News

Ex-Takeda execs bemoan reign of 'foreigners'

Takeda, Japan's largest drugmaker, has gone through a series of reorganizations in its efforts to take a bigger share of the global market, a process that has included recruiting leadership outside of its native country. That's not sitting very well with some former executives.

Isis is in the spotlight--and maybe crosshairs--after gene breakthrough

Antisense specialist Isis Pharmaceuticals has made it all the way to mid-stage trials with ISIS-APOCIII, targeting patients with a rare ailment that leads to dangerously high triglycerides. But that candidate is looking all the more promising in light of two major studies linking its target to reduced rates of heart attack, saddling the biotech with a potential blockbuster.

Bristol-Myers toes the next hep C frontier: a four-week cure

Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi has broken sales records thanks to its ability to cure hepatitis C with an effective, if costly, 12-week regimen. But rivals believe there's plenty of room in the market for a speedier solution, and Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to use its ex-partner's blockbuster to craft a four-week contender.

After three strikes, Sanofi gives up on Merrimack's cancer drug

Sanofi is breaking it off with oncology partner Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, handing back full rights to MM-121, a treatment that has three times failed to hit the mark in midstage studies.

Kite Pharma rides the CAR-T current to a $128M IPO

Biotech upstart Kite Pharma made its Wall Street debut Friday, pulling off an upsized IPO on the strength of investor fervor over a novel, headline-making approach to treating cancer.

Teva chairman Frost will leave by the end of the year

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Michael Gibney (email | Twitter)...

AbbVie and Shire square off over a spurned $46B buyout offer

AbbVie announced late Thursday night that it had made three passes at Shire in recent weeks, bumping its nonbinding offer to $78.87 a share in cash and stock and getting turned down at each attempt.

EU opens €24B fund to biopharma R&D, Cardio3 lands Asian investment, U.K. IPOs heat up

In this week's EuroBiotech report, the European Investment Bank is using some of its €24 billion ($33 billion) fund to back drug development, Parisian biotech Cellectis is setting up shop in the U.S. after striking a deal worth up to $2.8 billion with Pfizer, and more.

Takeda dumps its top cancer contender after a late-stage struggle

Takeda is walking away from orteronel, its most advanced oncology candidate, after the prostate cancer treatment failed to significantly improve overall survival in two studies, a setback for the company's in-transition Millennium unit.

J&J pays $30M to grab rights to Vertex program

With all hands on deck at Vertex focused on the development of a crucial combo drug for cystic fibrosis, the Boston-based biotech has outlicensed an influenza drug to J&J in exchange for a $30 million upfront.

Burrill partner claims ousted chief diverted $20M, then scrambled to hide it

G. Steven Burrill's big speech at BIO is an annual rite for many in the industry who have come to closely follow his views on industry trends. But if this event comes off as planned, the audience is going to be buzzing about the salacious details of the charges leveled against the high-profile biotech investor in a lawsuit filed by one of his former partners.

Zafgen, Ardelyx bank $156M in IPOs, recalling biotech's winter boom

The market for biotech IPOs has largely cooled since a first-quarter explosion brought in more than $2 billion, but drug developers Zafgen and Ardelyx managed to turn back the clock in their debuts, cashing out for a combined $156 million.

J&J Innovation shows off its new summer lineup of biotech deals

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has announced a slate of a dozen new deals, ranging from fresh research collaborations to new investments in a range of upstart drug and device developers--all aimed at putting the multinational pharma giant on the cutting edge of new product development.

Navitor grabs a $23.5M A round to tackle a key crossroad for disease

A little more than a year ago, GlaxoSmithKline disbanded George Vlasuk's team at Sirtris and absorbed the R&D work in its Pennsylvania operations. But that didn't end the relationship. Today Vlasuk is back at the helm of a new biotech dubbed Navitor Pharmaceuticals, which was seeded initially by Polaris and is now coming out of stealth mode with a $23.5 million Series A and the backing of a syndicate that includes SR One, GlaxoSmithKline's venture arm.

Report: Biotech backer Burrill ousted amid fraud allegations

The founder and CEO of biotech venture outfit Burrill & Co. has been booted from the firm over charges that he mismanaged investments and made unauthorized payments, according to Forbes.

Insmed snags a surprise 'breakthrough' tag for its up-and-down antibiotic

After Insmed revealed in March that its inhaled antibiotic failed to meet the primary endpoint in a Phase II trial, more than a few analysts and market watchers looked askance at the company's plans to ask the FDA to give it a breakthrough therapy designation. But, three months later, the New Jersey biotech has prevailed upon regulators, picking up the agency's coveted guarantee of a speedy review for its well-traveled treatment.

Meet the new Novartis: Slimmer structure, same R&D commitment

Novartis, the industry's largest employer, is flipping units and streamlining its operation to boost margins, but the company has no plans to take its foot off the gas in R&D, keeping the pace on a $10-billion-a-year research budget with hopes of cranking out 14 blockbusters by 2018.

Pfizer buys big into CAR-T with sweeping Cellectis deal

Pfizer wants in on CAR-T technology, the latest much-celebrated trend in cancer R&D, striking a deal with France's Cellectis to get its hands on some tailored immunotherapies with the promise of billions in future payments.

Big biotech booms while pharma payrolls wither

The past 10 years have seen Big Pharma repeatedly cannibalize itself via megamerger, trimming its ranks through waves of layoffs and a dogged pursuit of efficiency. But Big Biotech, the emerging middle class of not-quite giants, has more than made up for those cuts, essentially doubling to add more than 130,000 workers since 2003, according to EvaluatePharma.

Cash-flush Sage swings for a $69M IPO to fund its CNS program

Months removed from a $38 million C round, Cambridge, MA's Sage Therapeutics is plotting to go public, filing for a $69 million IPO to bankroll its pipeline of seizure treatments.