Protocols

Idera dumps its lead cancer drug program; Pfizer won’t split up after all

Once you work through an explanation of all the reasons Idera Pharmaceuticals $IDRA has found to be optimistic about its ongoing Phase I/II study of its TLR-9 drug IMO-2125, you’ll find that it has also punted its lead drug. The Cambridge, MA-based biotech says that it is suspending development of IMO-8400 for B-cell lymphomas and will start exploring “strategic options.” The company says the level of clinical activity doesn’t warrant development as a monotherapy.

Ian Read, Pfizer CEO

Ian Read, Pfizer CEO

After a couple of big M&A deals for Hospira and Medivation, Pfizer CEO Ian Read evidently believes he’s made a strong enough case for the pharma giant to finally quell any more talk about a big corporate split. The numbers have improved significantly enough to win over some key analysts, but you can expect plenty of anguish among the investment bankers looking to get in on that act.

UK biotech Adaptimmune $ADAP is partnering up with MD Anderson in Houston to trial new T cell therapies. The new collaborators will start out targeting MAGE-A10, with plans to broaden their horizons as the partnership progresses.

MicuRx has raised $55 million to fund its lead antibiotic through late-stage studies and on to a new drug application in China. MRX-I is being developed in both the United States and China. GP Healthcare Capital led the round, which included new investors GP TMT Capital, 3E Bioventures Capital, and Delian Capital.

Just days after Mast Therapeutics called it quits on a failed Phase III trial for sickle cell disease, the San Diego-based biotech says that it will drop the lead drug and conserve its remaining $30 million in cash for several mid-stage studies of a different heart failure drug. Its shares are trading at 13 cents each this morning.



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