Enanta Pharmaceuticals, perhaps best known as AbbVie's partner in hepatitis C, has blueprinted its next big solo step, joining the race to develop treatments for a pervasive liver disease with blockbuster potential.
According to the biotech Enanta, you can count Novartis out of the race to develop next-gen hepatitis C cocktails. The pharma giant has bowed out of its partnership with Enanta on an NS5A inhibitor code-named EDP-239, which attracted a $440 million deal--including $36 million upfront--back in 2012.
AbbVie is rolling out its second snapshot of promising Phase III data for its hepatitis C cocktail, demonstrating that the vast majority of patients taking the therapy were cleared of the virus after 12 weeks of dosing.
After a slight lull in the biotech IPO arena, new offerings came barreling back this week with some fresh breakouts. In particular Foundation Medicine priced over the range and immediately soared more than 80%. And Ophthotech also crested its range, erasing any lingering doubts about the short-term sustainability of the biotech IPO frenzy. Together they raised $273 million in a 24-hour pop. Read the report >>
During all of last year there were only 11 biotech IPOs. But even that weak number looked pretty good compared to the barren years leading away from the 2008 financial crisis. In the last 6 months, though, the industry has seen a tremendous rebound, with almost twice that number of IPOs in half the time. And there's no sign that the great leap into the public market is waning, with 10 more IPOs in the queue. Read the full report >>
The biotech priced its shares at the low end of the range, but Enanta is avoiding the deep discounting that was required for other biotechs to complete their maiden offering.
Aratana Therapeutics, which is developing six new treatments for cats and dogs, joined the biotech queue on Wall Street, filing an S-1 indicating a desire to raise $57.5 million in an IPO.
The biotech has priced 4 million shares at $14 to $16 apiece, betting that its big role in a closely-watched hepatitis C study will provide enough cash to fund the developer for some time to come.
Abbott Laboratories made a late entry into the red-hot race to develop an interferon-free approach to hepatitis C. But after playing catch-up with the likes of Gilead, it's now aiming for the inside track.
Now, more than ever, the life sciences industry is all about innovative and disruptive technologies. Every year for the past decade, FierceBiotech has made its picks on which companies hold the best odds for success in our Fierce 15 report. This year, though, we've added another Fierce 15 to focus on medical devices and diagnostics. I'd like to encourage readers to consider the differences by comparing the companies in each report.