Monday, April 13, 2015
Although the financial market turbulence in the first quarter of 2015 scared some investors, it did not slow down public and private biotechnology companies from collectively raising a record-setting $14 billion—nearly 50% more than the total raised in the first quarter of 2014, which was considered the high watermark for the industry.
Pfizer has launched a new competitive grants program to support research projects investigating the role of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in health and cardiovascular disease. This competitive grants program, which is an extension of the Advancing Science through Pfizer Investigator Research Exchange (ASPIRE) Cardiovascular program, is part of Pfizer’s ongoing commitment to translate scientific discoveries into innovative medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease.
Eisai Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Eisai Co., a global R&D-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, plans to restructure its operations in the U.S., including a reduction of its workforce by approximately 25% across various U.S. functions. This realignment supports Eisai’s desire to create a more efficient and focused organization.
Arvinas, a New Haven, Conn.-based private biotechnology company creating a new class of drugs based on protein degradation, has formed a strategic collaboration with Merck in which Arvinas’ novel PROTAC technology will be used to degrade target proteins to create novel therapeutics. The multi-year collaboration will encompass multiple disease targets across several therapeutic areas.
GlaxoSmithKline is establishing a new global center for vaccines R&D in Rockville, Md. The site will become one of three global vaccines R&D centers for GSK, complementing the company’s existing global R&D center in Rixensart, Belgium and in Siena, Italy, a site GSK acquired from Novartis last month.
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo Company, will merge with its U.S.-based sister company, Asubio Pharmaceuticals. As a result, Asubio Pharmaceuticals projects will be integrated into the Daiichi Sankyo global development organization, led by Mahmoud Ghazzi, M.D., Ph.D.
Aptalis Pharmaceutical Technologies has announced that its divestiture from Actavis to TPG, a Texas-based global private investment firm, has been completed. The company also announced its new name is Adare Pharmaceuticals, and John Fraher, who was president of Aptalis Pharmaceutical Technologies, has been named CEO. He is joined by key executives from his current management team.