Cancer vaccines have so far generated more headlines than health benefits. Even some of the success stories, like Dendreon, have faltered once faced with trying to commercialize an oncology immunotherapy. Yet the vast potential means people continue to talk up the sector.
Just a year or two ago, analysts and investors were in a frenzy over the frantic race to develop a new set of hepatitis C drugs that promised to change the standard of care. Now, as the leaders in that race approach the first round of likely marketing approvals, a new R&D competition has grabbed analysts' feverish attention as the next big thing in biopharma. And the leading players in this field may once again be betting on a mega-blockbuster payoff.
Joint ventures with Chinese companies have been seen as a way for Big Pharma to get better traction in the exploding China market. But it is not a one-way street. Chinese companies see the tie-ups as a way to build their own capabilities and begin to tap lucrative Western markets.
With the big American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting coming up in two weeks, anticipation about the coming onslaught of data is mounting. Last night, ASCO released some key abstracts for studies to be presented at the meeting, offering an aperitif to oncology-drug followers. Here is a sampling of news, some from our sister publication FierceBiotech.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has emerged, at least temporarily, as the leader in a race to develop the first new PD-1 drug to fight cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squibb will collaborate with Adaptive Biotechnologies to develop immunological biomarkers for cancer, representing another step forward in the development of personalized medicine.
Just a month after landing a $15 million payday for a deal with Astellas to collaborate on new antibody drug conjugates for cancer, the San Diego-based biotech Ambrx has scored another research pact--reaping another $15 million upfront from Bristol-Myers in exchange for a new oncology partnership.
When can a drugmaker beat earnings expectations and project a 10% boost in profits for the year and still end up disappointing investors? When that drugmaker is Novo Nordisk, the world's largest insulin maker, focused on a rapidly growing treatment area with investors expecting more, more, more.
The big biotech reported in its quarterly statement that the agency has provided the coveted "breakthrough" status for a combination of daclatasvir with two other direct-acting antivirals, asunaprevir, an NS3 protease inhibitor and BMS-791325, an NS5B non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's first-quarter earnings dropped 44%, on a 27% decline in sales. Fortunately, the $3.83 billion revenue line was only slightly worse than analysts expected, given generic competition for blockbuster heart drugs Avapro and Plavix.