Monday, 23 April 2018 - 2:56
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Pathology

New FDA approval for US-based biotech Ultragenyx

The Novato, California-based biotech Ultragenyx yesterday announced, before Wall Street opened, that its investigational therapy Crysvita (burosumab) has obtained the FDA approval for the treatment of X–Linked Hypophosphatemia (XLH), a rare condition. XLH is a serious disease affecting bones, which…

Intercept shows another significant benefit of Ocaliva to people with PCB

New York-based biotech company Intercept Pharmaceuticals keeps momentum: its shares have risen over 15% since the beginning of the month. Intercept yesterday announced in a press release that the Phase III POISE clinical trial has demonstrated that Ocaliva (obeticholic acid)…

GSK announces sale of rare disease therapies to Orchard Therapeutics

GlaxoSmithKline has sold its rare disease therapy portfolio to Orchard Therapeutics in exchange for 20% of shares in the Anglo-American biotech and royalties on profits delivered by Orchard with GSK’s treatments. GSK’s move allows the UK-based company to focus on…

Chinese biotech sector, leader in CAR-T technology

China has clearly acquired an outstanding position in the CAR-T area, with 116 ongoing clinical trials, versus 96 in the US and 15 in Europe. Chinese researchers are obtaining positive results in the treatment of blood cancers considered incurable before…

Rude awakening for immunotherapy sector

Last Friday’s news about the failed Phase III clinical trial with immunotherapy Keytruda in combination with Incyte’s cancer therapy epacadostat not only has wiped $4m from the US biotech’s capitalization over few hours, but has also risen much concern among…

The immunotherapy market

The Financial Times has published  today a very short review about the immunotherapy market. This business is currently dominated by Merck & Co and Bristol-Myers Squibb with blockbusters Keytruda and Opdivo, however these are already facing competition from Roche, Pfizer…

Sanofi seeks to restore leadership in diabetes treatments

Sanofi is trying to restore its leading position in diabetes treatments, like at the time when its insulin Lantus was among blockbusters. The France-based group is now largely focusing on sotagliflozin, which acts as a SGLT-1 and SGLT-2 inhibitor and…

Good news for Teva at last: generic to Lialda launched

Good news are coming from Teva at last: the Israeli-based pharmaceutical group has announced it has launched the generic version of Lialda (mesalamine) 1.2g in the US. Mesalamine is indicated for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, a disorder affecting over…

Good Phase III results for Roche’s Tecentriq

Switzerland-based group Roche yesterday issued a press release announcing that its immunotherapy tecentriq (atezolizumab) has delivered positive results in combination with chemotherapy (carboplatin and Abraxane). The data have been collected during the Phase III IMpower131 clinical trial, conducted on patients…

Celgene signs $150m agreement with Prothena to develop Alzheimer’s drug

Celgene has entered into an agreement with biotech Prothena in order to acquire the rights to three Alzheimer’s drug candidates based on three proteins identified by Prothena. Specifically, under the agreement, the companies will co-develop the drug candidates. Should these…

Blockchain and AI technologies, new frontiers to diagnostics

Computational biologist Dexter Hadley and his team at the University of California (San Francisco) are trying to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to breast cancer diagnosis. The company is developing an algorithm based on the blockchain technology and will be able…

Biogen to pay $600m for Pfizer-developed schizophrenia therapy

Biogen yesterday announced it has acquired from Pfizer the rights to the investigational PF-04958242 therapy, developed to treat some symptoms of schizophrenia, a condition affecting over 20 million people globally. As part of the agreement, Biogen will make Pfizer an…

Oncology business to keep dominating M&A scene in 2018

2017 was an outstanding year for M&A in pharma. The most significant deals were clearly JnJ’s $30bn acquisition of Actelion and Gilead’s $11.9bn acquisition of Kite . Therefore, a new spate of acquisitions is expected for 2018. One of the…

Dermira’s shares plunge following results from new anti-acne therapy

Shares of California-based Dermira yesterday plunged by 64% (Nasdaq) after results from the Phase III Clareos-1 and Clareos-2 clinical trials were announced. The trials have been conducted on patients with acne vulgaris, treated with the investigational olumacostat glasaretil, which however…

Extensive study on depression and HIV

An increasing number of studies shows interesting links between HIV and depression. Among these, it is worth to mention a 10-year analysis (2005-2015) on 6,000 patients with HIV, with an average age of 44, which has demonstrated that risk of…

New method for early cancer diagnosis through biomarkers

Scientists Mark Kalinich and Daniel A. Haber from the General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School of Boston, have published a long article on the latest issue of the prestigious magazine Science, checking the state of the art of biomarkers…

BASF markets product for non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease

Whoever believes that BASF is just a manufacturer of industrial chemicals should change its mind. BASF Corp. (a US subsidiary of BASF’s) has announced it has launched Hepaxa for the treatment of NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), a condition affecting…