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Celgene bucks trend to strengthen neuroscience pipeline

Celgene has gone against industry movement to back out of the neuroscience area by putting down a potential $2.2 billion to gain options on three drug candidates held by Prothena.

The deal sees Celgene pay $100 million up front, alongside buying $50 million in shares of Prothena, with milestone payments on the three drugs potentially racking up to a total payment of $2.2 billion.

Whether Prothena will see anything of this money depends on how well each clinical candidate performs in Phase 1 trials.

Shire announces split into two business units, downgrades revenue forecast

Shire has revealed that it now plans to move forward by separating its operations into two distinct divisions: rare disease and neuroscience – a move which follows the first stage of the company’s strategic review which began in August last year.

Amgen and Novartis partner on Alzheimer’s and migraine treatments

Alzheimer's brain
Amgen and Novartis are partnering to look into neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease

Amgen and Novartis have announced a global collaboration to develop neuroscience treatments in Alzheimer's disease and migraine. 

The companies plan to co-develop and co-commercialise a BACE inhibitor program for Alzheimer's, in which Novartis' oral therapy CNP520 will be the lead molecule. Further compounds from both companies’ pre-clinical BACE inhibitor programs may be considered as follow-ons. 

Working Life: Shire’s Mark Rus

Published on 10/11/14 at 07:54am
Mark Rus image

How did you find your way into your current role?

After completing an MSc in Economics at the London School of Economics, I began working in the federal government of Canada. I worked in the Privy Council Office for four years, which was the civil service support staff to the prime minister and cabinet of Canada.

Pfizer partners with MedGenesis on Parkinson’s

Pfizer image

Canadian biotech MedGenesis has entered into an agreement with Pfizer to develop potential treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

The privately-held biotech is giving the pharma giant the option to license its glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) protein and convection enhanced delivery (CED) technology towards any development efforts.

AZ sets up Alzheimer’s research collaborative

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AstraZeneca's HQ in London

AstraZeneca and Dr Steven Paul of Weill Cornell Medical College have unveiled a new research alliance that brings four leading academic research laboratories together with AstraZeneca to study a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, the apolipoprotein E4 genotype (ApoE).

The new collaboration is to be called the A5 alliance, and includes Dr Paul of the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute at Weill Cornell, Dr David Holtzman of Washington University in St Louis, Dr Peter Davies of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Dr Cheryl Wellin

AstraZeneca buys neuroscience molecules

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AstraZeneca is to acquire a portfolio of neuroscience assets from Link Medicine, a private US pharma firm.

The deal is the latest step in AstraZeneca’s new strategy in neuroscience, and area of high unmet medical need, but one which has proven hard to make progress in.

Last year the company closed two major research centres devoted to neuroscience, one in Södertälje in Sweden and the other Montreal in Canada.

Lilly invests in UK research base

Erl Wood
The new eco-friendly building will house 130 staff across disciplines including pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology and statistics

Eli Lilly has officially opened new research facilities at its R&D base in Erl Wood in Surrey.

The site near Woking in the south of England is the pharma company’s biggest R&D site outside the US, and has been conducting neuroscience drug discovery since the 1960s. Erl Wood’s greatest claim to fame is that Lilly’s atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) was discovered on the site.

Lilly prepares late-stage pipeline boost

Eli Lilly & Company

Eli Lilly has highlighted diabetes, oncology, autoimmune diseases and neuroscience as key therapy areas within its growth strategy.

Within these areas the company expects to have at least ten potential new medicines in phase III by the end of the year, it told a meeting of investors.

“Our future relies upon our ability to successfully discover and develop innovative medicines that address unmet patient needs,” said chief executive John Lechleiter.

Advances in Neuropsychiatric Treatment

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