Patent Challenge to Alexion Proceeds, But No Amgen Biosimilar Yet

Posted by |2019-09-01T03:30:19-07:00August 30th, 2019|

Three patents that extend the exclusivity of Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ franchise rare disease drug will now face a patent challenge from Amgen. On Friday, a court within the US Patent and Trademark Office agreed to a review of Amgen’s claims that three Alexion (NASDAQ: ALXN) patents covering its drug, eculizumab (Soliris), were anticipated or obvious, and […]

$5.8B for Nothing: AbbVie Shelves Stemcentrx Drug After Latest Flop

Posted by |2019-08-29T06:20:13-07:00August 29th, 2019|

AbbVie has officially waved the white flag on the cancer drug that triggered its $5.8 billion buyout of Stemcentrx a few years ago. North Chicago, IL-based AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) said that rovalpituzumab tesirine, or Rova-T, failed another clinical trial—this time a Phase 3 study, MERU, testing the drug as a maintenance therapy in patients with […]

Scholar Rock CFO Rhonda Chicko to Leave in September

Posted by |2019-08-28T13:36:58-07:00August 28th, 2019|

Scholar Rock (NASDAQ: SRRK) announced that Rhonda Chicko, the company’s chief financial officer, is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.” The Cambridge, MA-based drug developer gave no other details about Chicko’s plans other than to say that she will stay on the job through Sept. 30 to help with the transition of her responsibilities. A search […]

Ionis Gets $25M From GSK For Experimental Hepatitis B Program

Posted by |2019-08-27T16:45:58-07:00August 27th, 2019|

Infections caused by the hepatitis B virus, which attacks the liver, are typically treated with drugs that keep the virus from making ever more copies of itself. However, because those treatments reduce but don’t eliminate the virus, patients have to take the drugs indefinitely, according to the World Health Organization. Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS) has […]

FibroGen Founder and CEO Thomas Neff Passes Away Unexpectedly

Posted by |2019-08-26T08:28:53-07:00August 26th, 2019|

Thomas Neff, the founder, CEO, and chairman of FibroGen (NASDAQ: FGEN), has passed away. The San Francisco-based biotech did not disclose any details other than to say Neff’s death over the weekend was unexpected. Board member James Schoeneck has been named interim CEO while the company searches for Neff’s permanent successor. Neff founded FibroGen in […]

GSK’s Cancer Comeback Continues With Data for Multiple Myeloma Drug

Posted by |2019-08-26T03:30:06-07:00August 23rd, 2019|

An experimental GlaxoSmithKline treatment for multiple myeloma has achieved the main goal of a key study, and the drug maker plans to file for regulatory approval by the end of this year. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) said Friday that treatment with its drug, belantamab mafodotin, showed a “clinically meaningful overall response rate” in the study. The […]

New BC Biotech Chinook Reels in $65M to Tackle Kidney Disease

Posted by |2019-08-22T14:19:04-07:00August 22nd, 2019|

About 15 percent of adults in the US, or around 37 million people, are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There are very few therapeutic options for them, which means they often progress to kidney failure, which is treatable only with dialysis or transplant. Chinook Therapeutics is looking […]

Healthcare’s Future is Telemedicine & AI, But Will Everyone Benefit?

Posted by |2019-08-21T20:01:26-07:00August 21st, 2019|

John Halamka thinks the digital health industry is still “emerging.” But it has come a long way and is starting to deliver after years of hype. Halamka, a Boston-based physician and healthcare technology expert, says that’s thanks to several coalescing factors: improved technology, more favorable financial incentives for using digital products in healthcare, and growing […]

Elanco’s $7.6B Deal With Bayer Bolsters Pets, Farm Animals Footprint

Posted by |2019-08-20T09:35:36-07:00August 20th, 2019|

Elanco Animal Health, the veterinary sector’s fourth-largest company measured by revenue, is poised to leap to number two through a $7.6 billion cash and stock deal for Bayer’s animal health unit. The acquisition will help Elanco boost its business selling products for farm animals. But Elanco (NYSE: ELAN) notes that Bayer, which sells the popular […]

FDA Rejects Sarepta’s Second Duchenne Drug, Citing Safety Concerns

Posted by |2019-08-19T14:44:46-07:00August 19th, 2019|

Sarepta Therapeutics won one of the most dramatic and controversial drug approvals in the history of the FDA a few years ago. It didn’t have the same luck the second time around. The FDA late Monday rejected golodirsen (Vyondys 53), which was widely expected to become the second approved Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug from Sarepta […]

Pfizer Spinout SpringWorks, Migraine Drug Firm Satsuma Prep IPOs

Posted by |2019-08-19T03:30:06-07:00August 16th, 2019|

The dog days of summer are here and IPO activity has slowed, but that hasn’t stopped some biotech companies from securing a place in the line leading to Wall Street. Late Friday, SpringWorks Therapeutics and Satsuma Pharmaceuticals filed paperwork to go public. SpringWorks spun out of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) nearly two years ago, aiming to […]

SpringWorks Therapeutics Appoints Francis Perier CFO

Posted by |2019-08-15T08:57:35-07:00August 15th, 2019|

Francis Perier has been appointed chief financial officer of SpringWorks Therapeutics. Perier’s experience includes financial roles at Forest Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), and Deloitte. Stamford, CT-based SpringWorks was spun out of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) in 2017 with rights to four of the pharmaceutical giant’s drugs. In April, SpringWorks raised $125 million in Series B […]
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