Most Clicked BIO SmartBrief Stories

1. Sanofi gains FDA approval for diabetes drug

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 26, 2015

Sanofi received federal approval for its long-acting basal insulin Toujeo for the treatment of patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Reuters (02/25)

2. Bristol boosts cancer-drug pipeline with $1.25B Flexus buy

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 24, 2015

Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay up to $1.25 billion to purchase private drugmaker Flexus Biosciences. The deal entitles Flexus to $800 million upfront and as much as $450 million in milestone fees. The deal will give Bristol the rights to Flexus' IDO1 inhibitors, a class of drugs that disrupts processes that allow cancer cells to remain hidden from immune cells. Reuters (02/23)

3. BIO report: Funding dwindles for new drugs to treat common diseases

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 27, 2015

Venture capital is plentiful for orphan diseases and rare ailments, but funding for novel treatments designed for more prevalent diseases is falling short. And according to a report from BIO, in 2013, the number of first-time Series A financing rounds was almost a third lower than the 2006 high. American City Business Journals (02/25)

4. Meritage Pharma bought by Shire in deal worth up to $245M

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 25, 2015

Meritage Pharma, a developer of drugs for gastrointestinal and rare diseases, was acquired by Shire for $70 million upfront and as much as $175 million in milestone fees. At the center of the deal is Meritage's Phase III-ready Oral Budesonide Suspension, which is under development for treating eosinophilic esophagitis in adolescent and adult patients. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (02/24)

5. Valeant boosts GI drug portfolio with $14.5B Salix buy

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 23, 2015

Valeant Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $14.5 billion to purchase Salix Pharmaceuticals. The deal, which gives Valeant access to Salix's strong portfolio of gastrointestinal disease drugs, is expected to be completed in the next quarter. "Combining Salix's leading market position in gastroenterology with Valeant's scale and resources will create a stronger and more diverse business committed to providing better health solutions to health care providers and their patients," Salix Chairman and Acting CEO Thomas D'Alonzo said. Xconomy (02/22)

6. Antibiotic from Forest Pharmaceuticals gets FDA nod

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 26, 2015

Forest Pharmaceuticals' antibiotic Avycaz, or ceftazidime-avibactam, has been approved by the FDA to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections, in combination with metronidazole. Avycaz also received approval for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections. Azycaz was the fifth antibacterial product designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product, which includes priority review and an extended exclusivity period. Healio (free registration) (02/25)

7. FDA grants breakthrough status to brain cancer drug from Celldex

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 24, 2015

Celldex Therapeutics' experimental drug Rintega, or rindopepimut, secured breakthrough-therapy status from the FDA for use in patients with EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma. The FDA based its decision on positive data from midstage and late-stage trials of the drug. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (02/23)

8. Sale of GSK's oncology drugs to Novartis approved by FTC

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 24, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission approved Novartis' plan to buy GlaxoSmithKline's oncology drugs for $16 billion. Novartis agreed to the condition of selling assets associated with its BRAF and MEK inhibitor drugs to complete the deal. The acquisition will enable the firms to create a consumer health care business. Reuters (02/23)

9. FDA to expedite review of Pfizer drug for lung disease

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 23, 2015

The FDA agreed to review a supplemental new drug application submitted by Pfizer to use its immunosuppressant Rapamune, or sirolimus, in patients with the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis. The application was granted priority-review status. Rapamune would be the first approved drug for this indication in the U.S. if it is cleared by the FDA. A decision is expected in June. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (02/21)

10. Bristol-Myers signs cancer-immunotherapy-development pact with Rigel

BIO SmartBrief | Feb 25, 2015

Rigel Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Bristol-Myers Squibb to use Rigel's range of small molecule TGF beta receptor kinase inhibitors to discover, develop and market novel cancer immunotherapies. The agreement gives Bristol worldwide rights to further develop and market small molecule treatments based on Rigel's TGF beta library. The alliance will focus on launching new drugs that could be used alone or combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors to boost the activity of the immune system against cancers. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (02/24)

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