Drug Development

Protocols: Allergan disses giant leaps, concentrates on stepping stones; AstraZeneca also gets a boost from Bristol-Myers’ woes

Allergan made it official today. It is not looking for any kind of transformational acquisitions, so you can put those rumors aside and forget about any big bid for Biogen. Now that it has completed the sale of its generics biz to Teva, though, look for CEO Brent Saunders to spend billions on “stepping stone” deals, according to Evercore ISI’s Umer Raffat. That means more add-ons to the pipeline, where he’s been busy since the Pfizer megamerger failed to pan out.

Pfizer has handed back the rights to a biosimilar for Lucentis. San Diego-based Pfenex, which originally licensed it out to Hospira before it was bought out by the pharma giant, says it is considering new “strategic options.”

Merck wasn’t the only Big Pharma company to see its share price benefit from Bristol-Myers setback last week on its lung cancer study for Opdivo. AstraZeneca also garnered a higher share price as analysts recalibrated its chance of making an impact with its number four checkpoint drug. Astra has also spurred rumors of a takeover, highlighting the value of its pipeline.

WuXi AppTec is opening up a subsidiary operation for early-stage research and manufacturing in San Diego.

AstraZeneca and the software company Repositive are collaborating on a “precompetitive” deal to make more molecular data available in oncology research. The consortium plans to develop new tools in the field.

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