Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

AstraZeneca signs up for MD Anderson's 'moon-shot' immuno-oncology project

MD Anderson's popular "moon-shot" immuno-oncology research project has won over another big industry player looking to play catch-up in the hottest race in cancer drug R&D. AstraZeneca's biologics arm, MedImmune, has become the latest Big Pharma player to join a team that has already attracted Pfizer and J&J.

Assessing the crowd effect on biopharma's risky R&D strategy

What should we make of the heavy, some would say unhealthy, concentration of drug R&D in certain hot categories like oncology and inflammation?

Merck loops Pfizer, Amgen and Incyte in on MK-3475 immunotherapy deal spree

At Merck, the already giant-sized hope that its cancer immunotherapy program for the PD-1 drug MK-3475 represents just swelled significantly in importance. Just ahead of its 2013 earnings report Wednesday, the pharma giant announced plans to tie up with a trio of major league biopharma partners to launch a whole new slate of combination studies that could significantly extend its reach in the oncology market.

Novartis advances rival CDK 4/6 cancer drug to Pfizer's palbociclib

One of Pfizer's top late-stage prospects is its cancer drug palbociclib, an oral inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) 4 and 6 that the FDA put in its first group of therapies awarded their "breakthrough" drug designation. But Pfizer is not the only Big Pharma company to view the CDK 4/6 pathway as a likely goldmine in oncology. Novartis has now started a slate of Phase I studies of LEE011, which its researchers are touting as a best-in-class contender.

Bayer hits the R&D accelerator on late-stage contenders in cancer, cardio

Over the past two years Bayer has snagged an impressive string of key approvals for cancer and cardiovascular drugs--a much better record than many of its larger Big Pharma rivals. And today the pharma player is rolling out i­­­­­ts slate of the next top drug prospects being groomed for late-stage pipeline work.

Roche's new round of lung cancer data keeps spotlight on immunotherapies

Researchers have posted early-stage data demonstrating that Roche's PD-L1 drug MPDL3280A--which takes the blinders off the immune system to spur an attack on cancer--scored a hopeful 26% response rate among a small group of non-small cell lung cancer patients who smoked.

Merck laterals cancer drug to hungry AstraZeneca, focuses on star programs

In the deal AstraZeneca is paying Merck $50 million upfront and a slate of undisclosed milestones to bring in MK-1775, a WEE1 inhibitor that Merck took up because of its potential to spur repeated cell division, offering a new way to destroy cancer cells.

The hottest disease field for biotech startups and M&A might surprise you

Silicon Valley Bank has been crunching the numbers on biotech launches and M&A deals reaching back 8 years, concluding that there's been a recent shift in the disease focus of companies getting funded in Series A rounds, while M&A deals surged over the past two years as upfront payments dwindled.

Array slashes staff as Amgen pulls the plug on diabetes drug pact

Shares of Array BioPharma took a nasty dive Wednesday evening after Amgen pulled the plug on an ambitious four-year-old partnership to develop new Type 2 diabetes drugs. The company said it will have to ax 50 workers--20% of its staff--in response.

Booming Alexion looks to Ensemble platform for ultrarare disease programs

Ensemble Therapeutics is putting its discovery engine to work on ultrarare diseases. The Cambridge, MA-based biotech will explore its rapidly growing library of 10 million macrocycles to see what it can whip up for Alexion's pipeline.