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Drugmakers relying on acquisitions to replenish their pipeline are increasing bids for biotech firms, driving the average premium higher, according to Bloomberg data. For biotech takeover targets valued at greater than $500 million, the premium over 20-day average share price is 71% this year, the most in at least 12 years.
WASHINGTON, DC ? Hopes for a mean, lean PDUFA bill that would cruise speedily through Congress are being dashed as lawmakers, and industry, continue to add their pet extras such as ? reforming the FDA to advancing pediatric trials and adding cosmetics to the mix. Find out the details.
Investors considering pharmaceutical makers often do not pay attention to product news because they are too focused on short-term profits, ISI Group biotech and pharma analyst Mark Schoenebaum wrote to his clients. "Over the long term, making money in any biotech or drug stock is about products," he wrote. The fact that the pharma market is slow to respond to product news creates an opportunity for investors, he added.
Recently proposed Senate legislation to designate certain experimental drugs as "breakthrough products" would allow the FDA to streamline the approval process without compromising safety, write Mark B. McClellan, director of the Brookings Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, and Ellen Sigal with Friends of Cancer Research. The designation would reduce the total time and cost to develop the most promising treatments and minimize the number of patients receiving placebo or a treatment known not to work well, they write.
Biotie Therapies regained the development and commercialization rights in the Asia-Pacific region for BTT-1023, its VAP-1 antibody program, after agreeing to terminating a licensing deal with Seikagaku. The reprofiling of BTT-1023 to target fibrotic diseases no longer fits Seikagaku's business strategy, Biotie CEO Timo Veromaa said. Biotie anticipates initiating proof-of-concept clinical trials this year.
A second late-stage trial showed that Biogen Idec's oral drug candidate BG-12 significantly reduced relapse and additional brain lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis over two years compared with placebo. Glatiramer acetate was used as a reference comparator. BG-12 also demonstrated safety and tolerability.
Drugmakers have increased spending on patient adherence programs by 281% since 2009, with much of the increase going to digital and mobile outreach, according to a report from market research firm Cutting Edge.
Amgen reportedly is close to a deal to acquire Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayii, which makes generic drugs and active ingredients in Turkey. The about $700 million agreement would expand Amgen's presence in emerging markets.
Argos Therapeutics secured $25 million in a financing round to support a late-stage trial of AGS-003, a dendritic cell immunotherapy candidate, in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The study will start this summer. AGS-003 has fast-track status from the FDA.
BGI and India's International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics agreed to a long-term applied genomics research and molecular breeding collaboration. The goal of the partnership is to achieve sustainable food production by improving breeding programs for semi-arid tropic crops through the use of next-generation sequencing technologies.
The U.S. and India have started a five-year joint research project whose goals include the development of biofuels from nonfood sources. The $125 million Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center aims to promote biofuels, reduce consumption of oil and increase energy efficiency. The team for the project's biofuels component will include scientists from five U.S. universities, Show Me Energy Cooperative and Green Technologies.
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