The FDA has approved the first biosimilar that references the blockbuster Roche drug Lucentis. The Biogen and Samsung BioLogics joint venture that developed the biologic product have approval to treat three eye conditions that lead to vision loss.
Luminopia, a startup with a digital therapeutic for amblyopia, or lazy eye, recently published the results of a phase 3 study showing its TV-based treatment can improve vision in kids’ non-dominant eye. Patients don a headset where images are altered to make them use both eyes.
A Roche drug that failed as a treatment for neurological disorders is now the lead program for Disc Medicines. CEO John Quisel said Roche’s clinical data showed the small molecule’s promise addressing a rare blood disorder and now the biotech startup has $90 million to advance that drug and another one into Phase 2 testing.
Atavistik Bio is one of several companies discovering and developing drugs that work by allostery, binding to less obvious sites of a target protein. Acting CEO John Josey said the startup aims to stand apart with its focus on understanding metabolic interactions, a path less trodden by others in allosteric drug discovery.
Customers can order medicines for mild ailments, makeup, toiletries and more from 14 stores The pharmacy chain Boots will become the latest large retailer to make its products available through Deliveroo, as the takeaway delivery company aims to expand beyond restaurant orders. Stores in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Nottingham will be among the 14 initially …
Though Gilead Sciences leads the group of companies developing immunotherapies that target the cancer protein CD47, Pfizer contends that molecules it is getting through the Trillium Therapeutics acquisition have safety and efficacy advantages that could make them the best in this emerging drug class.
For much of this summer, Sesen Bio said all of the FDA’s communications pointed toward regulatory approval for the biotech’s bladder cancer drug. Though Sesen characterized the regulator’s rejection of the fusion protein as surprising, CEO Tom Cannell also revealed an earlier sign that another clinical trial may be necessary.
The artificial intelligence-based technology of Iterative Scopes brings computer vision analysis to endoscopic images. The startup’s technology was initially developed to assist gastroenterologists in finding pre-cancerous polyps but CEO and founder Jonathan Ng said it’s also finding additional use helping pharmaceutical companies identify patients for clinical trials.
An AstraZeneca lupus drug has been awarded FDA approval for treating the most common form of the autoimmune disorder. The regulatory decision gives AstraZeneca a product that can compete head-to-head with GlaxoSmithKline’s lupus drug, Benlysta.
Patients taking new Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm will be evaluated in a real-world study lasting up to five years. Biogen announced plans for the observational study, which is one of three post-marketing clinical programs planned to generate more data about the drug
The engineered viruses used to deliver gene therapies can spark complications and they can’t be re-dosed. Ring Therapeutics says viruses that evolved with humans can be better viral vectors and the startup has raised $117 million in new financing to continue its research.
Seres Therapeutics’ ambitions to treat ulcerative colitis with a microbiome drug were dealt a setback as its experimental therapy failed in Phase 2 testing. The company plans a “rigorous scientific analysis” to assess what happened and to determine the next steps for the program.
An amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals is being prepared for Phase 3 clinical testing on track to begin later this quarter. To support that research, the biotech has raised $135 million in financing.
Startup PAQ Therapeutics is developing drugs work like Pac Man, gobbling up components of a cell associated with disease. The biotech has closed $30 million in financing to continue its research, with a neurodegenerative disorder as its lead disease target.
By paying $125 million up front for rights to multiple sclerosis drug candidate orelabrutinib, Biogen secures a place among those companies trying to treat the disease by targeting a particular enzyme highly expressed in the central nervous system. But Biogen still has some catching up to do.
A hemophilia A patient in a Sigilon Therapeutics clinical trial developed a well-known complication to treatments for the blood disorder. The potential problem for Sigilon is that its cell therapy is designed to avoid triggering such immune responses.
The drug label for Biogen Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm has been revised to clarify that its use is for patients with mild forms of the neurodegenerative disorder. The change aligns the prescribing information with the patient population studied in clinical trials.
