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Alexion goes back to roots with Complement deal

Alexion has made a lot of money from investing in the science behind complement inhibitors – C5 inhibitor, Soliris, has been a huge earner for the company.

Now, the company has decided to return to where its investment paid off and strike up a deal with Complement Pharma.

The latter company is working on a preclinical C6 complement inhibitor, CP010, for the therapeutic use in neurodegenerative disorders.

AbbVie/Roche gain FDA approval for blockbuster treatment

AbbVie and Roche have a chalked up a major success, after the FDA gave its approval for Venclexta, in combination with rituximab, for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

This regimen will be available on a second-line basis and will be the first oral-based, chemotherapy-free treatment for CLL.

The treatment is tipped to become a blockbuster earner for the companies, with peak sales estimates of between $2.5 billion to $3 billion.

Takeda shareholders try to buck Shire deal

A small group of Takeda shareholders have started making a lot of noise over its $62 billion deal for Shire, and they’re not happy.

Initially reported by the Financial Times, the story has now been picked up widely across the industry, as many begin to question how much support the small group can rally to sway the deal.

The group only makes up 1% of all shareholders in the company but contains members of the family that founded the Takeda company.

EU gives nod to expanded label for AZ’s Tagrisso

AstraZeneca has scored another success with Tagrisso in Europe, by receiving an expanded marketing authorisation for Tagrisso in the first-line setting for patients with locally-advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, with activating epidermal growth factor receptor mutations.

The approval comes on the back of data from trials showed that Tagrisso was able to reduce risk of disease progression or death by 54% when compared against standard treatment.

Ipsen set to relocate North American HQ to Boston

Ipsen is set to join the ranks of a number of Boston-based biotechs, by setting up shop in Kendall Square.

The move means that the French company will pull a number of staff from its current North American headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, to relocate it to Boston.

The Kendall Square office will join two further headquarters in Oxford, England, and its global base in Paris, France.

As part of the decision, Ipsen’s existing site in the area will be expanded by 250 people over the next few years.

Rubius Therapeutics brings in new CEO

Rubius Therapeutics, a biotech that has ambitions to bring “super blood” to the market, has revealed that it has appointed a new CEO to lead the company.

Pablo Cagnoni enters the position, joining the biotech from Tizona Therapeutics, which he led as CEO. He joins the company not long after its second successful financing round, after the company raised $100 million in March.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

With ASCO occurring over the weekend, the headlines this week have been dominated by the news of breaking research that will be talked about more in the weeks and months to come.

6.5% pay rise agreed for NHS staff

After years of receiving only a 1% annual pay rise, NHS staff have voted to accept a 6.5% pay offer increase from the government.

The new rise in pay has been agreed for the next three years, after 13 unions agreed to the deal.

It means the UK government will have to find £4.2 billion in order to pay staff members, although it should be added that the unions argue that staff pay has been held back by 15% since the pay rise caps were first introduced in 2010.

Pfizer successfully appeals 2,600% price hiking case

Pfizer and co-defendant Flynn Pharma have won their appeal against a £90 million fine imposed on them by the Competition and Markets Authority (CAM).

The CAM revealed that it may well choose to appeal the decision, which the Competition Appeal Tribunal found in Pfizer and Flynn’s favour after deciding that they had not abused their dominance of the market.

The particular market was for the treatment of epilepsy and the two companies’ sale of phenytoin sodium capsules.

Bill Gates backed biotech reveals strategy

The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation already funnels a large amount of money into aiding public health, particularly by funding promising start ups or charity research.

However, it has revealed that it is about to get more active in bringing through and developing research itself, with its own biotech, the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute.

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