Friday, December 30, 2011

Heartflow raises $65M in new funding round

Medical technology company Heartflow Inc. is raising $75 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday.
The company has sold $65 million of the $75 million offering so far, the filing says.

Maya Medical raises $2.8M

Maya Medical Inc. raised $2.8 million, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
Founded in 2010, Maya is an early-stage firm developing a percutaneous catheter for treating hypertension.

Slideshow: Best Bay Area life sciences CEOs of 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — slow news days that translate into “10 Best …” stories and other such lists summarizing the previous 12 months or predicting what’s going to happen during the next 12.
So, here’s my list of the best life sciences CEOs in the Bay Area. It’s a purely subjective undertaking, heavily weighted toward CEOs who managed through all or part of a year of adversity.

Industry view: Changes to business model come slowly to biotech

Entering the fifth year of a funding crisis, biotech’s business model is changing.
New sources of early-stage cash are stepping into the void left by fleeing venture capitalists. But whether those relatively small investments — or corporate venture capital, or grants from disease-specific foundations — are enough to build sustainable companies is an open question.
(San Francisco Business Times subscription required.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stanford, UCSF cancer researchers win grants

Two local pediatric cancer researchers, one each at Stanford University and UC San Francisco, have won $375,000 grants meant to “jumpstart” the careers of promising scientists.

Cytokinetics takes a swing at Lou Gehrig's disease

Cytokinetics Inc.’s 14-year history is marked by turns — out of cancer and into muscle programs — and a key heart failure drug partnership with biotech giant Amgen Inc. But the South San Francisco company (NASDAQ:CYTK) hasn’t yet taken a drug into the final of three phases of clinical trials, much less brought a drug to market.
Whether Cytokinetics reaches that ultimate goal could rest in the outcome of a mid-stage trials in a tough disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. A strong showing would increase the chance of Cytokinetics finding a deep-pocketed partner to take the drug into Phase III trials.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Affymetrix acquisition of eBioscience hits delay

Affymetrix Inc.'s previously announced acquisition of San Diego-based eBioscience Inc. has been delayed, according to on Wednesday.
The deal was previously expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, but is now expected to wrap up in January 2012. The delay is due to additional work required to complete the merger's debt financing, StreetInsider reports.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Four Geron execs split more than $600K in cash bonuses

Geron Corp., which last month pulled out of the stem cell business, awarded four executives more than $600,000 in cash bonuses.

Gladstone, Bristol-Myers Squibb strike Alzheimer's research deal

The Gladstone Institutes will work with drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in a basic research partnership to identify and validate Alzheimer’s disease targets.
Exact financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) will fund Gladstone efforts to find targets that affect dysfunction of Tau, a protein that may help regulate the activity of brain cells.

BioMarin targets cancer as an orphan

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. wants to do for cancer what it’s done for rare diseases.
After transforming the drug-development world with its focus on diseases with only a few thousand patients, BioMarin is using that same model to tackle cancer in subsets of patients. So instead of working on a drug aimed at the full population of ovarian cancer patients — many of whom won’t benefit from the treatment — it is zeroing in on a much smaller group with a specific genetic mutation.
“It turns cancer into an orphan disorder,” said BioMarin CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaime.
(San Francisco Business Times subscription required.)

Vivus takes heavy hit on obesity drug danger study

Vivus Inc. saw its shares plunge 15 percent Thursday after bad news about an ingredient in its Qnexa obesity drug, now under review by U.S. regulators.
Mountain View-based Vivus (NASDAQ: VVUS) tested topiramate, an ingredient in Qnexa, and found that babies born from moms taking the drug had a higher rate of cleft lip and cleft palate.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Exelixis reaps $12M up front in licensing deal with Merck

Merck & Co. will pay $12 million up front to license an anti-inflammatory drug program from Exelixis Inc. — a deal that ultimately could be worth up to $251 million.
The PI3K-delta program, led by the preclinical drug XL-499, targets transfer enzymes, known as kinases, that are expressed in immune system cells. When PI3K-delta is activated incorrectly, researchers believe, it contributes to inflammatory and allergic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and allergic asthma.

Impax asks FDA for approval of Parkinson's drug

Impax Laboratories Inc., traditionally a maker of generic drugs, submitted an application for its new treatment for Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
The Hayward company (NASDAQ: IPXL) said Wednesday that its branded products unit made the application for IPX-066 to the Food and Drug Administration.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One-on-One with Transcept Pharma's Glenn Oclassen

It took two tries with federal regulators and a driving study in The Netherlands, but Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc. is waking up plans for its middle-of-the-night sleep drug.
Transcept won’t be resting, though. In fact, 2012 is shaping up as an interesting year in terms of revenue growth (think royalties), hiring and acquisitions for the 18-employee company.
I talked to Transcept President and CEO Glenn Oclassen about Intermezzo, what the company gained and lost in the FDA approval process and its plans for next year.

Alexza explores sale, layoffs

Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc. said late on Friday that it has hired Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) to help it look into "strategic options that would enhance stockholder value." Lazard is a financial advisory and asset management company.
Strategic options could include "a possible sale or disposition of one or more corporate assets, a strategic business combination, partnership or other transactions," according to a prepared statement released by Alexza.
The company has about 100 employees.

Burrill launches new life sciences fund, targets $500M by mid-2012

Burrill & Co. launched a life sciences fund — aiming at a $500 million goal by mid-2012 — to invest in a wide range of early- to late-stage companies.
Burrill Capital Fund IV LP initially aimed for $300 million in capital commitments, Steven Burrill, CEO of the San Francisco-based life sciences financial services firm, said in a press release. It launched at $313 million. Some $200 million in the fund is supplied by a Russian-owned corporation named Rusnano, according to MedCityNews.