Computer – the most powerful in Britain – will use AI to find new cures and deepen understanding of diseases The UK’s most powerful supercomputer, which its creators hope will make the process of preventing, diagnosing and treating disease better, faster and cheaper, is operational. Christened Cambridge-1, the supercomputer represents a $100m investment by US-based …
Fresh off its first FDA approval, Apellis Pharmaceuticals is teaming up with Beam Therapeutics, a partnership that will use Beam’s base-editing technology to develop new therapies for complement system disorders. Apellis has committed to pay Beam $75 million to kick off the alliance.
Intellia Therapeutics has early clinical trial data showing that its CRISPR-based therapy for a rare disease can edit genes inside the body safely and effectively. The trial is ongoing, but the preliminary results suggest that Intellia’s approach could offer a cure.
Lyell Immunopharma and Verve Therapeutics are still preclinical, but they’re bring novel genetic approaches to the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Now the two companies can claim two of the biggest biotech IPOs of 2021 so far.
CAMP4 Therapeutics is developing a new kind of RNA therapy that treats disease by upregulating gene expression. The startup has raised $45 million as CEO Josh Mandel-Brehm steers toward clinical trials expected to begin next year in liver and brain diseases.
A Sage Therapeutics depression drug that failed a pivotal study in 2019 has positive preliminary results from a new Phase 3 clinical trial, but the data also showed the therapy’s effects waned over time. Questions about zuranolone’s durability are relevant to Biogen, which committed $1.5 billion to Sage in large part due to the drug’s …
Senda Biosciences is developing drugs based on an understanding of intersystems biology—the way that humans interact with bacteria and plants. The startup, founded by Flagship Pioneering, has added $55 million to advance its three lead programs to clinical testing next year.
Biogen is still discussing with the FDA the clinical trial design to confirm the benefit offered by its newly approved Alzheimer’s disease drug, Aduhelm. According to a timeline set by the regulator, that clinical trial is not expected to be complete until 2029.
A Biogen Alzheimer’s drug that clears amyloid plaque from the brain has been granted accelerated approved by the FDA. The drug, which will be marketed as Aduhelm, is the first new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatment since 2003.
MorphoSys is acquiring Constellation Pharmaceuticals and its late-stage myelofibrosis drug in a deal that values the epigenetics biotech at $1.7 billion. Germany-based MorphoSys will finance the acquisition with cash from a separate $2 billion deal with drug royalty acquirer Royalty Pharma.
Moderna released preliminary clinical data showing its Covid-19 vaccine produced efficacy in adolescents that was comparable to what was seen in adults. The company plans to submit applications to regulators in early June seeking expansion of emergency authorization of the vaccine to include this younger age group.
Biogen is reaching across the Charles River, striking up a gene therapy manufacturing alliance with synthetic biology firm Ginkgo Bioworks. Ginkgo will use its technology to accelerate and make more efficient the process of manufacturing the AAV viral vectors used in gene therapies.
BlueRock Therapeutics, a Bayer subsidiary, is teaming up with Opsis Therapeutics and Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics in an R&D pact focused on developing stem cell therapies for eye diseases. BlueRock is paying its new partners $30 million up front to kick off the alliance.
A Biogen gene therapy for a rare, inherited eye disorder that leads to blindness has failed a key clinical trial. The preliminary results are the latest blow to the company’s efforts to expand its scope to gene therapies.
Biogen paid $18 million to acquire a drug that TMS Co. of Japan tested in patients with acute ischemic stroke. The acquisition follows the report of preliminary mid-stage data showing the drug led to no cases of a potentially fatal complication associated with currently available stroke therapies.
Incubated by Flagship Pioneering, biotech firm Laronde is developing endless RNA, or eRNA, a new class of medicines that goes beyond messenger RNA-based therapies. Flagship is backing the startup $50 million in Series A financing.
Dyno Therapeutics’ technology for designing viral vectors that deliver gene therapies has led to partnerships with Novartis, Sarepta Therapeutics, and Roche. With the Series A financing, the startup plans to expand its technology to address more tissue types, and potentially add more partners.
