SwitzerlandSwitzerland

Looking for the next blockbuster

17.12.2011

Allschwil – Europe’s largest stand-alone biotech company Actelion Ltd. is receiving an injection of fresh capital. Under the guidance of the two biggest Swiss banks – UBS and Credit Suisse – the Swiss company will be issued a loan of up to €171m at a 4.9% interest rate. This will help push the Phase III programme for macitentan, the firm’s promising tissue-targeting endothelin receptor antagonist for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Analysts say macitentan represents Actelion’s best hope for a blockbuster successor to pulmonary hypertension drug bosentan (Tracleer), which earned US$1.5bn in 2010. However, patents on the substance will expire in 2015. Tracleer also lost ground to Gilead’s Letairis in 2011. Results from the macitentan PAH trial are expected in the first half of next year. Actelion had a difficult 2011, with drug failures, an attempted board coup and an expensive lawsuit in the US.

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

21.02.2012

Basel/Berkeley – Europe enters into the age of personalised medicine. The European Commission has approved the melanoma drug Zelboraf. While the compound was developed by US-based Plexxikon Inc., owned by Daiichi Sankyo Group,...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

26.01.2012

Basel – The rumours started just before Christmas. Roche wants Illumina. Just how dearly, has just become clear. The Swiss drugmaker made a $5.7b hostile bid for Illumina, the current market leader in Next-Generation sequencing....

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

23.01.2012

Basel – Good and bad news for Swiss drugmaker Novartis. First a look on the bright side: Signifor, for the treatment of Cushing's disease, is on its final stretch to approval. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

19.12.2011

Basel - It is a further push for Roche's ambitions in medicine concerning the treatment of skin cancer: The European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended that the drug Zelboraf and its companion...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

14.12.2011

Stans – Due to the current financial market conditions and the lack of significant progress with currently available options, Swiss drug developer Mondobiotech says it will be implementing restructuring measures. Together with...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

14.12.2011

Geneva – There's is life in Swiss biotechnology beyond big pharma. Genentech has launched a First-in-Human study with anti-IL-17, an antibody made by the Swiss biotechnology company NovImmune. The fully human monoclonal antibody,...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

22.11.2011

Basel – The FDA has withdrawn the accelerated approval for Roche's Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat metastasising breast cancer. The US regulatory authority had originally granted accelerated approval for Avastin's use in treating...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

16.11.2011

Basel/Hervel – It may be the end of Novartis' lucky streak in osteoporosis. While the once a year osteoporosis injection Aclasta (a bisphosphonate) sells well, the Swiss pharma company had to break disastrous news from a...

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

11.11.2011

Ghent/Geneva - Ablynx rides the biotech rollercoaster. Only days after US-pharma company Pfizer pulled out of a rheumatoid arthritis pact, the Belgian bipharmaceutical outfit expanded its relationship with Merck Serono. Ablynx...

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