News

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)...

Amgen faces a critical review for T-Vec

Amgen took its best case for its dual cancer-killing oncolytic virus/cancer vaccine talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec) to an FDA advisory committee this morning.

Amgen adding 100 researchers in Cambridge as biotechs scout for 1,000-plus

While Amgen has been busily chopping thousands of staffers throughout its organization while reducing its R&D budget, one of its goals in the restructuring--which was repeated in its 10Q earlier this week--was to beef up its presence in two key hubs: San Francisco and Cambridge, MA. And it's following through with a plan to add 100 staffers in the Boston-area hub this year.

Celgene bets $30M on a Versant-backed cancer startup

Striking its fourth oncology deal in under a week, the prolific Celgene is teaming up with a graduate of the Versant Ventures startup academy, betting the biotech's proprietary R&D engine can churn out some valuable cancer candidates.

Celgene deepens its Agios ties with an $80M option deal

Celgene is expanding its relationship with biotech partner Agios Pharmaceuticals, partnering on another preclinical cancer candidate in a 50-50 deal.

Activists get their way as Ariad CEO Berger steps down

Activist investor Alex Denner has called off his proxy fight with Ariad Pharmaceuticals, a cease-fire that appears to have cost Harvey Berger, the biotech's founder and CEO, his job.

As patent battle brews, Celgene and GSK lead $64M raise for CRISPR Therapeutics

The cascade of venture cash into CRISPR-Cas9 startups is continuing with no end in sight, despite a patent brawl brewing over who owns the technology. Today it's CRISPR Therapeutics' turn at the venture well, drawing $64 million in new VC cash that will fund a company that's based in Basel with deep and growing roots in Cambridge, MA. The new funding brings its total haul to $89 million, with GlaxoSmithKline's SR One and Celgene leading the way.

Google's Calico continues its partnering romp on aging R&D with Buck collaboration

Google's stealthy biotech Calico is setting up shop inside the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, after hammering out the latest in a long lineup of deals to collaborate on a new generation of therapeutics.

FDA bats down Merck's sugammadex in third rejection

Merck execs used their quarterly review today to confirm that the troubled drug Bridion (sugammadex) has once again been rejected at the FDA. This is the drug's third stiff arm at the agency.

Resverlogix gets a $116M China drug development deal, stokes buyout buzz

Resverlogix has struck a deal to trade development rights in China for its lead cardio drug in exchange for a $41.5 million equity stake in the biotech along with up to $75 million in sales milestones. And today the Canadian biotech's CEO added a sweetener, telling Bloomberg that he's in talks with unnamed suitors to sell the company.

Galapagos' arthritis drug shines in another PhIIb study as M&A rumors simmer

Galapagos' AbbVie-partnered rheumatoid arthritis drug hit the mark in another Phase IIb trial, stoking rumors that the Belgian biotech could be in the M&A crosshairs.

GlaxoSmithKline's shingles vaccine gets a leg up on Merck's rival with a PhIII win

GlaxoSmithKline's in-development shingles vaccine successfully staved off the virus in a massive Phase III study--and, in contrast with its top competitor, the shot's effects didn't wane among elderly patients.

Biogen CEO Scangos commits $2.5B to a high-stakes Alzheimer's gamble

How much does it cost to develop a new drug? In Biogen's case, the answer is $2.5 billion. That's the figure that CEO George Scangos gave to the World Medical Innovation Forum in Boston for its much-hyped Alzheimer's drug, according to Bloomberg's Michelle Fay Cortez.

Diabetes upstart Intarcia raffles a slice of future revenue for $225M

Intarcia Therapeutics has raffled off 1.5% of the blockbuster future net revenue it is hoping to see--provided its late-stage, extended-warranty version of exenatide can work as billed with a miniature pump. Unnamed investors have gambled $225 million on the Phase III therapy/device, the company says, with an option to convert it to equity at a postvictory $5.5 billion company valuation.

Roche's $100M Alzheimer's study could shift the balance in R&D

Despite all the excitement over Biogen's recent Phase I success in Alzheimer's, the question of whether attacking protein buildups in the brain can in fact treat the disease remains the subject of intense debate in the neurology world. And Roche, at work on a $100 million trial, is out to find out once and for all.

Synta CEO bolts after less than a year, leaving a biotech on the mend

Synta Pharmaceuticals CEO Anne Whitaker is stepping down after just 9 months at the helm, heading back to Big Pharma as the company trims down and rallies around its cancer candidate.

UPDATED: FDA review challenges Amgen on a questionable T-Vec study

An internal FDA review of Amgen's study of its cancer-killing virus talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec), released Monday morning, raises red flags for this drug, presenting some thorny questions for the company's regulatory team to answer.

Celgene bags a build-to-buy biotech in $485M cancer deal

A few years after teaming up with Versant Ventures to get Stanford spinout Quanticel Pharmaceuticals off the ground, Celgene is buying the cancer-focused biotech for up to $485 million.

Biogen partner Sobi and its Boston-based CEO field a takeover bid

Sweden's Sobi, a close partner of Biogen, is in the crosshairs of a buyout bid. But the biotech isn't saying yet just who's doing the bidding.

UPDATED: Celladon shares blasted as gene therapy for heart failure bombs in PhIIb

Celladon's lead program--as well as its stock price--crashed after the biotech announced Sunday evening that its heart therapy Mydicar failed the primary and secondary endpoints in a Phase IIb trial, losing out in a full lineup of efficacy tests.