UPDATED: AstraZeneca buys a new immuno-oncology weapon in $510M Heptares deal

AstraZeneca has just wrapped its second immuno-oncology deal in as many days, turning to Heptares to in-license an experimental drug that promises to improve the punch of its checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab (MEDI4736). The pharma giant will hand over a $10 million upfront payment for the collaboration, with up to $500 million in development and commercialization milestones--on top of a royalty stream from any approved products.

AstraZeneca ties up with little Mirati on another PD-L1 combo trial

AstraZeneca's big MedImmune subsidiary has a new partner for its closely-watched PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab (MEDI4736). Little Mirati Therapeutics, which is run by some high-profile cancer R&D execs, has struck a deal to pair the therapy with its HDAC inhibitor, mocetinostat, against non-small cell lung cancer.

Celgene buys into GlobeImmune's cancer immunotherapy

GlobeImmune, reeling from a costly clinical failure, secured a commitment from long-time partner Celgene to collaborate on a new cancer immunotherapy.

Cannabis patch startup pulls off a $42M IPO to fund drugs for epilepsy, pain

Pennsylvania drugmaker Zynerba Pharmaceuticals is making its way to Wall Street with some cannabis-derived treatments for central nervous system disorders, raising $42 million in an IPO.

Judge orders a halt to Alzheimer's spat as Eli Lilly chooses sides in dispute

A California judge has stepped between two top research institutions fighting over a vast Alzheimer's disease R&D program with ties to Big Pharma, ordering the study's new managers to hand it back for the time being.

Mystery solved: Star biotech team rallies behind a $36M diabetes spinout from Salk

The mystery of Ron Evans' new biotech startup has been solved. Armed with $36 million in cash from A-list venture investors and backed by a pro team recruited from Rich Heyman's Aragon/Seragon starring cancer drug startups, the prominent Salk investigator and his old buddy Heyman are coming out of stealth mode today with a new company called Metacrine.

Intec Pharma stumbles to $30M IPO as Parkinson's program fails to excite investors

Intec Pharma has raised $30 million (€28 million) in an IPO on Nasdaq. The haul is down on the most recent target--and represents a discount on its share price in Tel Aviv--but still gives Intec some money to throw at a Phase III trial of its Parkinson's disease candidate.

Shire CEO Ornskov faces a tough slog in quest to acquire Baxalta

Baxalta execs didn't like the idea of a $30 billion all-share Shire buyout when they heard it the first time on July 10--and they didn't warm to it at all when Shire decided to go public with the offer Tuesday morning.

Galapagos hits all-time high as 24-week RA data shorten odds of AbbVie deal

Galapagos has presented a surprise-free update on the trial of its AbbVie-partnered rheumatoid arthritis drug, filgotinib. The data led observers to cut the odds of AbbVie of taking up its $200 million (€182 million) buy-in option--or even making a bid to acquire Galapagos outright--and led to the company's stock hitting an all-time high on Euronext Amsterdam.

Cortendo outlines plan to up sticks to Ireland to snag tax benefits

​After a hectic period in which every biopharma seemed to be seeking to relocate its way to a lower tax rate, the furor over who pays what and where has died down a little in recent months. But the number crunchers are still working away in the background--and in the case of Cortendo they are on the cusp of engineering a move to Ireland.

Shares in Bavarian Nordic dip after short seller posts broadside against its cancer vaccine

Hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital has orchestrated an attack on Bavarian Nordic, the centerpiece of which is a 52-page report that argues the valuation of the Danish drugmaker is based on misplaced faith in the likelihood of its cancer vaccine succeeding in Phase III.

Teva buys into genomics to bolster its in-house R&D

Israeli pharma giant Teva Pharmaceutical is investing in Cambridge, MA's Immuneering, taking up a stake in the genomics upstart and tapping its expertise to help guide internal drug development.

Aimmune plots a $153M IPO to fund its 'breakthrough' food allergy pill

California biotech Aimmune Therapeutics has dialed up its IPO ambitions, angling for as much as $153 million this week as it pushes forward with a midstage therapy for peanut allergy.

BioMarin outlines its R&D game plan as Duchenne MD decision nears

BioMarin's executive team zeroed in on its late-stage R&D efforts for rare diseases on Monday after outlining a surge in Q2 revenue and a beat on analysts' expected losses for the quarter.

Regeneron ups its research budget by 32% with eyes on new blockbusters

Regeneron, toasting the approval of its latest treatment and riding the success of its last one, is investing more and more into R&D, lining up a stable of new therapies with blockbuster ambitions.

After years on the slide, things are looking up in biopharma R&D, report says

Whether looking at Phase III success, drug launches or product sales, biopharma is hitting its stride in R&D, according to new analysis from Thomson Reuters. And, as the industry evolves its approach to research and regulators speed up the review process, the latest upswing could be a sign of better days ahead for drug developers.

UPDATED: Shire goes public with a $30B bid to acquire Baxalta, expand rare-disease pipeline

After getting stiff-armed by the newly independent management at Baxter's biotech spinoff Baxalta, Shire is going public with its offer to acquire the company for $30.6 billion in shares. The deal marks Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov's play to make a landmark acquisition that can vault the company into the big leagues, after being left at the altar last year by AbbVie.

Baxalta's first-of-its-kind bleeding drug lines up for FDA approval

Baxalta, recently spun out from Baxter, is charging toward its first drug approvals under a new identity, publishing positive results for a bleeding treatment awaiting word from the FDA.

Bristol-Myers to collaborate on immuno-oncology studies

Bristol-Myers Squibb has signed on Northwestern University to partner on some early-stage immunotherapy trials.

Sorrento buys into biosimilars with a Chinese antibody deal

Sorrento Therapeutics, among many companies in the orbit of billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong, is looking to take a spot in the growing market for knockoffs of the world's top-selling biotech medicines.