Isis and partner Biogen Idec have kicked off a Phase II study of a spinal muscular atrophy treatment, part of the pair's $300 million alliance to advance antisense treatments.
Novartis may have a long way to go before it's done cutting its blockbuster R&D budget. With a major strategic review underway, Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez told analysts that its massive drug research operation still offers a fresh source of spending cuts--even after a number of moves aimed at concentrating more of its R&D operations in the company's main research hubs in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
In an interview with Bloomberg, COO John Milligan says the big biotech outfit--which is expected to generate megablockbuster revenue from the newly approved Sovaldi for hep C--is pondering a head-to-head study to determine whether Letairis is better or worse than Actelion's recently approved lung drug Opsumit.
Third Rock Ventures has cut the ribbon on its latest startup, pledging $45 million to launch Cambridge, MA's Voyager Therapeutics, a gene therapy biotech with a promising platform for central nervous system treatments.
Looking beyond the small-molecule drugs and biologic treatments that have dominated therapeutic development over the past generation, GlaxoSmithKline's all-encompassing R&D department is trying to get a jump on the future of medicine, and research chief Moncef Slaoui is betting that there's a great deal of promise in drug-mimicking electronics.
Sanofi hasn't had much to brag about when it comes to new product launches in the 5 years since Chris Viehbacher took the helm of the pharma giant. While he's tried, not always successfully, to reinvigorate R&D--buying Genzyme in the process--new therapies have added less than a billion euros a year to the top line, according to PMLive.
France's Innate Pharma has signed a deal to pay Novo Nordisk $2.7 million up front and as much as $27 million in milestones for exclusive rights to the pair's Phase II-ready cancer immunotherapy.
North Carolina's Argos Therapeutics raked in $45 million in a below-its-range Wall Street debut, sticking a so-so endcap on an otherwise colossal week for biotech IPOs in which drug developers banked more than $500 million.
Drug developers uniQure, Auspex Pharmaceuticals and Genocea Biosciences joined the fast-growing club of biotechs pulling off IPOs in a busy first quarter, pricing up-sized offerings and walking away with a total of about $242 million.
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.