Pfizer and Allergan have confirmed what many long suspected, agreeing to merge in a $160 billion deal that gives the former a much-desired tax break and the latter a predictable final resting place. But the combination Pfizer's penchant for postdeal job cuts and Allergan's well-established aversion to early-stage research paints a cloudy picture of how R&D will get done at what would be the world's new largest drugmaker.
The chemotherapy drug temozolomide can be quite effective in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer, but virtually all patients eventually become resistant to it. Now scientists believe they have discovered a way to resensitize glioblastoma cells to the treatment--and they're turning to pet dogs that have developed the same type of brain tumor to help prove it.
AstraZeneca and Sanofi have exchanged 210,000 compounds from their respective libraries in a no-cash, no-strings-attached deal. The agreement gives scientists at both companies free rein to research and develop compounds shared by the other, without having to pay fees or steer clear of certain therapeutic areas.
New York City biotech Axsome Therapeutics raised $51 million in an IPO to support its work on a nonopioid treatment for chronic pain.
Only a scant few years old, CRISPR gene editing technology already is heavily weighted with potential implications for human disease and health. It's already being used to more easily and precisely create genetically modified plants and animals. And for the first time last year, CRISPR was used to genetically modify a human embryo.
Gurnet Point Capital, a biotech investment firm run by ex-Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher, launched its first company with a $600 million commitment and a plan to partner up with industry and academia.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been taking a deeper dive into med tech this past year, teaming up with industry heavyweight Royal Philips to open a new med tech incubator in Israel. Now the Israeli pharma is forging ahead with another tech initiative, teaming up with University College London for a brain-imaging study to uncover biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease.
A team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla this week said they have identified four antibodies to target weaknesses in HIV, touting an "important advance" in HIV vaccine research that could assist in developing a vaccine.
Products that prevent diseases in animals are in hot demand these days--a trend that Zoetis demonstrated earlier this month, when it shelled out $765 million to buy Pharmaq, one of the world's leaders in vaccines for farmed fish. But Zoetis is also working hard to expand its presence in preventive health through its own internal research efforts, and that work seems to have paid off with two new product approvals.
Early cost projections for the newly approved cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 meds from Sanofi/Regeneron and Amgen have predicted the meds will cost providers anywhere between $15 billion and an astronomical $150 billion each year. However, researchers say they are working on a vaccine with the potential to lower high cholesterol in a more cost-effective way.