Last fall, Acacia Pharma's virtual crew cheered the late-stage success of a drug designed to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting by bringing in strategic advisers to help hammer out a path forward. And evidently, they concluded that setting out to raise $230 million on the London Stock Exchange was the right way to go.
The U.K.'s special cancer drugs fund gave the heave-ho to a slate of treatments, including Roche's cutting-edge breast cancer treatment Kadcyla and Celgene's Abraxane for pancreatic cancer. Drugmakers are hopping mad, cancer treatment charities are despairing--and the fund and some public officials are on the defensive.
Novartis won't have to wait for European regulators to do a full-force data sift before its new heart failure drug becomes available in England. The U.K. will allow Novartis to roll out its Entresto drug under an early-access scheme begun last year.
UCL has made Elsevier's PharmaPendium available to its researchers. The United Kingdom academic institution has subscribed to the resource to support its staffers' research into drug repurposing and the personalization of treatments.
The United Kingdom has opened up another front of its 100,000 Genomes Project. Having started off sequencing the genomes of people with rare diseases, the team behind the initiative are now ready to take aim at their other big target: cancer.
The movement to shift informed consent in clinical trials from paper forms to electronic devices has notched up another victory. Mytrus and an unnamed top-10 pharma company made the advance by becoming the first organizations to win clearance to use e-consent in a trial in the United Kingdom.
The general consensus about the U.K.'s place in the biotech world can be summed up in a few words: Great science, world-class academic centers and way too little cash to finance promising new companies. But London Mayor Boris Johnson has come up with a radical idea to fix the funding gap virtually overnight, suggesting that the country leverage its place as a leading global financial center to create a $15.7 billion (£10 billion) megafund that could finance a fast biotech revolution.
The United Kingdom's botched and aborted attempt to share certain patient healthcare data with drug developers and other groups has triggered another controversy. Officials responsible for sharing the data have admitted they are unable to handle the 700,000 requests by patients to opt out of the program.
Boston-based PureTech, an investment group which is better known for its high-profile board than its portfolio of upstart life sciences companies, has landed in the U.K. with a plan to raise $160 million on the London stock market.
The United Kingdom is to change the laws governing startup investment vehicles known as Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) but has opted against some of the dramatic alterations previously mooted. VCTs will still face new restrictions on the companies to which they can provide private equity cash, though.