News

Aldea raises $24M to push alcohol-poisoning antidote to the clinic

Aldea Pharmaceuticals closed a $24 million round of Series B equity financing to support the development of a drug designed to mitigate the severe--and sometimes deadly--effects of alcohol poisoning.

No deal: Report asserts that Roche has dropped any plans for Chugai buyout

The news that Roche struck a deal to buy InterMune for $8.3 billion reportedly came at the expense of Chugai's investors.

J&J snaps up Covagen and its protein-antibody fusion platform

Johnson & Johnson's Innovation Center in London has stepped in to help coordinate the acquisition of Covagen, a Swiss protein drug developer that's been working on an IL-17A anti-inflammatory for psoriasis in a very crowded field.

The real 'exclusive' at Merck: R&D is back in the saddle, baby

Reuters has the "exclusive" this morning that the FDA may approve Merck's PD-1 immuno-oncology superstar pembrolizumab for melanoma some weeks ahead of the October 28 PDUFA date. Then again, they may not, but it's looking good, according to the wire service.

Allergic reactions force Regado to pull the plug on PhIII anticoagulant study

Regado Biosciences just got called for its third strike by the safety board. The biotech, which raised tens of millions of dollars to fund a go-it-alone clinical program for an experimental anticoagulant, says the board called on Regado to shutter its Phase III study after determining that the serious allergic reactions investigators had recorded in the study made it impossible to go on.

Merck and Advaxis forge another no-money-down IO development pact

Almost exactly one year after Daniel O'Connor was named CEO at Advaxis, he celebrated the personal milestone with the latest in a string of deals. Pharma giant Merck stepped up with a no-strings-attached immuno-oncology development pact for pembrolizumab, one of the hot new checkpoint inhibitors promising a groundbreaking new approach to treating a wide variety of cancers.

Roche is buying (again): extends biotech shopping spree with $8.3B InterMune buyout

Roche has won the behind-the-scenes auction for InterMune and its late-stage drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, announcing Sunday that it is buying up the U.S. biotech for $8.3 billion.

GlaxoSmithKline's ViiV wins FDA nod for three-in-one HIV treatment

ViiV Healthcare, the HIV-focused venture majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline, picked up FDA approval for a single pill that combines three antivirals and promises to challenge a leading treatment from Gilead Sciences.

UCSF spinout launches crowdfunding campaign for Ebola drug

Startup OncoSynergy is jumping on the crowdfunding bandwagon to raise money to test a drug candidate in its pipeline against the deadly Ebola virus, which has infected 2,473 people and killed 1,350 of those in the worst outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

Sprout pockets $15M for its long-delayed 'female Viagra'

North Carolina's Sprout Pharmaceuticals put together a $15 million funding round, cash the biotech will use to make another go at FDA approval for its female sexual dysfunction treatment.

Pfizer-AstraZeneca sequel could hit theaters next week

Months removed from an intercontinental M&A dance that polarized investors and paralyzed executives, Pfizer and AstraZeneca will soon be free to start talking about a deal once more, provided the latter company is interested.

J&J pours another $20M into ViaCyte and sizes up its diabetes treatment

Johnson & Johnson has deepened its ties to regenerative medicine outfit ViaCyte, handing the biotech $20 million in exchange for a future stake in the company and the right to acquire its in-development diabetes medication.

Allergan CFO steps down amid buyout drama, but analysts aren't concerned

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)...

Cubist nears another big antibiotic approval as M&A rumors simmer

Lexington, MA's Cubist Pharmaceuticals is inching toward its second drug approval of the year, hoping to win European and U.S. clearance for a new anti-infective as analysts wonder whether the company is in line for a Big Pharma takeout.

Israel's NeuroDerm banks $16M to advance its Parkinson's pump

Israeli biotech NeuroDerm has secured a $16 million investment to support its work on a wearable treatment for Parkinson's disease, working through a mid-stage study on its lead candidate for the neurodegenerative ailment.

AZ may be too expensive for Pfizer, Orexo to up reliance on partners, Santhera raises cash

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, data on the antibiotic AstraZeneca is developing with Actavis' Forest Laboratories and some oncology compounds have burnished AstraZeneca's pipeline, a development that means the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker may now be too expensive to be attractive to Pfizer. And more.

J&J, AstraZeneca and Sanofi join Illumina to create a pan-cancer test

Pharma giants AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi have teamed up with gene sequencing pioneer Illumina to create a single test that screen patients for a wealth of cancer-related gene variants, allowing drugmakers to identify the ideal recipients of their oncology drugs.

Baxter's next hemophilia drug clocks a Phase III success

Baxter's latest hemophilia candidate met its main goals in a late-stage study, clearing the way for an FDA application as the biopharma giant works to expand its cadre of bleeding drugs.

GlaxoSmithKline grabs FDA approval for its latest asthma treatment

GlaxoSmithKline's banner respiratory division picked up another FDA approval, securing the agency's blessing for an inhaled asthma treatment as it expands its stable of drugs for airway disorders.

Eli Lilly joins list of Enbrel-beaters with head-to-head psoriasis showdown

Following fast on the heels of a rival development team at Novartis, Eli Lilly has posted a superior therapeutic profile for its experimental late-stage psoriasis drug ixekizumab compared to Pfizer's Enbrel in a head-to-head study. And Lilly says the results are good enough to back a regulatory filing in the first half of 2015 for its IL-17A therapy as it races to gain some new approvals following a punishing onslaught of generic competition to its top drug franchises.