News

Bristol-Myers bags a record-fast approval for its cancer blockbuster Opdivo

Bristol-Myers Squibb picked up FDA approval to use its new oncology treatment in lung cancer, significantly boosting the value of a therapy already expected to bring in billions each year.

Warp Drive recruits an Alnylam vet to take the reins

Warp Drive Bio, at work on high-tech therapeutics derived from nature, appointed biopharma veteran Laurence Reid as its new CEO, with ex-chief and Harvard luminary Greg Verdine pivoting to president and chief scientific officer.

As split looms, Baxter bags autoimmune biotech SuppreMol for $225M

With Baxter's bioscience division getting ready to spin out into an independent operation with an R&D base in Boston, the company has struck a deal to buy out SuppreMol for $225 million in cash. Baxter is planning to continue operating the biotech at its Munich facility, where SuppreMol has been working on new drugs for autoimmune diseases.

Harvard antibiotics spinout gets $22M in A-lister cash and Big Pharma's attention

Harvard chemistry professor Andrew Myers says he's made a breakthrough that can greatly expand a class of antibiotics, forming the foundation for his latest startup: Macrolide Pharmaceuticals. And the biotech is launching today with $22 million in venture cash from an impressive group of venture backers.

Startup Alkahest inks a $50M deal for anti-aging R&D

Alkahest, a member of Johnson & Johnson's just-launched biotech incubator, signed a $50 million agreement with Spanish giant Grifols to hit the gas on its novel approach to treating neurodegeneration.

Genfit is next up in the M&A rumor mill thanks to its NASH drug

French biotech Genfit is considering putting itself up for sale, Bloomberg reports, citing people close to the situation who say the company's in-development treatment for a pervasive liver disease could bring buyers to the table.

UPDATED: Bristol-Myers forges a billion-dollar cancer vaccine deal with Bavarian Nordic

Bristol-Myers Squibb has swooped in with $60 million upfront to gain an option on Bavarian Nordic's Phase III therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac, ready to shell out an additional $915 million-plus in milestones if it takes the next step to license and ultimately commercialize the therapy.

Alexion bets up to $265M on Blueprint's precision medicine platform

Rare disease magnate Alexion is aligning itself with biotech Blueprint Medicines, borrowing the company's development technology to spotlight new treatments for genetic disorders.

Valeant starts carving up what remains of Dendreon, axing 77 staffers

Valeant has wasted no time in getting down to brass tacks at its newly acquired subsidiary Dendreon. The company notified the state of Washington that it is laying off 77 staffers from the biotech's steadily shrinking roster of employees, according to a report from the Seattle Times.

Merck touts a bright future in biosimilars with a stable of would-be blockbusters

Merck may trail the first movers in the coming onslaught of blockbuster biosimilars, but the pharma giant is heralding a crop of late-stage copycat treatments it believes can snag a share of the soon-to-boom market.

Ambitious cancer R&D plans may explain Merck KGaA cutbacks

Anyone looking for some perspective on Merck KGaA's recent R&D cutbacks should check out an interview CFO Marcus Kuhnert gave to CNBC. 

Bullish ex-Elan chief plots a $43M buy-in for upstart Serenus

Fresh from floating plans to raise up to $364 million in an IPO for his life sciences fund, ex-Elan chief Kelly Martin is going into the biopharma business with his former chief medical officer, Menghis Bairu. Martin announced today that he's sinking up to $43 million into Bairu's newborn Serenus Biotherapeutics with plans to gain a majority interest in the company.

Boehringer takes pole position with its 'breakthrough' anti-anticoagulant

Boehringer Ingelheim submitted U.S., European and Canadian applications for an antidote to its own Pradaxa, leading the way among companies developing treatments that reverse the effects of blockbuster next-generation anticoagulants.

J&J picks the inaugural class for its Bay Area biotech incubator

Johnson & Johnson has opened the doors of its new biotech incubator, bringing in its first 10 resident startups and hoping to galvanize the next generation of life sciences innovators.

FierceBiotech Radio with NEA's Carol Gallagher

New Enterprise Associates Partner Carol Gallagher joins FierceBiotech Radio to talk about her journey from Big Pharma to small biotech and eventually to venture capital, along the way shedding light on just what VCs do all day.

Government attention yet to stop slide in U.K. pharma R&D investment

The United Kingdom government has made the life science industry a focal point of its turnaround strategy, but data that have dripped out over the past few months show companies are spending less and less on developing and manufacturing drugs in the state.

Ex-Elan execs target €325M IPO for life science fund

Former Elan CEO Kelly Martin and other people with links to the Irish drugmaker are aiming to raise up to €325 million ($364 million) in an IPO to bankroll their life science investment fund. The IPO on the Irish Stock Exchange could dwarf last year's listing by Circassia and become one of the biggest floats in European biotech history.

MSK and Atara snag an FDA 'breakthrough' tag for T cell project

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center picked up the FDA's coveted breakthrough-therapy designation for a promising T cell therapy, working with partner Atara Biotherapeutics to get it on the market for patients with complications tied to bone marrow transplants.

As PhII data looms, Chugai inks a $205M stem cell deal with Athersys

Cleveland-based Athersys is pocketing a $10 million upfront payment from Chugai in exchange for licensing rights to the biotech's stem cell treatment for repairing stroke damage. The Japanese pharma company, which has close relations with Roche, also stands to earn up to $45 million in development and regulatory milestones with another $150 million in sales milestones.

Bristol-Myers takes a big step in its PD-1 lung cancer race with Merck

The FDA has accepted Bristol-Myers Squibb's application to get its star oncology treatment approved for lung cancer, setting up a speedy approval and putting the company first in line among drug developers at work in a blockbuster field.