Once again, Amgen's R&D chief Sean Harper has Roger Perlmutter to thank for a positive late-stage outcome on one of the Big Biotech's top cancer prospects.
The lung cancer vaccine race has brought together an unusual mix of players. Merck KGaA was in a good position, but its vaccine disappointed in Phase III, while GlaxoSmithKline could report data on its candidate this year. Then there is the Cuba-Argentina joint venture.
The head of GlaxoSmithKline's R&D operation in China has been fired while another researcher has resigned following a company probe into allegations that data on interleukin-7 research published in Nature Medicine was "misrepresented" by company researchers.
The FDA has lifted the clinical hold on PharmAthene's anthrax vaccine candidate, SparVax.
One of the patients enrolled in a mid-stage study for an experimental stem cell therapy from Pluristem Therapeutics suffered a severe allergic reaction, sending him to the hospital and prompting FDA officials to clamp a clinical hold on the study.
Sanofi's iniparib failed a Phase III study for squamous non-small cell lung cancer, the final strike against a once-promising drug that has proved a bitter disappointment for the pharma giant.
Things happen quickly when China coordinates the cogs of its state infrastructure. One year ago a state-funded vaccine for one cause of hand, foot and mouth disease reported Phase I data. Phase II results followed in January, and now Phase III data has arrived.
New York-based Ophthotech has rounded up a whopping $175 million in financing to cover a pivotal late-stage study of its lead drug for wet AMD. The biotech signed a deal to share its royalties on Fovista--earlier dubbed E10030--with Novo A/S in exchange for $125 million. And Novo stepped up to lead a $50 million Series C round for the company.
Last month's cancellation of the largest ongoing HIV vaccine trial stopped yet another promising candidate. The growing pool of clinical failures shows that a new approach is needed. This past week, academia offered up two new angles of attack.
Researchers at the University of Alabama are investigating whether a reduced sense of smell, or hyposmia, could be used as a biomarker to help detect Parkinson's disease.