U.K. puts Cambridge at the heart of £50M precision medicine program

The United Kingdom has put Cambridge at the heart of its £50 million ($78 million) push into precision medicines. Cambridge is to host the headquarters of the precision medicine network, from which a team will coordinate regional centers to support the advance of targeted therapies through the clinic and into real-world use.

EU bank funnels £50M into Imperial Innovations as investment plan accelerates

Imperial Innovations has returned to the European Investment Bank for cash, signing off on a £50 million ($78 million) loan just two years after it tapped the same source for £30 million. The need to double-dip in the EIB funding font arose after Imperial Innovations stepped up its rate of investment.

Apogenix inks cancer drug development deal for China

Germany's Apogenix, which is backed by SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp, has struck an exclusive licensing agreement with CANbridge Life Sciences to develop and commercialize its lead immuno-oncology drug candidate APG101 in ChinaMacao, and Hong Kong.

Bristol-Myers looks to academia to double down on fibrosis R&D

Bristol-Myers Squibb is teaming up with researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina to shed some light on the root causes of fibrotic disease, planning translational studies on a handful of ailments with hopes of spotlighting new treatments.

Celgene's $7.2B buyout gets a big thumbs up, but is the deal really done?

Generally, multibillion-dollar biotech deals these days come with a considerable amount of light scolding from analysts fretting over the cost as valuations surge. Downside remarks tend to caution against looking for a higher share price, and one analyst at least raises the prospect that the bidding war may not be over. Here's a selection of notable comments this morning.

Sanofi carves up its org chart to deliver on a $38B pipeline promise

Sanofi, adjusting to life under new leadership, is planning to split up its business into 5 standalone segments, a move CEO Olivier Brandicourt said will help the company follow through on its promise to launch 18 new drugs over the next 5 years.

Takeda hands in its Velcade successor with blockbuster ambitions

Japanese drugmaker Takeda is angling to win FDA approval for its lead cancer asset, an oral treatment for blood malignancies that is key to the company's future in oncology.

Celgene chief Bob Hugin isn't done betting on 'binary' biotech deals

By all accounts, the bidding war for Receptos was intense. But for Celgene CEO Bob Hugin and his go-to deals chief George Golumbeski, strategically this was exactly the right time to clinch a $7.2 billion buyout deal for the biotech and its lead drug ozanimod. And after they add this latest late-stage program to the pipeline, there are still more deals to be done.

UPDATED: Celgene shells out $7.2B for Receptos in a big bet on autoimmune disease

Celgene is trading $7.2 billion in cash for Receptos and its Phase III autoimmune treatment, building on some recent success in the field.

UPDATED: WuXi Healthcare plots a $250M biotech venture fund for U.S., China

Fast-growing R&D services outfit WuXi PharmaTech is marching ahead with plans to wrap a $250 million venture fund aimed at U.S. and China life sciences companies. WuXi filed documents with the SEC last week outlining the goal for WuXi Healthcare Ventures Fund II, which it's already made a $50 million anchor investment in.

Sarepta wants to 'own DMD' in rare disease race with BioMarin

Sarepta, jockeying with rival BioMarin to commercialize a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is looking to buy up complementary assets to fortify its position. But the company's better-funded competitor believes its long history in rare disease R&D will give it a leg up as the pair move toward make-or-break FDA decisions.

Risk-sharing trial ops group Nuvelution debuts with powerhouse board and backers

Clarus Ventures has unveiled a lead role in funding a startup, San Francisco-based Nuvelution Pharma, that has an eminent group of Big Pharma veterans on the board as it sets out to ink a few clinical trial deals with the industry.

Biopharma's 10 highest-paid heads of R&D

The year's 10 highest-paid development executives pulled in $124.4 million in total compensation, a roughly 35% jump over 2013's top earners. And while each entrant benefited from meeting individual company goals, the whole group benefited from biopharma's macroeconomic moment in the sun, as the value of stock awards skyrocketed alongside the industry index.

GlaxoSmithKline joins the U.K.'s new Crick Institute for some open R&D

GlaxoSmithKline is the first pharma company to get behind the U.K.'s forthcoming Francis Crick Institute, signing on to lend its minds and molecules to an open R&D effort.

Celgene backing Soon-Shiong's cancer biotech IPO, now dubbed NantKwest

Now that billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong has taken control of tiny ConkWest and steered it toward a $173 million IPO, he's adding a makeover to the name that will fit more easily under the fast-growing NantWorks umbrella he's created.

Biotech legend Lee Hood gambles $36M on a plan to revolutionize healthcare

Sequencing pioneer Lee Hood has already started enough biotechs to create his own cluster. And now he's taking another shot at the founding scientist's role, joining hands with a pair of high-profile biotech investment groups which are contributing a $36 million B round for a startup that has its sights set on nothing less than transforming healthcare--and our attitudes toward it.

Neos angles for a $74M IPO to fund its ADHD drugs

Neos Therapeutics spelled out the terms of its pending IPO, lining up for as much as $73.6 million as it moves forward with reformulated versions of common ADHD treatments.

UPDATED: Partners claim Steven Burrill looted biotech fund of $17M-plus

G. Steven Burrill has landed in a fresh tub of hot water over allegations he embezzled millions of dollars from a biotech fund he ran--a year after one of his former staffers filed suit claiming that more than $20 million was diverted, which in turn prompted the fund's institutional investors to boot the venture exec out of his management role.

Ohr rebounds from a costly failure with positive eye drop data

Moving on from a painful Phase II failure for its top prospect, Ohr Pharmaceutical heralded new hope for the eye drop in retinal vein occlusion thanks to some positive results from a midstage study.

As schizophrenia rivals rush in, Otsuka and Lundbeck gain FDA OK for Rexulti

Otsuka and its partner Lundbeck snagged an FDA approval for Rexulti (brexpiprazole) to treat schizophrenia and as an add-on therapy for major depression, leaving the two companies prepping for an August launch into an increasingly crowded field.