News

Sanofi appoints Japan exec to lead U.S. pharma ops

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

Booming Gilead blueprints an overhaul of its campus

After more than doubling its work force over the past 6 years, Gilead is investing part of the fortune it has reaped from HIV drugs as well as the hep C therapy Sovaldi in a complete makeover of its big campus in Foster City, CA.

Round two? Market rumors on a new Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca heat up

The story about a potential new takeover offer for AstraZeneca by Pfizer will not die.

Biotech upstart Dezima will take on Merck and Lilly in PhIII CETP showdown

In one of the most improbable rivalries in the drug development world, tiny Dutch biotech Dezima today laid claim to a successful Phase IIb study of its CETP cholesterol drug TA-8995, putting it on track to a 2015 launch for a Phase III showdown with two giants in the field, Eli Lilly and Merck.

China's new biotech billionaire beefs up cardio pipeline with $600M buyout

Newly minted biopharma billionaire Liu Dianbo has added to his fortune while burnishing his rep as one of the top biotech drug developers in China. His company, Luye Pharma Group, acquired a 58% stake in Beijing Jialin Pharma Pharmaceutical for close to $600 million, beefing up its pipeline of cardiovascular drugs while expanding its product lineup.

Report: In a big split, Baxter looks to relocate biopharma to Boston

For months now rumors of a big prospective biotech relocation have been circulating in the hot Boston hub. And now the Boston Business Journal, a weekly with its ear to the ground on all things related to real estate, reports that its sources are saying that the company in question is Baxter International.

India's Piramal decides to dump early-stage drug R&D

India's Piramal is getting out of early-stage drug development. The company says it wants to move up the clinical ladder, focusing on later-stage development work on molecules.

Repros gets a lift from a head-to-head testosterone study

Repros Therapeutics got a boost from its announcement that its late-stage testosterone treatment beat out the topical Androgel in helping patients with low testosterone, or hypogonadism.

Ex-Shire exec starts at Cortendo, Innate gets orphan nod, Ablynx trims in preclinical

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, with AstraZeneca now back in play--if it chooses--talk of M&A involving European drugmakers has ratcheted up once again after a brief, post-Shire lull. And more.

FDA lifts a hold on one of OncoMed's cancer drug programs

Shares of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals took a nasty tumble a couple of months ago when it hit the brakes on a pair of early-stage programs for two of its treatments after investigators noted trouble with some bone-related adverse events. Today, the biotech says it adjusted its protocols on vantictumab, a Wnt pathway inhibitor program, to the satisfaction of the FDA, which lifted its partial hold on the program.

PCSK9 race heads to the finish line with Amgen's evolocumab application

Amgen has taken another big step in its head-to-head race with Sanofi and Regeneron, filing its application for the prospective cholesterol blockbuster evolocumab and backing it up with more positive data from the latest in a long string of major clinical studies.

Two new biotech IPOs help set the stage for the fall parade

The crossover round is alive and well. Just a few days after Dermira put out the word that a consortium of backers had come up with a $51 million C round, the company rolled out a $75 million IPO. And the news, along with a fresh, $86 million filing from Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, helps set the stage for a new round of fall biotech IPOs that will once again test investors' appetite for risk.

The Ebola vaccine game plan takes shape as GSK, agencies hit the gas

Initially, GSK officials had sounded distinctly skeptical about whether the vaccine could be ready in time to help contain the outbreak. But this morning there was a distinct can-do attitude in its approach to the crisis.

Back on the 'hot' list, Achillion shares spike (yet again) on takeover talk

Ted Tenthoff, an analyst for Piper Jaffray, was clearly pumped about the prospects of an Achillion buyout when a reporter from Bloomberg reached him.

What's the #1 biotech hub for VCs? (It's still not Boston)

Biotech investing is sizzling right now, and despite all the attention that the Boston hub gets, the Bay Area is still number one.

Parkinson's play Civitas Therapeutics files for an $86M IPO

The S-1 prominently features Civitas' successful Phase IIb study for an inhaled formulation of levodopa, a "rescue" treatment for Parkinson's patients.

Thinking 'big,' Arch Venture gathers $400M-plus to back a new wave of biotechs

Arch Venture Partners has joined a lineup of top venture groups which has been making hay while the market sun shines on biotech IPOs. The VC has marshaled more than $400 million for its new investment fund--its eighth--that will now be available to back a new wave of cutting-edge life science companies, often starting from scratch.

Grabbing a quick $55M venture round, Bellicum Pharma ponders an IPO

Just 8 months after extending its last round with a $15 million raise, Houston-based Bellicum Pharmaceuticals has lured in a whole new group of backers to add $55 million to fuel its work. And the strategic financing allows the biotech to stare down a shot at an IPO while the window remains open.

After a string of gene therapy licensing deals, ReGenX says it's time to shine

ReGenX Biosciences is one of the most intriguing gene therapy biotechs you never heard of. And now the executive team in charge intends to start changing that.

Novartis CEO predicts a looming biosimilars boom

Novartis' big generics operation at Sandoz has been one of the leaders in the field of biosimilar development. So when the chief lays out a timetable on the adoption of these long-awaited knockoffs of some of the industry's biggest biologics, FierceBiotech listens.