Neuroelectrics is planning a pivotal test of its wearable medical device, which delivers brain electrical stimulation to treat epilepsy. The startup’s Series A round of funding was led by Morningside Ventures.
Vaccitech and Werewolf Therapeutics joined the public markets, raising a combined $230 million. The vaccine developer and the cancer immunotherapy biotech will apply the IPO proceeds toward clinical development of their respective pipelines.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has filed for FDA approval of vutrisiran, which could become the biotech’s fourth drug that works by RNA interference. Meanwhile the company is responding to a federal subpoena seeking documents related to the company’s marketing and promotion of its first RNAi drug, Onpattro.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Obsidian Therapeutics to develop up to five new gene editing therapies. Obsidian’s technology precisely controls protein expression, a capability the partners plan to apply to several undisclosed serious diseases.
The FDA placed a clinical hold on a KalVista Pharmaceuticals drug being readied for mid-stage studies in a rare, inherited disorder. Meanwhile, the FDA has some questions about the historical data Y-mAbs used as the control in a clinical trial for its antibody cancer drug.
Relay Therapeutics has its own technology that applies artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to drug discovery. Its $85 million acquisition of ZebiAI gives it another technology that applies ML to DNA-encoded libraries and predicts the small molecules with the potential to drug proteins.
Amylyx’s ALS drug met the goals of a mid-stage study, paving the way for regulatory submissions in Europe and Canada. But the FDA is requiring data from a larger Phase 3 clinical trial and that study is slated to begin later this year.
Tango Therapeutics’ SPAC merger will infuse the biotech with $353 million to fund clinical trials for its cancer drugs based on synthetic lethality. Tango’s lead program is on track to reach the clinic next year.
With two cancer programs already making progress, Repertoire Immune Medicines will use the Series B financing to expand its immune synapse research to autoimmune disorders and infectious disease. CEO John Cox said his startup’s approach could advance immune medicines beyond the scope of currently available therapies.
The FDA increased the maximum number of doses permitted for each vial of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, a change intended to make more doses available. The regulator also authorized storage changes for the vaccines at vaccination sites.
Omega Therapeutics has raised more than $210 million in the past eight months for R&D of medicines that regulate genes. The company’s lead therapeutic candidate addresses a validated but elusive cancer target.
AstraZeneca reported that its Covid-19 vaccine was 79% effective at preventing severe infection and 100% effective at preventing hospitalization. The company expects to file a submission seeking FDA emergency use authorization in coming weeks.
In two pivotal studies years apart, Aveo Oncology’s drug tivozanib did not help kidney cancer patients live longer overall compared to the standard of care. The FDA approved still approved it, the latest development in a long saga that includes several regulatory stumbles.
The FDA decision gives Sarepta Therapeutics its third approved drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The accelerated approval requires the biotech to conduct additional clinical testing to confirm the drug’s benefit.
Cancer is a known risk of lentiviral-based gene therapies. Though bluebird says its gene therapy is engineered to avoid that risk, the company is suspending two clinical trials pending the outcome of its inquiry.
The Neurocrine decision follows a clinical hold placed on the Parkinson’s program in December. It’s Voyager’s second loss of an R&D partner in the past year; AbbVie previously ended an alliance aiming to develop gene therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The latest funding brings total investment in the company to $750 million. The money has gone, in part, toward licensing of promising drug candidates in breast, lung and other cancers.
The company said it is on track to start its 30,000-participant Phase III trial this month and has finished manufacturing enough supplies of the vaccine to do so.
The FDA has 60 days to decide whether or not to accept the application. An analyst wrote that the agency accepting it with a priority or standard review may signal whether the agency is seriously considering approval or has continued reservations about the amyloid beta-targeting drug’s clinical benefit.
Thanks to the success of the Human Genome Project, 20 years ago this week, scientists can track biology and disease at a molecular level Twenty years ago this week, an international group of scientists announced it had put together the first genetic blueprint of a human being. After 10 years of effort, the team – …