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Eric Edwards, Phlow president and CEO (PR Newswire)

BAR­DA of­fers a tiny start­up up to $812M to cre­ate a US-based drug man­u­fac­tur­er — and the CEO comes with a price goug­ing con­tro­ver­sy on his ré­sumé

BARDA has tapped a largely unknown startup to ramp up production of a list of drugs that may be at risk of running short in the US. And the deal, which comes with up to $812 million in federal funds, was inked by a CEO who found himself in the middle of an ugly price gouging controversy a few years ago.

The feds’ new partner — called Phlow — won a 4-year “base” contract of $354 million, with another $458 million that’s on the table in potential options to sustain the outfit. That would make it one of the largest awards in BARDA’s history.

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Roche’s James Sabry ze­roes in on a new path­way for pro­tein degra­da­tion — and he’s pay­ing $135M cash for a hot tick­et

We don’t know all the details about what exactly is driving Roche BD chief James Sabry this time, but he’s clearly on a preclinical tear.

Six weeks after paying out $190 million cash to partner with Arrakis on a transformative collaboration on their preclinical effort to drug RNA, the pharma giant dealmaker is back with $135 million in cash to collaborate with Vividion, which clearly won over Roche to a new way to achieve protein degradation — one of the hottest tickets in R&D that has emerged in recent years.

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Oblit­er­at­ed by Alzheimer's fail­ure, Neu­rotrope re­lin­quish­es its Nas­daq spot in re­verse merg­er

Battered after a spectacular failure with its Alzheimer’s drug candidate, Neurotrope Biosciences is being absorbed by a privately-held company that makes an erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment.

Stendra maker Metuchen Pharmaceuticals, which was censured by the FDA last year for making misleading claims about its ED therapy, is vaulting on to the Nasdaq following the all-stock merger with Neurotrope, under a new name: Petros (the Greek word for “rock”).

Look­ing for first-in-class glo­ry, Boehringer In­gel­heim ac­quires two pre­clin­i­cal can­cer drugs from Ver­sant-backed biotech

Wading deeper into the next wave of immuno-oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim has bought up a Versant-launched preclinical pipeline focused on the tumor microenvironment.

The acquisition of Northern Biologics — a subsidiary of the Toronto-based biotech Northern LP — positions Boehringer at the forefront of the stromal biology space, the company said. Northern Biologics will continue plowing on the preclinical front until the German pharma takes over the clinical, regulatory and commercial work.

How the pan­dem­ic helped se­cure a rare can­cer drug for Menar­i­ni

The leadership at Stemline had been in negotiations with one company for over a year, when they got a surprise note out of Italy: Menarini, the century-old, Florentine pharma company wanted to know if they’d be interested in a partnership on their new drug.

They sat down, four of them at a table at the BIO International Conference in Philadelphia in June 2019, two business execs from Stemline and two from Menarini. At the time, Stemline’s rare cancer drug had been approved in the US for 6 months and the tiny New York biotech was figuring out how to move from a research group to a commercial one. They had sold $5 million in the first quarter that year and would sell $13 million in the second.

Boehringer In­gel­heim sharp­ens reti­nal strat­e­gy, scoop­ing up dry AMD drug from a Swiss team be­hind No­var­tis' Beovu

Boehringer Ingelheim has inked a second deal for retinal diseases in a year — and this time it’s specific about which ailment to target.

In a deal worth up to $490 million (CHF 474.5 million), the German pharma has locked in an antibody fragment-based drug for geographic atrophy from Zurich, Switzerland-based CDR-Life. Boehringer also gets a license to develop and commercialize other compounds against the specific target.

Mer­ck dou­bles down on Sky­hawk's tech to drug RNA, promis­ing $600M per au­toim­mune, meta­bol­ic tar­get

Early collaborations with big-name partners lent Skyhawk Therapeutics both the endorsements and the capital to pursue a small molecule platform for drugging RNA. And they soon wanted more. When Merck signed on to discover candidates against neurodegeneration and cancer last July, Biogen was just expanding the list of neuro targets they want to go after.

Now Merck is coming back for its own round two, adding autoimmune and metabolic diseases to the menu.

Nick Leschly, bluebird CEO at JPM20 (Jeff Rumans)

Blue­bird takes $200M pay­out from Bris­tol My­ers as Covid-19, BLA de­lays force ex­ecs to bring out the bud­get ax

Covid-19 is taking its toll on one of the industry’s flashiest biotechs.

In their Q1 filing, bluebird bio disclosed a series of changes designed to shore up their cash reservoir as projected revenue drifts further and further away. Most notably, that includes an amendment to their partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb on the ide-cel CAR-T therapy recently submitted to the FDA. Instead of splitting profits and losses on sales outside the US, Bristol Myers Squibb will pay bluebird $200 million for full ex-US rights to the drug.

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Spun out of George Church's lab, this biotech up­start is map­ping the AAV uni­verse for No­var­tis, Sarep­ta to gaze

In a few days, through a series of video conferences, gene therapy researchers around the world will be presenting their latest findings at the virtual annual meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. Almost every discussion will feature a topic that has been central to the existence of the field but continues to perplex experts as they seek to refine the modality: the delivery of a gene to the tissue where it’s needed to fix disease.

Fresh off pos­i­tive Nu­plazid da­ta, Aca­dia adds new clin­i­cal drug from Van­der­bilt in mile­stone-heavy deal

Acadia Pharma’s primary strategy over the last few years has been to get its controversial Parkinson’s drug approved for other diseases, including depression and schizophrenia. Now, for the first time in 2 years, the company is adding a new chemical to its pipeline.

Acadia has agreed to a milestone-heavy deal with Vanderbilt University on a program to allosterically target a receptor called muscarinic M1, a potential path toward treating certain central nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. The deal will pay Vanderbilt $10 million, with $515 million in potential milestones.