen's Humira biosimilar nears FDA nod, but legal hurdles remain

Amgen's take on AbbVie's top-selling inflammation treatment is in line for FDA approval this year, but a patent fight between the two companies could keep it off the market into the next decade.

Anti-PD-1? Well, no, says Medivation as a partial hold forces a halt to 'pivotal' cancer study

When Medivation bought out the rights to CureTech's pidilizumab, it trumpeted its entry into checkpoint inhibition with a drug that aimed right at PD-1, unleashing a T cell attack on cancer. Except that Medivation recently concluded that the drug doesn't work that way after all--and now the FDA has red-flagged a pivotal study of the drug, halting the trial through a partial clinical hold while Medivation takes another stab at explaining the mechanism of action.

Galapagos' bowel drug misses the mark in Phase II

Belgian biotech Galapagos is shutting down an ulcerative colitis program after its top prospect failed to make a difference in a Phase II trial, putting off plans for late-stage development as the company weighs whether to move forward in another disease.

Merus pulls forward target date for solid tumor data, reiterates intent to file IPO

Merus has shaved months off the date on which it expects to release data from a Phase I/II trial of its lead bispecific antibody in HER2-expressing solid tumors. The Dutch immuno-oncology player provided the new timeline in an update to the paperwork it filed ahead of a planned Nasdaq IPO.

Mapi Pharma swings for $50M haul as oft-delayed IPO nears D-Day

Mapi Pharma has set the terms for its latest crack at listing on Nasdaq. The biotech, which set terms on its first IPO attempt back in April 2014, is aiming to round up around $50 million (€46 million) to bankroll development of its once-a-month version of Teva's blockbuster Copaxone.

UPDATED: Hedge fund's attack on troubled Zafgen draws blood

These days, while success and victory still have 1,000 fathers, failure and defeat have its outspoken champions as well.

Merck teams with Affimed on immuno-oncology combo

Germany's Affimed has inked a deal that makes it the latest in a long string of biotechs to partner up with Merck on a combination study using the PD-1 blockbuster Keytruda.

Soon-Shiong's NantCell raises another $57M for immuno-oncology work

Billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong's NantCell raised $57.3 million in equity to fund its work on treatments that use the immune system to fight cancer, becoming one of the most well-funded companies in its founder's constellation of biotech endeavors.

Editas tests CRISPR/Cas9 enthusiasm--and a turbulent market--with $122M IPO

Despite facing one of the worst markets for biotech stocks in recent memory, Editas Medicine has taken another big step forward in its quest to raise some big bucks through an IPO. The Cambridge, MA-based biotech noted that it will seek up to $122 million through the sale of 6,785,000 shares at $16 to $18 per share.

Shire gets back on track with once-rejected eye drug

Shire has resubmitted the once-rejected eye treatment lifitegrast for FDA approval, handing in new data the company hopes will get its self-described blockbuster drug onto the market.

UPDATED: OncoMed hits the brakes on PhII pancreatic cancer trial, shares plummet

OncoMed slammed the brakes on a Phase II study of the cancer stem cell drug tarextumab, citing worsening response rates in the drug arm for pancreatic cancer, with red flags shooting up for overall survival as well as progression-free survival rates among patients.

GSK, AstraZeneca and J&J back $57M effort to springboard university drug research

Three of the U.K.'s leading universities are joining hands with three of the world's biggest pharma giants to create a new translational medicine group aimed at spinning out new therapies into the global pipeline.

UPDATED: DC blizzard gives Martin Shkreli more time to wrestle with lawmakers over demand performance

Martin Shkreli really, really, really didn't want to head down to Washington, DC, to testify in front of angry lawmakers on Tuesday. And now Mother Nature has provided a temporary reprieve from his demand performance.

'