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Merrimack Halts Lung Cancer Trial; Stock Plunges More Than 32 Percent

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals’ stock plunged more than 32 percent after the company announced the termination of the SHERLOC Phase II clinical trial.

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FDA Proposes Steps to Standardize Generic Drugs Globally

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that the regulatory agency is relaunching the Drug Competition Action Plan in 2019 with some additional initiatives.

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Proteostasis Therapeutics’ Double and Triple-Combo CF Drugs Possible Threat to Vertex Dominance

Boston-based Proteostasis Therapeutics announced positive preliminary data from the ongoing Phase I clinical trial of PTI-808 and PTI-801 in cystic fibrosis. Despite being an early-stage trial and preliminary data, company shares exploded upward by 301 percent, with more than 44 million shares trading hands.

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Amidst Strong Quarterly Growth, Novartis Receives FDA Complete Response Letter for Canakinumab

In an announcement touting 6 percent growth in net sales driven by strong revenue gains of Cosentyx, Swiss pharma giant Novartis reported that the company received a Complete Response Letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for canakinumab as a potential treatment for cardiovascular risk reduction.

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AbbVie Invests $100 Million in Morphic Therapeutic to Develop Integrin Inhibitors for Fibrotic Diseases

Weeks after Waltham, Mass.-based Morphic Therapeutic secured $80 million in Series B financing that was supported in part by AbbVie Ventures, the company struck a deal with the pharma giant to collaborate on the development of therapies for fibrosis-related indications.

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Pfizer Announces 2 Percent Jobs Cuts Worldwide

Citing structural simplification, Pfizer announced plans to cut the company’s global staffing by about 2 percent, primarily through voluntary layoffs and early retirement through the end of 2018 and early in 2019.

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Eisai and Purdue’s Lemborexant Positive in Phase III Trial for Insomnia

Eisai Co. and Purdue Pharma L.P. announced top-line results from the companies’ SUNRISE 2 Phase III clinical trial of lemborexant for sleep-wake disorders.

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Startup CuraSen Takes Aim at Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

San Mateo, Calif.-based startup CuraSen Therapeutics surged forward with $54.5 million in Series A funding and a leadership team that includes executives from Afferent Pharmaceuticals, a company acquired by Merck in 2016 for $1.2 billion.

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Exclusive: 4 Life Science Companies Merge into Discovery Life Sciences

Discovery Life Sciences, a leading research biobank located in Los Osos, California, recently got much larger via a four-company merger. Ann Dover, Discovery’s founder, president and CEO, spoke with BioSpace about the merger and biobank’s new identity.

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Sanofi, Genentech Both Eye U.S. Expansions; Could Add up to 2,300 Jobs

Sanofi is reportedly eying a significant expansion in Cambridge, Mass., that could spur a hiring spree. In Portland, Oregon, Genentech is looking to open an office space that would require up to 300 new hires, The Portland Business Journal reported.

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SQZ, Roche reach expansion deal of up to $1 billion

Watertown, Mass.-based SQZ Biotechnologies could be on the receiving end of up to $1 billion following the company’s signing of an expansion agreement with pharma giant Roche.

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FDA Advisory Committee Recommends AcelRx’s Opioid Drug Dsuvia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee voted to recommend AcelRx Pharmaceuticals’ Dsuvia to manage moderate-to-severe pain.

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Up-and-Coming Automation Company Berkeley Lights Raises $95 Million

Emeryville, Calif.-based Berkeley Lights closed on a $95 million financing round, led by Nikon.

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Global Biopharma Companies Top Forbes’ List of World’s Best Employers

Forbes’ 2018 ranking of the “World’s Best Employers” includes a number of global biopharmaceutical companies.

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Using Lab-Grown Retinas, Researchers Take Steps Toward Curing Colorblindness

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the National Institute of Mental Health grew retinas in Petri dishes and discovered fundamental factors involved in the development of vision and color vision.

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Ionis and Roche agree on dry AMD treatment deal

Ionis Pharmaceuticals inked a deal worth more than $700 million with pharma giant Roche to develop an antisense drug for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases.

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Trump Signs FTC Law That Allows for Biosimilar Scrutiny

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that requires pharmaceutical companies to provide details of biosimilar deals to the Federal Trade Commission for antitrust scrutiny.

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NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Network Identifies 31 New Syndromes

In 2014, the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched a program called the Undiagnosed Disease Network. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study looking at the results of the network.

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FDA Lifts Clinical Hold; Green-Lights Vertex and CRISPR’s Sickle Cell Gene Therapy Trial

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted a clinical hold and accepted an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for an experimental sickle cell disease treatment being jointly developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics.

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Novartis’ Crizanlizumab Frees Patients From Sickle Cell Pain Crises, Post Hoc Analysis Shows

A post-hoc analysis of a Phase II sickle cell disease study showed that patients treated with Novartis’ experimental humanized anti-P-selectin monoclonal antibody crizanlizumab significantly reduced occurrences of vaso-occlusive crisis, a serious disease complication that can lead to organ failure.

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