Just a month after landing a $15 million payday for a deal with Astellas to collaborate on new antibody drug conjugates for cancer, the San Diego-based biotech Ambrx has scored another research pact--reaping another $15 million upfront from Bristol-Myers in exchange for a new oncology partnership.
When can a drugmaker beat earnings expectations and project a 10% boost in profits for the year and still end up disappointing investors? When that drugmaker is Novo Nordisk, the world's largest insulin maker, focused on a rapidly growing treatment area with investors expecting more, more, more.
The big biotech reported in its quarterly statement that the agency has provided the coveted "breakthrough" status for a combination of daclatasvir with two other direct-acting antivirals, asunaprevir, an NS3 protease inhibitor and BMS-791325, an NS5B non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's first-quarter earnings dropped 44%, on a 27% decline in sales. Fortunately, the $3.83 billion revenue line was only slightly worse than analysts expected, given generic competition for blockbuster heart drugs Avapro and Plavix.
Maverick states could cost Big Pharma big money. Though many drugmakers have wrapped up marketing settlements with the federal government--and states willing to go along--they're now facing claims from state attorneys general who are bold, stubborn, ambitious, or all of the above.
After delivering data from multiple rounds of trials on all-oral combos against hepatitis C, pharma runners appear to be making progress with new therapies that could shorten treatment durations and wipe out the liver-damaging virus without infusions of interferon and the flulike side effects that go with them.
Like most of its new drug programs in recent years, Merck's work on new hepatitis C drugs has never quite paid off as hoped. Now it's taken its lead clinical-stage program for MK-5172 and tied up with Bristol-Myers Squibb to test a combo approach with daclatasvir.
China and India may top the list of fastest-growing pharma markets, but Brazil is no slouch, either. Drugmakers are wheeling and dealing there at an increasingly faster pace, as companies like Merck and Reckitt Benckiser join old-timers like Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline in beefing up there.
A safety watchdog group has analyzed the FDA's adverse event data on the entire GLP-1 class of diabetes drugs, finding more reports of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer for these drugs compared with older treatments.
Santaris Pharma has found another major pharma partner for its RNA drug platform. Bristol-Myers Squibb has forked over $10 million initially and promised much more to collaborate with Santaris on discovery and development of new genetic therapies.