Biotech's boom spells a spike in R&D down payments

The average upfront value in biotech deals hit a 9-year peak in 2014, according to Morrison & Foerster, part of a virtuous cycle in life sciences that has pushed asset valuations ever upward.

Collegium swings for a $75M IPO for its abuse-proof painkiller

Months removed from a $50 million venture round, Massachusetts biotech Collegium Pharmaceutical is eyeing a $75 million IPO to get its abuse-deterrent take on oxycodone onto the market.

Gilead's 'open to suggestion' on its next big M&A splash

On pace to reap $29 billion in revenue this year thanks to its surging hepatitis C franchise, Gilead Sciences has the cash to pull off a big deal or two, and management is eyeing a slew of late-stage opportunities.

COO Schultz out of a job after Novo's executive shuffle

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 Eric Sagonowsky (email) or...

Medicines Co. picks up a pair of FDA approvals amid a regulatory turnaround

The Medicines Company won FDA approval for a pair of new acute care treatments, moving on from a series of setbacks with hopes of bagging a third nod next month.

GW to raise $179M, KDEV's portfolio value sinks to new low, BIA wants U.K. to rival CA, MA

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, GW Pharmaceuticals is once again turning to U.S. investors to fuel the advance of its cannabis-based pipeline. The latest offering could generate upward of $180 million (€161 million), a sum that will give GW the firepower to mount a multi-front R&D program. And more.

Resurgent Newron hauls in $25.5M for its CNS pipeline

Two months removed from winning European approval for its lead drug, Italian biotech Newron Pharmaceuticals has raised $25.5 million to jump-start its pipeline assets, pushing forward with a stable of CNS candidates.

Novo's rumored CEO heir suddenly out of a job

Novo Nordisk COO Kåre Schultz has long been considered the heir apparent to CEO Rebien Sørensen, whenever he retires. And so it came as a bit of a shock when the company unceremoniously disclosed his departure Thursday with a single line at the bottom of its quarterly financial release.

Mirna rallies major players for $42M round, hits the gas in immuno-oncology

Mirna Therapeutics hauled in a $41.8 million D round to get its RNA treatment into Phase II trials, assembling a big-name syndicate to back its ambitions in immuno-oncology.

Third Rock's Blueprint Medicines scores $147M windfall in another hot IPO

The big biotech party on Wall Street isn't over yet. Blueprint Medicines, which came out of Third Rock's stable of startups, made the leap into NASDAQ, selling $147 million in shares in an upsized IPO. Shares went for $18 each, above the $15 to $17 range, providing fresh evidence that investors still have an appetite for early-stage drug developers.


BIA outlines 10-year plan to make U.K. a rival to Boston and the Bay

The UK BioIndustry Association has laid out its strategy for turning the United Kingdom into a biotech cluster to rival those in California and Massachusetts. And while the plan has many components, a comparison of the three regions today shows the main area the U.K. needs to improve: financing.

With Teva out, OncoGenex shrinks its PhIII lung cancer study

Yesterday, Teva formally tied off its collaboration with Seattle-based OncoGenex after handing over a $23 million payment as it exited a partnership to develop the biotech's late-stage cancer drug custirsen. Today, OncoGenex took the next step in its survival plan, trimming down the size and length of an ongoing trial as it reorganizes in the face of a major setback.

UPDATED: Sanofi-backed MyoKardia nabs a $46M round for cardio pipeline construction

Sanofi partner MyoKardia is getting a fresh injection of capital, garnering $46 million in its Series B as the South San Francisco-based biotech plots the next stage of its clinical journey developing new drugs for genetically defined groups of heart patients.

Minority shareholders unite against terms of Stallergenes-Greer merger

Ares Life Sciences has encountered resistance to its plan to merge Stallergenes and Greer. The investment funds own 77% of Stallergenes and all of Greer, but minority shareholders are determined to stop  it pushing through a deal that they see as only benefiting one group: Ares.


Affimed seizes on stock pop with filing for $40M offering

Late on April 24, as a good day's trading for Affimed Therapeutics turned great, the company's share price passed into the $11 to $13 range it hoped to hit when it went public in September. The next business day, Affimed filed for a follow-on offering to raise up to $40 million (€37 million).

KDEV writes off investments in 3 biotechs, sinking portfolio valuation to new low

Karolinska Development has stopped investing in three of its portfolio biotechs and fully written off its outlay in the businesses to date. The decisions contributed to the valuation of the portfolio falling to SEK 1,277 million ($150 million), its lowest level since KDEV's IPO in 2011.

GW Pharma files for $179M offering to advance cannabis-based pipeline

Having led the invasion of Euro biotechs onto Nasdaq and been rewarded with a 1,000% increase in its stock price, GW Pharmaceuticals has gone back to U.S. investors for a boost to its finances. The plan is to raise $179 million (€162 million) to finance a multi-front R&D program.

FDA panel gives a thumbs up to Amgen's T-Vec for melanoma

Amgen's regulatory team for talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec) was grilled by a group of outside FDA experts who picked up on some major questions regarding the Phase III melanoma study that was used to back its new drug application. A vigorous defense of the drug, though, helped make a winning case for the therapy, which was ultimately supported by all but one member of the panel.

Kythera bags FDA approval for its double-chin-shrinking shot

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals picked up an early FDA approval for its fat-melting injected treatment, a drug now cleared to erase double chins.

Ex-Synta chief Whitaker lands at Valeant; GW Pharma raising $180M;

@FierceBiotech: Activists get their way as Ariad CEO Berger steps down. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech @JohnCFierce: I asked CRISPR Tx CEO Novak if he was prepping an IPO. (Answer: all options open)...