Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

AstraZeneca to continue ambitious deal-making

AstraZeneca development director John Patterson put the spotlight on the importance of R&D during the FT Global Pharma and Biotech conference in London, but he made it clear that in-licensing would drive a swelling portion of the company's future drug work. Patterson estimated that in four years, 20 to 30 percent of the company's development portfolio will have been in-licensed. AstraZeneca has been hungry for new deals recently, …

Schering, AstraZeneca ink cancer pact

Germany's Schering and the UK's AstraZeneca are joining forces to develop a new therapy for breast cancer. AstraZeneca and Schering will share the costs and profits of developing SERD, a preclinical estrogen receptor inhibitor. The receptors pose a barrier to hormone treatments, a mainstay of breast cancer therapy. "The novel SERD has the potential to deliver significant benefit to patients with estrogen-dependent cancers: the lead indication will be breast cancer," noted Schering in a statement.- here's the AP report on the pact

Dynavax, AstraZeneca ink $136M deal

Dynavax Technologies has inked a collaboration deal with the UK's AstraZeneca to develop new TLR-9 agonist-based therapies for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Dynavax gains $10 million up front, research funds and preclinical milestones that could raise its committed financing to $27 million. The total package is worth up to $136 million for Dynavax. "We believe that AstraZeneca is the ideal partner for the development of asthma and COPD ISS-based …

SPOTLIGHT: UK to provide cancer drugs

Britain's health watchdog NICE is opening up free access to a group of aromatase inhibitors for postmenopausal women with invasive hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. The decision will allow for free access to such drugs as AstraZeneca's Arimidex and Novartis' Femara. Article

DEALS: AstraZeneca, Pozen in $375M licensing deal

ALSO NOTED: Takeda wins European approval; Merck wins Vioxx case; and much more...

> European regulators have given Takeda a green light to sell its diabetes drug Competact, a combination of Actos and metformin. Takeda started selling the drug combo in the U.S. last year. Actos directly targets insulin resistance, a condition where the body does not efficiently use the insulin it produces, and metformin HCl acts primarily by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver.  …

Pozen shares soar on rich pain med deal

Shares of Pozen shot up 30 percent this morning when the company announced that it has signed a rich deal to develop a pain medication with AstraZeneca that will combine therapies from each company. Pozen gets $40 million up front, $160 million in potential milestone payments and $175 million for hitting sales targets along with royalties. The deal will pair the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug naproxen with esomeprazole magnesium, the active ingredient in Nexium. The combinational …

FDA OKs AstraZeneca's Symbicort for asthma

The FDA approved AstraZeneca's Symbicort for the long-term treatment of patients 12 and older. Symbicort combines budesonide--an anti-inflammatory--and formoterol fumarate dehydrate in an inhaler. Symbicort is already approved in 90 countries and is expected to compete with Advair from GSK.- check out the AP report on Symbicort

AstraZeneca files NDA for once-daily Seroquel

AstraZeneca has petitioned the FDA to allow once-daily version of its second-best selling drug Seroquel, a treatment of acute manic episodes with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The drug, which was approved in 1997, did $2.76 billion in sales last year, up 35 percent from 2004. But despite the strong sales, the company is concerned that the older formula of Seroquel could face competition from Israel's generic drug maker Teva, which is planning to launch a copycat.- see this press release

Novartis posts lower-than-expected profit

Novartis posted a 4 percent rise in profit to $1.71 billion for the second quarter, falling short of analysts' expectations. The company blames the cost of integrating vaccine maker Chiron for the lower-than-expected numbers. But due to strong pharmaceutical sales growth, the drug maker predicts double-digit full year growth. "Investors will likely be disappointed about earnings, but the fact that the core business performs well and even managed to improve in some areas should compensate …