Ipsen strikes $137M deal for rights to bladder cancer drug

Ipsen has picked up the rights to Telesta Therapeutics' bladder cancer drug in Europe and other ex-U.S. markets in a deal worth up to $137 million (€124 million). Having acquired the rights for $10 million upfront, Ipsen is now gearing up for talks with regulators about plotting a path to approval for the drug.

UPDATED: Analysts review the pros and pitfalls involved in a Pfizer/Allergan megamerger

The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night that Pfizer and Allergan have had some early discussions about merging into a $330 billion behemoth. Neither company is talking, but the irresistible conclusion remains that a deal just might make sense.

Frazier unveils a $262M pure-play biotech venture fund

After 24 years in the venture investing game, Frazier Healthcare Partners is unveiling a new, $262 million fund that will be the very first that it is devoting exclusively to life sciences companies. And the startup experts say they've never seen a better time to back new biotechs concentrating primarily on new drug development.

Servier severs a $450M oncology deal with MacroGenics

French drugmaker Servier is walking away from a partnership with MacroGenics worth up to $450 million, handing back the rights to a cancer immunotherapy after getting a glimpse at clinical data.

Struggling Arena Pharma axes 80 jobs, narrows R&D

Just a couple of weeks after booting company co-founder and CEO Jack Lief out of the company, a struggling Arena Pharmaceuticals has followed up with a move to ax 35% of its staff--some 80 jobs--while narrowing its R&D focus.

Macrocure on the ropes after its latest crushing failure in regenerative medicine

Israeli biotech Macrocure posted another clinical failure for its blood cell-derived regenerative medicine, a final blow that has management pondering how to move forward with what cash the company has left.

Following pioneering approval, Versant bankrolls next-gen oncolytics player Turnstone

Versant Ventures has come up with an $11.3 million Series A round for Turnstone Biologics, an Ontario-based biotech that is taking an oncolytics platform technology developed by a trio of Canadian scientists and ramping up a new program aimed at taking the field a few big steps forward.

Top women in biopharma 2015

This year's fiercest women in biotech are seemingly doing it all. Pioneering a fully integrated biotech in China? Check. Leading aging research at Google's mysterious new life sciences upstart? Check. Changing the game for biotech innovators? Running the world's largest consumer health player? Blazing the off-P&L financing trail? Check, check, check.

Intercept's much-hyped NASH drug misses the mark in Phase II

Intercept Pharmaceuticals' new drug for the pervasive liver disease NASH came up short in a Phase II trial in Japan, seeding some worries about an ongoing late-stage study designed to support future FDA approval.

Amgen's first-in-class oncolytic drug wins FDA approval with combo studies on deck

Amgen won a landmark approval for a re-engineered virus designed to fight skin cancer, preparing to launch a first-of-its-kind therapy that could star in future combination treatments.

After a big-money Allergan deal, Taris returns with a $32M round and a new pipeline

Massachusetts' Taris Biomedical is getting back into R&D after flipping its lead asset to Allergan in a $587.5 million deal, raising $32 million to advance new treatments for bladder disease.

After Eli Lilly flop, Merck adds a futility challenge to huge PhIII anacetrapib study

Now that the theory of CETP inhibition has failed three giant late-stage tests, Merck says it will soldier on with one final, huge push for its cholesterol drug anacetrapib. But it's adding in a futility analysis, due by the end of the year, which could force a quick exit. And execs are clearly backing away from their earlier, and much more bullish, expectations.

Pfizer cuts some biosimilar ties with Celltrion after its $17B Hospira deal

Pfizer, deepening its efforts in biosimilars after trading $17 billion for Hospira, is ditching a few redundant assets partnered with South Korean drugmaker Celltrion, paring down its pipeline as it eyes a growing global market.

Kite Pharma taps Mitch Gold's upstart Alpine for T-cell immuno-tech

Three years after Mitch Gold moved on from a staggering Dendreon, the high-profile biotech exec has launched a new biotech which today is teaming up with CAR-T leader Kite Pharma in developing new immuno-oncology drugs.

Shire says its once-rejected eye drug is back on track with a Phase III success

Shire took a major blow this month when the FDA rejected its self-described blockbuster eye treatment lifitegrast, but the company believes data from a new clinical trial will help it quickly reapply for approval next year.

GlaxoSmithKline's cardio R&D group records another big PhIII flop

More than a year after its second big Phase III program for darapladib also turned out to be a bust, GlaxoSmithKline is reporting today that losmapimod--cited by CEO Andrew Witty as a top late-stage program--failed to measure up in the first leg of a clinical marathon. And it's not planning to fund step two.

MyoKardia's $75M IPO pitch could be the next big test of biotech's meddle

MyoKardia, expected to go public this week, is poised to become the next barometer of biotech's status on Wall Street, angling for a $75 million debut as investors take a tepid approach to drug developers.

Merck's star oncology drug posts mixed results in a lung cancer trial

Merck's immuno-oncology treatment Keytruda met just one of its two goals in a late-stage lung cancer trial, a rare clinical hiccup as it works to keep pace with rival Bristol-Myers Squibb and fortify its position as more contenders move toward the market.

Endo and BDSI pick up FDA approval for a cheek-delivered pain drug

After years of delay, partners Endo Pharmaceuticals and BioDelivery Sciences International won FDA approval for a dissolvable pain treatment, but an on-label warning of serious side effects could dull the drug's effect on the market.

UPDATED: Vertex pays $105M to kick off gene editing pact with CRISPR Therapeutics

Setting its sights on a potential cure for cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease, Vertex is committing $105 million in cash to embrace the gene editing pioneer CRISPR Therapeutics, which has been building a research hub in Cambridge, MA.