News

PureTech reels in $55M to fund new biotech bets

Biotech startup machine PureTech has raised a $55 million round to fund the next stage of its evolution, recruiting some big thinkers to help it advance its stable of ventures and develop new technologies.

Genentech pays $150M upfront to partner on NewLink's immuno-oncology drug

Biotech powerhouse Genentech is going all in with Ames, IA-based NewLink Genetics, partnering on an early-stage cancer program which has been billed as an important example of a new class of checkpoint inhibitor. And Genentech says that it plans to build a portfolio of programs pairing this therapeutic with Roche's closely watched PD-L1 drug.

Merck and Roche prep breast cancer data for promising immunotherapy drugs

As fervor surrounding a new class of cancer drugs builds, drug giants Merck and Roche are set to roll out new data for their opposing immunotherapy drugs for breast cancer by the end of the year.

Astellas backs out of a $760M Alzheimer's deal with CoMentis

Astellas and CoMentis are calling it quits on their partnership in Alzheimer's disease, as the Japanese drugmaker walks away from a deal valued at up to $760 million.

Amgen sues to block Sanofi and Regeneron at the PCSK9 goal line

Sanofi and Regeneron have cut to the front of the line in the race to develop a new class of cardio drugs, but now rival Amgen has made a chess move of its own, filing a patent-infringement lawsuit designed to block its rivals from reaching what's expected to be a blockbuster market.

Incyte taps David Gryska to be its new CFO

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)...

Repros plummets as the FDA deals a blow to its low-T hopes

After years of clinical and regulatory setbacks, Repros Therapeutics was finally on the path to submitting its testosterone treatment to the FDA, scheduling a prefiling meeting for November with hopes of handing the drug in by year's end. But the agency has had some second thoughts, changing the agenda for the meeting and indefinitely delaying Repros' plans.

Adaptimmune's novel cancer treatment posts promising early results

Adaptimmune's pioneering approach to cancer immunotherapy has charted some impressive results in a small study. And while the biotech is quick to point out that it's early days yet, the data underscore the potential of a therapy that has convinced GlaxoSmithKline to bet up to $350 million on its future.

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.