News

ALSO NOTED: Blue Heron appoints new CEO; Isis receives milestone payment; and much more...

> Australian-based Peptech has announced that it has acquired the antibody assets of UK-based Scancell through its newly established U.K. subsidiary, Peptech UK. Report

> Chutes & Ladders: Blue Heron Biotechnology has named John Fess CEO. Mr. Fess succeeds John Mulligan, Ph.D., Blue Heron's founder who will become the company's board chairman and Chief Scientific Officer. …

Press Release: Blue Heron Biotechnology Names John Fess CEO

Press Release: Blue Heron Biotechnology Names John Fess CEO

Press Release: Somaxon Reports Results From Trial of Oral Nalmefene in Pathological Gambling

Press Release: Somaxon Reports Results From Trial of Oral Nalmefene in Pathological Gambling

Press Release: Primary Endpoint Not Met in Phase IIb rEV131 Trial in Allergic Rhinitis

Press Release: Primary Endpoint Not Met in Phase IIb rEV131 Trial in Allergic Rhinitis

Press Release: Benefited Patients with Type 2 Diabetes by Improving Blood Sugar Control

Press Release: Benefited Patients with Type 2 Diabetes by Improving Blood Sugar Control

Press Release: Biotech Drives Cures, But Challenges Threaten Industry's Delivery and Growth

Press Release: Biotech Drives Cures, But Challenges Threaten Industry's Delivery and Growth

Pfizer halts Torcetrapib development

In a huge blow to the world's largest drug maker, Pfizer announced that it will halt development of its cholesterol drug Torcetrapib, one of the biggest drugs in Pfizer's pipeline. The decision came after an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board recommended terminating the study because of an imbalance of mortality and cardiovascular events. "Based on all the evidence we have …

Bayer, Onyx announce disappointing Nexavar results

In a late-stage disappointment, Bayer and partner Onyx Pharmaceuticals have announced that their skin cancer drug Nexavar did not meet the primary endpoint of progression-free survival. Nexavar, which has received both Fast Track and Orphan Drug Status, was approved last year as a therapy for advanced renal-cell carcinoma. Previously, Bayer and Onyx also announced that a …

AVI wins $28M biodefense contract

AVI BioPharma has won a two-year $28 million research contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The contract will fund AVI's development of antisense therapeutics to treat the effects of Ebola, Marburg and Junin hemorrhagic viruses, which are seen as biological warfare and bioterrorism agents. This new agreement comes in addition to three previous agreements AVI has with the CDC, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), and …

CV, Astellas present positive Phase III results

CV Therapeutics and Astellas Pharma have announced that the second of two Phase 3 clinical studies of regadenoson met its primary endpoint. A prior identically designed Phase 3 study, completed in 2005, also met its primary endpoint. Regadenoson is used in myocardial perfusion imaging studies. "With two identically designed Phase 3 studies having hit their primary endpoints, we are excited about the opportunity to pursue approval of regadenoson. We are also pleased that regadenoson once …

Dynavax Hep B vaccine successful in Phase II

There is some good news from the world of drug development today. Dynavax Technologies has revealed positive Phase II results comparing two different vaccination schedules for its hepatitis B vaccine HEPLISAV. The primary endpoint was comparative seroprotection after the second dose, and the trial showed that complete seroprotection is achieved whether the second dose is administered one or two months after the first. Dynavax will be launching a Phase III trial of the vaccine before the …

SPOTLIGHT: FDA to examine drug-coated stent safety


Later this week the FDA will tackle the question of whether or not blood clots can form within drug-coated stents designed the prevent the growth of scar tissue. The most important question experts must answer is whether the benefits of drug-coated stents outweigh the small potential risks associated with the devices. Report (WSJ sub. req.)

ALSO NOTED: Alexza gains $50M; AstraZeneca, Cubist sign $10.25M licensing pact; and much more...

> Symphony Capital Partners will provide $50 million to Alexza Pharmaceuticals for the development of AZ-002 and AZ-004, both of which are in Phase II trials. Release

> Shanghai-based Cathay Industrial Biotech has closed a $52 million second round of financing. Investors include Goldman Sachs, Gramineae Holdings Company Limited, GM Investment Company Limited and New Horizon Evergreen Investment. …

Press Release: Phase III Trial of Nexavar Does Not Meet Primary Endpoint

Press Release: Phase III Trial of Nexavar Does Not Meet Primary Endpoint

Press Release: AVI BioPharma Awarded $28M Biodefense Research Contract

Press Release: AVI BioPharma Awarded $28M Biodefense Research Contract

Press Release: Schwartz Pharma Unveils Positive Phase III Data on Lacosamide

Press Release: Schwartz Pharma Unveils Positive Phase III Data on Lacosamide

Press Release: Regadenoson Meets Primary Endpoint in Second Phase 3 Clinical Trial

Press Release: Regadenoson Meets Primary Endpoint in Second Phase 3 Clinical Trial

Press Release: Pfizer Stops All Torcetrapib Clinical Trials

Press Release: Pfizer Stops All Torcetrapib Clinical Trials

FDA Statement: Pfizer Stops All Torcetrapib Clinical Trials in Interest of Patient Safety

FDA Statement: Pfizer Stops All Torcetrapib Clinical Trials in Interest of Patient Safety

The best (and worst) biotech stocks of 2006

As we all know by now, pharma biotech investment is risky
at best and disasterous at worst
. “No other sector produces as such huge gains or such steep losses in such short periods of time,” notes The Motley Fool’s Brian Lawler. Below is a year-end round-up of the five best and five worst performing biotech stocks.