Merck KGaA hustling a promising anti-malaria drug into human studies

Scientists in Scotland have been grabbing headlines with news that their preclinical research into an experimental single-dose antimalaria compound has shown real promise, spurring Merck KGaA to pick up the development and commercialization rights.

BioMarin shines as dwarfism drug boosts growth in children

Three years ago, BioMarin top scientist Henry Fuchs pitched BMN-111 as one of the company's most promising early-stage drug prospects, with stellar mouse data to suggest that it was on track to develop a therapy to correct the genetic mutation behind dwarfism. On Wednesday evening, the San Rafael, CA-based biotech outlined Phase II data from 26 children that provided ample proof-of-concept human data that Fuchs was well justified in his belief.

Woodford exits Sanofi, doubles down on Circassia in portfolio rejig

Neil Woodford has pulled out of Sanofi and doubled down on Circassia, snapping up a 13.5% stake in the British allergy specialist. The deals were two of a string of stock sales and buys made by the fund manager as he shuffled his deck in recent weeks.

Medigene files to raise €50M to hit gas on T-cell R&D programs

Medigene is preparing to ratchet up investment in T-cell receptor (TCR) R&D programs. The plan is to raise up to €50 million ($56 million), funnel the cash into R&D programs and create a pipeline of up to 10 TCRs.

Servier bags EU rights to colorectal cancer drug in $130M deal

Servier has continued its push into oncology and search beyond its walls for innovation by striking a $130 million (€115 million) deal with Taiho Pharmaceutical. The fee, which is made up of an upfront payment and near-term milestone, will give Servier the rights to Taiho's treatment for refractory metastatic colorectal cancer.

Heart failure-focused BioCardia out to grab $57M in IPO

San Carlos, CA-based BioCardia has filed an IPO designed to raise $57.5 million.

Lilly calls in some academic muscle to get its cancer pipeline moving

Eli Lilly inked a pair of deals with Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Sarah Cannon Research Institute to hit the gas on oncology R&D, aiming to shorten the development process for a slew of new medicines.

Allergan's paying $2.1B for Kythera and its double-chin drug

The freshly rebranded Allergan is planning to spend $2.1 billion on Kythera, maker of an injection to reduce chin fat, in a deal designed to bolster the company's strength in aesthetics.

Synergy soars on stellar constipation data, rekindling buyout chatter

Synergy Pharmaceuticals' in-development constipation drug met its goals with resounding success in a Phase III trial, sending the company's shares skyward and stoking rumors that it may be a takeout target.

GlaxoSmithKline budgets $95M to launch a 'living genome' drug research institute

The struggling GlaxoSmithKline is committing more than $95 million in cash and added resources over the next 5 years to launch a new nonprofit institute in Seattle that will explore the "living genome" for new insights into the ways that cells function in search of a new generation of drugs to put into the clinic.

With IPO in mind, cancer player CytomX steps up with a $70M round

Six months after nailing down a $20 million series C led by Pfizer, a group of crossover investors have backed a $70 million follow-up round for South San Francisco-based CytomX, a cancer-focused biotech with next-gen antibody tech that is positioning itself as a player at the crossroads of two of the hottest fields in oncology R&D.

Aerie Pharma shares soar as FDA lowers the hurdle for PhIII

Last spring, as Aerie Pharmaceuticals execs rushed to man the ramparts as its share price tanked following the failure of its glaucoma drug Rhopressa, the company insisted that a slight change to its late-stage program would have been enough to get them over the goal line. So this morning, in a head-snapping turnaround, shares jumped 50% as the FDA proved amenable to making some changes that might let another Phase III trial succeed.

Kite taps Adimab to lend a hand in CAR-T R&D

Kite Pharma, at work on therapies that use the immune system to fight cancer, paired up with Adimab to expand its R&D efforts.

Upstart Kezar wrangles $23M to pick up where Onyx left off

South San Francisco startup Kezar Life Sciences is looking to follow through on some promising programs discovered at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, raising $23 million and securing Amgen's blessing as it targets autoimmune disease.

Bayer bets on Johns Hopkins for eye disease R&D

German pharma giant Bayer is uniting with researchers at Johns Hopkins University to ferret out new treatments for retinal diseases, signing a 5-year deal targeting early-stage R&D.

Avalanche tanks after its gene therapy posts mixed results in AMD

Gene therapy developer Avalanche Biotechnologies watched its value plummet after posting some discouraging Phase IIa results for its lead candidate, a treatment for the vision-destroying wet age-related macular degeneration.

Pulmatrix hits Wall Street with $10M and a Mylan deal

Respiratory biotech Pulmatrix has completed its nontraditional path to the public markets, closing a merger with upstart Ruthigen to inherit a Nasdaq listing, at the same time banking $10 million and partnering up with generics giant Mylan.

Actavis dons the Allergan monicker after $70B buyout

Three months after closing its blockbuster buyout of drugmaker Allergan, Actavis is from now on doing business under its acquisition's name, elbowing its way into Big Pharma after years of dealmaking.

AstraZeneca spells out key failures for gout drug in PhIII

AstraZeneca says that its experimental gout drug lesinurad failed to hit the primary biomarker target for the dose that it's now seeking regulatory approval for in the U.S. and Europe. And this latest Phase III--the last of a trio--continues to demonstrate that the pharma giant can't land evidence that the drug provides a clear benefit to patients in the time allotted for the study.

Israel's RedHill soars as its antibiotic comes through in Phase III

RedHill Biopharma's combo antibiotic for Helicobacter pylori infection met its main goal in a late-stage trial, putting the Israeli outfit in line for a sit-down with the FDA to plot a path to market.