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Novartis heats up HCV hype

08.03.2012

The hepatitis C space has seen a string of large deals in the last weeks that include a US$11bn buyout of Pharmasset by Gilead. Now Novartis is also trying to get in the game with the purchase of a global exclusive licence from Enanta Pharmaceutical Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Enanta will advance its preclinical lead candidate NS5A into clinical trials. The firm will receive an upfront payment of US$34m and milestones that could total up to US$406m if the drug reaches full commercialisation, as well as double-digit royalties on global sales. The pico­molar NS5A blocker follows Bristol­Myers-Squibb’s Phase I first-in-class molecule BMS790052, which seems to address a patient group that is complementary to that of the current standard of care (SOC, Peg-interferon plus ribavirin). According to experts, NS5A blockers cannot completely replace standard treatments as they are not able to fully eradicate the virus, resulting in rapid development of drug resistance. However, they seem to have the potential to broaden the patient group that can benefit from a combination therapy of NS5A blockers plus SOC. The current SOC clears most infections with HCV genotypes 2 and 3, but succeeds in less than 50% of the patients with genotype 1.

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

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...

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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