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DURECT Pain Med Fails Phase III

DURECT Corporation announced that its Posimir (SABER – Bupivacaine) for post-surgical pain failed a Phase III clinical trial.

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Celgene Ends Two Phase III Trials

Celgene is scrapping a late-stage Crohn’s disease drug it acquired in a $710 million deal three years ago following an interim data analysis.

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AstraZeneca Inks R&D Deal With Ramaswamy’s Roivant for Hush-Hush Indication

Vivek Ramaswamy’s parent company, Roivant Sciences, inked a development deal with Swiss-based AstraZeneca. The deal appears consistent with Ramaswamy’s business model – acquire cast-off compounds from big pharmaceutical companies at bargain-bin prices and convince investors to invest in developing them.

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Pfizer Takes Stake in Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer snapped up a small percentage of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on treating rare genetic disorders that lead to obesity.

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Ignyta Stock Booms on Promising Mid-Stage Lung Cancer Data

Ignyta updated results from its STARTRK-2 clinical trial of entrectinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), causing company stock to jump about five percent before settling down.

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Visterra Inks $1B Deal With Vir Biotechnology

Two weeks after securing more than $46 million in financing, Visterra struck a deal worth up to $1 billion with startup Vir Biotechnology.

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Lilly, CureVac Strike $1.8B mRNA R&D Pact

Eli Lilly signed an R&D collaboration deal with CureVac that could total up to $1.8 billion to develop and commercialize up to five possible cancer vaccines.

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J&J Terminates Two Drugs From Pipeline

Johnson & Johnson indicated in its third-quarter 2017 financial announcement that the company is dropping two of its pipeline drugs.

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450 Jobs Eliminated as Novartis Shuts Down Colorado Facility

Switzerland-based Novartis is closing the company’s generic-drug manufacturing facility in Broomfield, Colo., which will cut 450 jobs over two years.

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Takeda Leaps Into NASH With $470M-Plus Deal With HemoShear Therapeutics

Takeda Pharmaceutical is jumping into the $40 billion market for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other diseases of the liver with a $470+ million investment into Virginia-based HemoShear Therapeutics LLC.

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Pfizer Touts Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor Data

Mid-stage data shows that Pfizer’s lorlatinib could provide benefits to lung cancer patients who exhibit related brain tumors.

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Exelixis Cancer Drug Meets Goals in Phase III Trial

Exelixis’s Cabometyx (cabozantinib) hit key endpoints of overall survival in its Phase III liver cancer trial.

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Incyte Claims Flexus Lured Away CSO and Its IDO Secrets, Then Sold Itself to Bristol-Myers in $1.25B Deal

Incyte leveled charges of stealing company secrets against the founders of Flexus Biosciences over the hiring of Incyte’s former chief scientific officer who had access to Incyte’s scientific research.

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Warp Drive Bio Scores $387M R&D Pact With Roche

Through a strategic collaboration deal with Roche, Warp Drive Bio will use its Genome Mining Platform to investigate potential antibiotics for drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.

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FDA Responds to Antares Pharma’s Xyosted NDA

The U.S. FDA identified unnamed deficiencies in Antares Pharma’s NDA for Xyosted that halted discussion of labeling and postmarketing requirements.

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Massachusetts’ Biostage Slashes 71 Percent of Staff, Evaluating Strategic Alternatives

An investor decision to renege on acquiring more than $3 million worth of stock has created a financial catastrophe for Biostage Inc. To maintain operations, the company is terminating 17 employees, about 71 percent of its workforce.

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FDA rejects AcelRx Pharma’s opioid painkiller

Shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals plunged more than 60 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve its opioid painkiller Dsuvia.

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Novartis to Hold On to Its 33 Percent Stake in Roche – For Now

Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis has decided not to sell its $14 billion stake in Swiss rival Roche.

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Ardelyx Shares Soared After Positive Phase III Results for Tenapanor

Two months after slashing 28 percent of its workforce as part of a strategic review, Ardelyx Inc. announced positive Phase III results for tenapanor, its irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

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Trevena Slashes 30 Percent of R&D Jobs Amid Cost Cuts

Trevena Inc. is banking its future on possible approval of troubled pain medication Olinvo eight months after Phase III data raised some questions over the drug’s safety profile.

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