News

Despite a late-stage flop, Kamada preps its orphan drug for EMA review

Israeli biotech Kamada confirmed that its lead candidate failed to meet both its primary and secondary endpoints in a late-stage trial--but that won't interrupt the company's plans to file for European approval.

J&J teams with Bavarian Nordic on an emergency Ebola vaccine program

The deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is pushing related vaccine and drug development efforts from first gear into overdrive. Today it's J&J's turn to step up, teaming with the Danish biotech Bavarian Nordic to pair up vaccine components into a new jab with the help of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. And the pharma giant says it can start testing the new combination vaccine in a rushed clinical trial slated to start in early 2015.

UPDATED: AbbVie partners with Google's Calico on $1.5B R&D operation focused on aging

Hot on the heels of its $805 million development deal with Infinity, AbbVie Pharmaceuticals has followed up today with a plan to partner with Google's closely watched biotech upstart Calico on a new research operation that will cost up to $1.5 billion to get started.

Gene therapy biotech Voyager snags a former Lilly exec to take the reins

Third Rock Ventures' Voyager Therapeutics has named Steven Paul as its full-time CEO, tasking the longtime Eli Lilly R&D exec with shepherding its gene therapy candidates into clinical trials.

Roche CEO Schwan took a hands-on approach negotiating $8.3B InterMune buyout

The flurry of meetings and phone calls between Schwan and Welch are spelled out in an SEC document InterMune filed late last week.

Feds pledge up to $42M to hit the gas on Mapp's Ebola drug

Tiny biotech Mapp Biopharmaceutical made global headlines this summer when its early-stage Ebola treatment helped rescue a few patients from the deadly virus, and now the U.S. government is ponying up funds to help the company get its drug into clinical trials.

Teva's well-traveled asthma drug comes through in Phase III

Teva is inching toward an FDA application for reslizumab, touting positive late-stage results for an asthma antibody passed around for years in multiple buyouts.

Fresh funds in hand, VentiRx joins AstraZeneca, Ludwig and CRI for combo immuno-oncology study

Yesterday, Seattle-based VentiRx Pharmaceuticals put out the word that it had raised a new round of cash to back an ongoing mid-stage study of motolimod (VTX-2337), its TLR8 cancer vaccine, adding that the biotech had won fast-track status for the program. And today the company is following up with the news that it's partnering with the Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute on a new immuno-oncology combo development effort with AstraZeneca's hot checkpoint inhibitor MEDI-4736.

AbbVie ties the knot with Infinity in $805M blood cancer collaboration

AbbVie has agreed to hand over $275 million upfront to Infinity Pharmaceuticals in exchange for rights to develop and commercialize duvelisib, its oral PI3k-delta/gamma inhibitor for blood cancers. And the blockbuster-size deal for Infinity's lead program comes with $530 million in potential milestones.

GSK's new Boston collaboration chief goes 'anti-pharma' as he prowls for partners

GSK vet Jason Gardner is the newly named VP for R&D in the greater Boston area, in charge of a small but growing team of specialists at a brand-new satellite facility that will help coordinate not only the 25-or-so ongoing scientific collaborations with groups like the Harvard Stem Cell Institute but also biotech partnerships with the likes of Epizyme.

Mapp's Ebola treatment comes through in a preclinical study

Tiny Mapp Biopharmaceutical's much-scrutinized Ebola treatment proved 100% effective in animal studies, the company said, stoking hopes that the investigational therapy can help curb an outbreak of the virus.

Servier and Amgen's cardio drug faces uncertain future after trial flop

Ivabradine, a heart rate-reducing drug from Servier and Amgen, failed to beat placebo in a huge study of patients with coronary artery disease, potentially clouding its future on two continents.

Bristol-Myers dumps $1B-plus Alder deal, punts rheumatoid arthritis drug

Shares of Alder BioPharmaceuticals took a hit Tuesday morning after the biotech reported that Bristol-Myers Squibb had dumped its $1 billion-plus collaboration deal on the IL-6 drug clazakizumab, which had cleared a Phase IIb study for rheumatoid arthritis.

Acadia surges after nabbing 'breakthrough' title for late-stage Parkinson's drug

The FDA has just added a fresh boost to Acadia Pharmaceuticals, naming its late-stage Parkinson's drug pimavanserin a "breakthrough" therapy deserving rapid regulatory response as it nears the finish line with a closely watched marketing application.

UPDATED: Setback forces Novo Nordisk to abandon anti-inflammatory R&D work, affecting 400 staffers

Among all the pharma companies, Novo Nordisk always stood out for its relentless R&D focus on diabetes and obesity. Today, the Danish company amped up that concentration another notch, jettisoning a group of clinical programs and winding down its work in anti-inflammatory treatments. And the pharma player added that the move would hit some 400 staffers, with close to half likely to lose their jobs at Novo.

UPDATED: Cabozantinib flops against prostate cancer, forcing big job cuts at Exelixis

Late on Monday evening Exelixis put out the word that its crucial late-stage study of cabozantinib flunked a comparison study with prednisone for castration-resistant prostate cancer, triggering a restructuring that will eliminate 70% of the jobs at the biotech.

Sanofi, Regeneron point to potential heart benefit in PCSK9 data dump

The development team from Sanofi and Regeneron journeyed to the ESC Congress in Barcelona this weekend to detail the impact their late-stage PCSK9 drug alirocumab has on bad cholesterol, drawing some high-profile attention for a batch of preliminary numbers suggesting a trend toward lower cardiovascular risks.

Novartis' LCZ696 kindles megablockbuster projections with impressive PhIII heart data

Novartis told the world back in March that its experimental heart drug LCZ696 had delivered the goods early in a pivotal study, allowing for a quick wrap of the Phase III trial. And today the pharma giant painted in the numbers, completing the late-stage picture for a closely watched therapy that has the potential to rival the most successful drug franchises now on the market.

ThromboGenics spins out cancer R&D, scales down staff amid lackluster Jetrea sales

Disappointing sales of ThromboGenics' only marketed product, Jetrea, have taken their toll on the company's profits this year. To get back in the black, the Belgian company now says it's spinning out its cancer R&D activities to focus on the struggling eye drug.

Band of West Coast biotech insiders pushes oral anticoagulant to PhIII

Some well-known biopharma execs on the West Coast, including Impax Labs founder and former CEO Larry Hsu, have teamed up on a low budget, late-stage program for an oral anticoagulant.