The R&D numbers for the top 10 biotechs may only amount to a fraction of what you'll find in Big Pharma. But unlike the giants, which are trying to keep a lid on multibillion-dollar budgets, you'll find a much faster crowd when you turn your gaze to the biotechs.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals jolted Wall Street with a fresh batch of midstage data on one of its combo therapies against cystic fibrosis.
EvaluatePharma researchers totted up sales for the last 5 years' worth of analysts' blockbuster picks--and found plenty of bad bets.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals has found another ally as the company plays catch up in the race to advance all-oral therapies against hepatitis C. Vertex and Bristol-Myers Squibb have agreed to combine experimental compounds to test in Phase II trials, the first of which will kick off during the current fiscal quarter.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals has set the stage for an ambitious Phase III program for its combo approach matching the experimental VX-809 and Kalydeco for cystic fibrosis. And if it can stick with the plan, Vertex will cut a short path directly to an approval for the groundbreaking combo.
Computer-designed drugs have come of age. More than two decades after industry pioneer Joshua Boger set sail from Merck to start Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) to advance structure-based drug design, the industry has seen multiple drugs discovered with the help of computers reach the finish line with FDA approvals.
So what goes into landing on $295,000 as the annual cost of a drug that maybe only 3,000 patients a year will use? That is the price tag that NPS Pharmaceuticals ($NPSP) has put on the recently approved Gattex, a treatment for short bowel syndrome.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals has some serious news about its hepatitis C drug Incivek: Some patients have died from serious skin reactions. The treatment, approved last year, was known to cause rash and skin reactions in some people, but this is the first time Vertex has reported deaths from those reactions.
The FDA has highlighted the agency's 35 new drug approvals in fiscal year 2012 and its track record for beating regulators in other countries as the first to green-light therapies three-quarters of the time.
It's a well-known problem: Pharma companies' research spending has gone up over the past decade or so without an equivalent increase in new drug approvals. Yet as Bloomberg writes in a feature on the issue, individuals have stepped up to reform the broken system in which companies usher new therapies to patients. The results seem mixed.