November 11th

What Bill Gates Says About Drug Companies

Most of what Bill Gates said to me over the course of two interviews found its way into the cover profile of him I wrote for the most recent issue of Forbes. But one set of ideas didn’t really make it: his unique and thoughtful perspective on the pharmaceuticals industry.

November 10th

Daiichi Licenses ArQule Cancer Compound

ArQule, Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo, Co. Ltd. have entered a license agreement under which Daiichi obtains exclusive rights for the development, manufacture and marketing of ARQ 092 on a worldwide basis. ARQ 092 is the first compound to result from the companies’ November 2008 research collaboration using AKIP (ArQule Kinase Inhibitor Platform) technology to generate selective and potent small molecule kinase inhibitors.

November 10th

Cancer researchers snuff out misfit T-cells in stem cell therapies

Scientists have found a way to make T-cells used in some stem cell cancer therapies commit “suicide” if they go wild and become dangerous to the patient. The discovery could make the treatment safer and more successful in the long run. Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston made the crucial finding, which was first published in the New England Journal of Medicine and also covered by Bloomberg.

November 10th

Eliminating ‘senescent’ cells in mice delayed age-related ailments

In an intriguing animal study, investigators at the Mayo Clinic created a method for targeting and eliminating “senescent” or aging cells that herald the arrival of age-related diseases. And they found not only were common problems that plague the elderly held at bay, the study mice also retained muscle and strength.

November 9th

Novartis DEB025 data showed viral clearance as early as six weeks and potential for interferon-free therapy in hepatitis C patients

Basel, – Novartis announced today new Phase II data showing that first-in-class DEB025 (alisporivir) may produce early viral elimination (or clearance) in interferon-free regimens (as monotherapy or with ribavirin), in previously untreated patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 2 and 3[1].

November 9th

Vertex Pharmaceuticals – Biotech’s Biggest Spenders 2011

Vertex might splurge on R&D, but you can’t argue with the payback. After spending billions of dollars to advance candidates in its pipeline over the past couple decades, the Cambridge, MA-based company’s No. 1 drug, Incivek (telaprevir), finally crossed the finish line this year with key market approvals in the U.S. and Europe. The commercial launch of the hepatitis C drug could be one of the most successful ever, according to an analyst note from Leerink Swann.

November 9th

Lilly, Amylin End Diabetes Alliance

Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Co. have terminated their exenatide alliance, resolving the outstanding litigation between the companies. Amylin will take full responsibility for the worldwide development and commercialization of Byetta (exenatide), starting in the U.S. on November 30, 2011, and extending to all markets by the end of 2013.

November 8th

Celldex Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Phase 1 Clinical Trial of CDX-1127

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. CLDX +4.84% today announced initiation of a Phase 1 study of its therapeutic human antibody candidate, CDX-1127, in patients with selected malignant solid tumors or hematologic cancers. CDX-1127 is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds CD27, an important co-stimulatory molecule on T cells. CDX-1127, an agonist antibody designed to activate patients’ immune cells against their cancer, has shown potent efficacy in several preclinical models. In addition, CD27 is over-expressed in certain lymphomas and leukemias and can be directly targeted by CDX-1127.

November 8th

Report seeks ‘national priority’ status for Alzheimer’s

Tens of thousands of Americans are calling on the government to correct “dramatically underfunded research” for Alzheimer’s disease and to improve diagnostic tools and treatments, according to a report released Monday by the Alzheimer’s Association. “There really needs to be a transformational change to how we approach the disease,” says Harry Johns, president of the Alzheimer’s Association.

November 8th

Promising New Treatment for Huntington’s Disease

When Scott Falciglia was 10 years old, his parents sat him down to tell him that his 40-year-old mother, Alice, was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a devastating degenerative condition that breaks down nerve cells in the brains.