Researchers announced details of a vaginal ring with multiple capabilities, this one with an antiretroviral and a contraceptive. It's the first device capable of protecting women against HIV, herpes and unwanted pregnancy all at the same time, the scientists say.
San Diego biotech Lumena Pharmaceuticals has nailed down a $45 million B round with plans to move forward with treatments for two liver diseases, one a painful orphan condition and the other a fast-spreading cause célèbre in the biotech world.
Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals' Nexavar has seen a lot of success as a liver cancer treatment, but as an adjuvant therapy for liver cancer, it could be awhile--if ever. On Tuesday, the drug missed its target in a Phase III trial, failing to meet the study's main goal of improving recurrence-free survival.
It turns out that Bayer doesn't want to be in the chin-fat busting business after all. Bayer's consumer care arm handed back its ex-U.S. rights in Kythera Biopharmaceuticals' lead treatment ATX-101, aimed at eliminating the double chin. And in return Bayer gets a $33 million chunk of Kythera's stock, a $51 million note payable by 2024 and some potential longterm sales milestones.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical's chronic kidney disease drug hit its primary endpoint of improving organ function in a Phase II trial, the company said, and while the results sent the biotech's shares skyward by 75%, a quirk in dosing gave some analysts pause.
Sanofi is joining forces with UCB to study new small-molecule approaches to treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis, looking for an easier form of administration to some of the blockbuster injected biologics that dominate the field. The pharma giant is ready to spend more than $138 million for a package of milestones and an upfront payment to UCB in exchange for the partnering arrangement with its NewMedicines research arm.
New, long-acting clotting factors are on their way, with Biogen Idec's hemophilia B drug Alprolix first in line. The new treatments promise to prevent bleeding for up to two weeks, and that means today's injections will have to find a way to compete.
In the midst of rethinking its approach to R&D, AstraZeneca has dabbled in the virtual model of drug development, matching a small in-house staff with collaborators on contractors around the globe to make the process more efficient. Now, after some early success in neuroscience, the pharma giant is amping up its virtual efforts in oncology, signing a deal with a South Korean institution to hunt for new targets in the field.
Reaping the benefits of deep-seated R&D reorganization, GlaxoSmithKline had the industry's best 6-year run of FDA nods for new drugs, according to EvaluatePharma, leading its competitors by a wide margin and leaving approval-starved outfits like Eli Lilly and Merck in the dust.
One of the signal achievements for the biotech industry in the Affordable Care Act was a provision granting 12 years of market exclusivity to biologics. The decade-plus period of protection against generic competition ensured that biologics would remain center stage in the R&D world, especially as Big Pharma tumbled over the patent cliff as it tried to rethink its megablockbuster-sized budgets for drug development.