News

Amgen lops another 6% off its R&D budget amid wide cost cuts

Amgen, long criticized over its appetite for moonshot R&D projects, scaled back its research budget by more than 10% in the second quarter, part of a companywide effort to cut costs while advancing a make-or-break pipeline.

Aegerion's embattled CEO Beer steps down

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 Eric Sagonowsky (email) or...

AstraZeneca isn't giving up on brodalumab despite its links to suicide

Amgen shocked the industry in May when it cut ties with an AstraZeneca-partnered psoriasis treatment after spotting alarming rates of suicidal thoughts among patients taking the antibody. But its former collaborator is remaining optimistic about the once-promising treatment, tentatively moving toward an FDA filing.

RIP: AstraZeneca clips two pipeline programs in Q2

Every quarter AstraZeneca notes at the end of its financial report which of its new drug programs are being discarded and dropped from the pipeline.

Report: Parexel layoffs include up to 200 ex-GlaxoSmithKline staffers

When GlaxoSmithKline reported last December that it was ripping into its R&D operations in Research Triangle Park, NC, and laying off 900 staffers, the pharma giant softened the blow by noting that some 450 of the workers would be transferring to Parexel, a major CRO with close ties to Glaxo. But today many of those jobs appear to be in danger after all.

FibroGen's anemia drug, not yet approved, is a hit among cheating cyclists

FibroGen's in-development treatment for anemia is still in the midst of Phase III development, but thanks to a legal loophole, the pill has made its way into the world of competitive cycling, where its red blood cell-boosting effects can give athletes an advantage.

Failed Alzheimer's drug wins $117M in vTv's IPO

Highpoint, NC-based vTv raised $117 million after selling 7.8 million shares at $15 a share--the low end of the range. The company had hoped to raise more than $150 million from the IPO. vTv is taking a failed Alzheimer's drug and heading straight into Phase III--and its strategy is raising a few eyebrows.

GlaxoSmithKline CEO's enthusiasm for R&D effort falls flat

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty had some upbeat Q2 revenue numbers to report, but a renewed effort to spur some enthusiasm for its drug pipeline fell flat with analysts.

Synergy Pharma jumps as second PhIII scores a success against constipation

Synergy Pharmaceuticals handed over a fresh set of Phase III data from its second pivotal study of plecanatide, confirming the first round of positive efficacy results for chronic constipation and delivering a slightly improved safety profile that should help as the biotech makes a run at a drug approval and market launch.

FierceBiotech Radio on Allergan's 'transformational' moves, Sanofi's new bet on Regeneron, and the (latest) biggest-ever biotech IPO

FiercePharma's Carly Helfand and FierceBiotech's Damian Garde discuss the week's biggest news in biopharma, including a surprise one-eighty from Allergan, an unsurprising deal involving Sanofi and Regeneron, and the latest biotech IPO stirring fears that there's a bubble soon to burst.

AZ, GSK ink academic hookup, EU blasts past 2014 fundraising haul, Erytech plans U.S. IPO

In this week's EuroBiotech Report, data from market analyst Biocom shows that biotechs traded in Europe raised €3 billion ($3.3 billion) in the first half of the year, more than they gathered in all of 2014. AC Immune and Erytech could contribute to the back half of 2015 being an equally busy period. And more.

AstraZeneca, GSK snag a direct line to researchers at Cambridge academic hub

AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline have secured direct connections to researchers at the University of Cambridge and its associated academic institutions. The arrangement is part of a "matchmaking" scheme, in which drugmakers will provide academics with funding for collaborative research and access to their experimental therapies.

Ariad sells off a share of Iclusig for a shot at $200M in R&D cash

Ariad Pharmaceuticals has inked a deal with PDL BioPharma, trading a long-term royalty on its only marketed drug in exchange for money to develop another.

The big question for Gilead: Who are you going to buy?

Last night Gilead execs basked in the glow of market-bending sales numbers, backed by the continuing megasuccess of its two hep C drugs, Harvoni and Sovaldi, which racked up close to $5 billion in revenue for the second quarter. So naturally analysts want to know how they plan to spend the cash.

Foresite Capital reloads with a $450M biotech venture fund

Venture investor Foresite Capital closed a $450 million new fund, its largest ever, and is setting out to find the next generation of promising drug developers.

Sanofi's diabetes combo clears a clinical hurdle in a race with Novo Nordisk

Sanofi's combination of a Type 2 diabetes treatment and a long-acting insulin met its main goal in a Phase III trial, the company said, setting up an FDA application later this year.

Boehringer bets up to $730M on a new lung cancer drug

Boehringer Ingelheim has agreed to hand over as much as $730 million to South Korean drugmaker Hanmi Pharmaceutical in exchange for the rights to a midstage treatment for lung cancer, betting the drug can stand out in a crowded field.

Novartis spins out 3 drugs to a biotech startup with $119M in VC backing

Every Big Pharma company has its own way of dealing with experimental meds that no longer fit in their pipelines. For Novartis, the latest deal involved handing off three therapies to Mereo, a London-based upstart that is being launched with $119 million in financing from a pair of big British biotech investors and a development deal in place with the CRO Icon.

Erytech pushes ahead with plan to file IPO on Nasdaq to fund cancer pipeline

Erytech is poised to become the latest in a long line of European biotechs to head to Wall Street in search of cash. The proposal marks an escalation of the cancer biotech's long-running flirtation with U.S. investors, which has already seen it set up on the OTC market and tap stateside sources for its previous fundraising round.

Europe's public biotechs blast past 2014 fundraising total in just 6 months

Biotechs listed on European stock exchanges have raised more money in the first half of 2015 than in all of last year, according to a report by Biocom. Over the first 6 months of 2015, €3 billion ($3.3 billion) flowed into Europe's 161 listed biotechs, one-quarter more than they added to their coffers in all of 2014.