Alnylam will hire 100 for its new UK office; Puma shares surge as FDA accepts neratinib NDA

Brendan Martin, Alnylam

Brendan Martin, Alnylam

Brexit Shmexit. Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam is opening up a new office in the UK with plans to add 100 staffers to its core team as the biotech starts to steer its RNAi pipeline drugs to European approvals. The new office is slated for Maidenhead, “with its strong academic and clinical research sector, as well as its universal health service and regulatory bodies constantly striving to be more streamlined and efficient, the UK has a lot to offer as a development hub for innovative medicines,” added Brendan Martin, General Manager for UK & Ireland at Alnylam. “Our investment here signals a trust that the UK community will continue to treat this mission with the urgency and importance it deserves.”

Shares of Puma Biotechnology shot up 11% this morning after the biotech $PBYI put out the word that the FDA had accepted its application for neratinib as a new treatment for breast cancer. RBC’s Simos Simeonidis is upbeat about the move. “We believe that the above mentioned datasets (5-year survival and loperamide prophylaxis) have been noted by both oncologists and investors and have served to improve sentiment around both the drug and the stock.”

AbbVie is collaborating with Sweden’s BioArctic on its portfolio of antibodies designed to treat Parkinson’s disease. These new drugs target alpha-synuclein, a protein at the tip of nerve endings that proliferate in the brain.

Amgen says that its big Phase III GLAGOV study for the PCSK9 drug Repatha (evolocumab) hit its primary and secondary endpoints.

Warren, NJ-based Bellerophon Therapeutics has promoted Fabian Tenenbaum, currently the CFO, to chief executive officer of the company. He’s succeeding Jonathan Peacock, who will remain as chairman.

J&J has handed over $5 million to front a new collaboration with Geron, according to an SEC filing, along with a package of $75 million in potential milestones. The pharma giant gets rights to Geron’s “products based on specialized oligonucleotide backbone chemistry, as well as novel amidates for ribonucleic acid interference, or RNAi, for the prevention, treatment and/or diagnosis of any and all human disorders, excluding cancers originating from the blood or bone marrow, and products whose predominant or primary mechanism of action is telomerase inhibition.” The two companies are already partnered on the cancer drug imetelstat, which recently experienced a new setback in the clinic.


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