Three big players in the life sciences industry--Celgene, Eli Lilly and GE Ventures--are chipping in to help fund a $100 million venture fund that will be used to launch up to 20 new biotech companies in New York City, adding some fuel to a small but growing fire of R&D efforts in the Big Apple.
Celgene helped seal its reputation as one of the boldest dealmakers in biotech today, putting up $177.25 million in an upfront fee and equity stake while committing to more than $3 billion in milestones to partner on a slate of cancer stem cell programs in development at OncoMed.
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Celgene CFO Jacqualyn Fouse recently noted the markets have been rewarding the biotech for plainly explaining how its pieces fit together to reward investors. That comfort with the company came into play again today when its shares were unfazed even though it reported lower net income on higher expenses. Investors were placated when the Summit, NJ-based company raised its earnings forecast for the year for the third time.
Some old high school buddies who went on to profit from insider information on deals at Celgene and Sanofi are now facing sentencing after pleading guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy.
In yet another tie-up with a biotech upstart, Celgene has committed $35 million to PharmAkea Therapeutics, signing a three-deal to collaborate on cancer and fibrosis development.
Acceleron will begin trading today under the "XLRN" symbol, part of a burst of new fall IPOs that got started with FivePrime's offering yesterday and is scheduled to continue this week with debuts from Fate Therapeutics and Bind Therapeutics, which was founded by MIT entrepreneur Bob Langer.
The FDA today approved Celgene's Abraxane for pancreatic cancer, an approval that provides some hope for extending the lives of patients with the aggressive cancer. It should also significantly extend the earnings power of the drug, which is already approved for breast and lung cancers.
Three well-groomed biotech outfits aim to sustain the frenzy for new biotech stocks on Wall Street. This week Acceleron Pharma, Bind Therapeutics and Five Prime Therapeutics proposed price ranges for their planned initial public offerings.
Amid a major hot streak for biotech stocks, New York Times scribe Andrew Pollack caught up with David Blech, who is heading to prison later this month after making fraudulent trades on drug company stocks. His story has become a cautionary tale in the biotech industry, which once regarded him as a major player.