New indication for AZ’s checkpoint antibody

AstraZeneca Plc has won a new indication for its checkpoint antibody Imfinzi (durvalumab) from the US Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of non-small cell lung cancer progressing. Imfinzi targets the programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1).

Country: United States

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Roche to acquire Flatiron Health

Roche is to advance its strategy for delivering personalised medicines with the acquisition of Flatiron Health Inc, a company with technology for analysing real-world data from cancer patients. Roche is to pay $1.9 billion for the 87.4% of the company it doesn’t already own.

Country: Switzerland

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Avelumab doesn’t meet endpoint in lung cancer trial

The checkpoint antibody avelumab has failed to meet its primary endpoint of improving overall survival in a Phase 3 trial of patients with PD-L1 expressing non-small lung cancer. The JAVELIN Lung 200 trial compared avelumab with docetaxel chemotherapy.

Country: Germany

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Pieris raises additional money from US IPO

Following the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc has raised a gross $50.6 million from its initial public offering on the US Nasdaq market. This is an increase of $6.6 million from the time of pricing.

Country: United States

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Shire reduces debt, consolidates neuroscience

Shire Plc generated enough cash flow from product sales in 2017 to reduce its non-GAAP debt by $3.4 billion thereby meeting its target of bringing borrowings down to a level of three times earnings. The company also confirmed plans to create separate neuroscience and rare disease business units.

Country: Ireland

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Gates Foundation funds Novartis drug

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to provide $6.5 million to Novartis to support development of a preclinical compound that has potential to treat cryptosporidiosis, the second leading cause of infectious diarrhoea in children under two years of age.

Country: Switzerland

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FDA approves cancer drug using novel endpoint

The US Food and Drug Administration has used a novel endpoint to approve a new drug for prostate cancer. Measuring metastasis-free survival, the agency decided that the Janssen Pharmaceutical drug Erleada (apalutamide) is effective.

Country: United States

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Pieris raises $44 million in US IPO

An initial public share offering in the US for Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc has been priced at $8 per share and is expected to raise $44 million. The Nasdaq IPO will enable the company, a developer of protein therapeutics, to advance its bispecific drug candidate targeting the tumour microenvironment.

Country: United States

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Synpromics works with UCL

Synpromics Ltd is bringing its technology for creating synthetic promoters into a partnership with a unit of University College London (UCL) in order to help researchers there develop gene therapies for blood-based disorders. The agreement was announced on 25 January.

Country: United Kingdom

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Cognitive diseases targeted

A new Belgian company has been launched to develop therapies for cognitive disorders using intellectual property from UCB SA. The company has received Series A financing of €17 million from a syndicate of Belgian and international investors.

Country: Belgium

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