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Investing Into R&D Pays off for Some of Biotech’s Biggest Companies

PwC’s annual R&D spending report showcases companies that stand out in the field of biotechnology.

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AbbVie’s Rova-T Sees Another Failure

AbbVie halted a Phase III trial evaluating rovalpituzumab tesirine as a second-line therapy for advanced small-cell lung cancer after an Independent Data Monitoring Committee called for the stoppage due to shorter overall survival in the Rova-T arm.

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In What Could Be an Alzheimer’s Breakthrough, UCLA Scientists Link Specific Gene Mutations to Dementia

Researchers with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health Sciences have identified two major groups of genes that, when mutated, results in overproduction of the tau protein, at least in mice.

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Sanofi and Denali Reach Potential $1+ Billion Deal

Denali announced a collaborative deal with Sanofi to develop potential treatments for neurological and systemic inflammatory diseases that could be worth more than $1 billion.

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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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FDA snubs Novartis bid to repurpose inflammation drug for heart attacks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Novartis’ bid to repurpose canakinumab, a drug already approved for rare inflammatory diseases, for use in a group of heart attack survivors.

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Akcea Therapeutics genetic disease treatment gets FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Akcea Therapeutics’ rare genetic disease drug Tegsedi, which was developed along with Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

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J&J, Arrowhead reach gene-silencing drug deal

J&J agreed to develop and market Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s gene-silencing hepatitis B treatment and buy a minor stake in a deal that could be potentially worth more than $3.7 billion.

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Trio wins chemistry Nobel for work on antibody drugs, smart enzymes

Two Americans and a Briton won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for harnessing the power of evolution to generate novel proteins.

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Dragonfly and Merck Strike Deal for Solid Tumors

Waltham, Mass.-based Dragonfly Therapeutics struck a licensing agreement worth up to $695 million with Merck, which will license exclusive rights to Dragonfly’s TriNKET technology platform for a number of solid-tumor programs.

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