ALS drug developer Neuraltus raises $9.6M toward $11M goal

Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Palo Alto developer of an experimental treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease, has raised $9.6 million toward an $11.1 million offering, the company said Tuesday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Seven investors have ponied up for the round in the form of equity, option/warrants and preferred stock with warrants.

Ipsen to move North American HQ from Brisbane to New Jersey

Ipsen S.A. plans to move its Biomeasure Inc. unit’s headquarters from Brisbane to Bridgewater, N.J., by April.
The French drug company will also invest $45 million in a Biomeasure unit in Milford, Mass., focused on research and development.

Friday, December 16, 2011

InterMune to 'vigorously' fight German report on lung drug

InterMune Inc.’s drug to treat a deadly lung condition provides little benefit to patients, according to a German health organization.
The findings, published Thursday, could be a blow for Brisbane-based InterMune (NASDAQ: ITMN), which in February won approval in Europe for Esbriet as a treatment for the lung-scarring disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The company decided to launch Esbriet in Germany in the first half of 2012 and spread to other parts of the continent.
Saying it has “a number of important concerns” with the methodology used by the private Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, InterMune said it will “vigorously challenge” the assessment.

StemCells could gross $20M from offering of stock, warrants

StemCells Inc. could raise up to $20 million by selling 8 million units and an additional 8 million warrants at $1.25 per unit, the Newark company said Friday.
StemCells (NASDAQ: STEM), which is undertaking a Phase I/II study of its neural stem cells in patients with chronic spinal injuries, said Thursday that intended to make the public offering.

Plexxikon, Roche melanoma drug moves closer to European OK

A European drug review panel recommended that the melanoma treatment Zelboraf, developed by Berkeley-based Plexxikon Inc., be approved by regulators, the company said Friday.
Approval could come as early as February, said Swiss drug maker Roche, which is marketing Zelboraf.
The oral drug is aimed at metastatic melanoma patients who have a specific mutation of a protein called BRAF. That mutation is found in about half of all melanoma cases.

CIRM makes $30M deposit toward stem cell bank

California’s stem cell research funding agency wants to make a $30 million investment in the banking business.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s three-part strategy ultimately will create a stem cell bank for so-called pluripotent stem cells that can be manipulated to form skin, heart or other types of cells. It would allow researchers to more quickly and efficiently create “disease-in-a-dish” models of genetically complex diseases like diabetes, asthma, autism or heart disease.
Although the bank would house some embryonic stem cell lines, the project’s emphasis is on the fast-moving field of induced pluripotent stem cells, or IPS cells.

Raptor drug's big selling point — no stink, better compliance

On the verge of submitting a rare-disease drug for approval, Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. is counting on one major selling point: Its drug doesn’t stink.
The 14-person Novato company will file a new drug application early in first-quarter 2012 for delayed-release cysteamine, a treatment for a deadly inherited disease known as cystinosis. The drug uses the same active ingredient as Cystagon, approved in 1994 by the Food and Drug Administration.
The knock against Cystagon has been a putrid rotten egg smell and its every-six-hours dosing. That’s no small thing in a disease that can kill children by the age of 9 — parents must wake a child during the night to give the powder-filled capsule.

Mission Bay startups stay, grow at FibroGen digs

Startups are growing up in Mission Bay, but not moving away from home.
Early-stage life sciences and cleantech companies not only flocked to available incubator space in the FibroGen Inc. building, they’re sticking around. Biofuels company Siluria Technologies Inc. and clinical tools companies Locus Development, Ablexis Inc. and GigaGen are among a growing cadre of startups opting to stay put and grow rather than move to new digs, the usual path for incubated companies once they gain traction.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gilead seeks approval of Truvada for HIV prevention

Gilead Sciences Inc. is seeking regulatory approval of its once-daily Truvada tablet as a way to prevent HIV.
The Foster City-based company (NASDAQ: GILD) said it submitted a supplemental application to the Food and Drug Administration. If successful, Gilead would be the first company to win FDA approval for a drug intended to prevent uninfected adults from getting infected with the AIDS virus, an approach known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
But the move is controversial — even with some advocacy groups for AIDS patients — because opponents have said some gay men might engage in unprotected sex if they believe Truvada by itself protects them from getting the virus. Others have said that Truvada hasn’t proved that it can prevent transmission of HIV.

StemCells plans to sell more stock, shares fall

After announcing that the first group of spinal cord injury patients in an early-stage trial received its transplanted neural stem cells, StemCells Inc. said Thursday that it sell more common stock and warrants.
Newark-based StemCells (NASDAQ: STEM) said it would use the money for working capital and operations, including product development. The company did not say how many shares and warrants would be issued but said it is under a current shelf registration.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Innovation dies in the budget-cutting process

Give someone enough rope, my mother would say, and he’ll hang himself.
Now wrap that metaphor around California and a small investment/big return proposition around leukemia.
With an investment of only $290,633, the University of California Office of the President — or UCOP, as it’s known — will support research seeking a way to expand the population of stem cells in cord blood transplants for leukemia patients. Coupled with cash from GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ cell technologies unit, the UCOP Discovery Grant will take research teams led by UCSF’s Andrew Leavitt and Michelle Arkin to the starting line of essentially curing the deadly blood cancer.
These types of projects, however, are finding cash tougher to come by.

IntegenX raises $40M for human DNA ID system

IntegenX Inc. has raised $40 million in a Series C round of funding led by new investor Essex Woodlands.
Pleasanton-based IntegenX is focused on molecular biology and biotechnology.

One-on-One with Genomic Health's Steven Shak

Genomic Health Inc. will roll out another version of its Oncotype DX test this month, helping women with a less risky but tough-to-diagnose type of breast cancer avoid harmful radiation treatment.
The Redwood City company (NASDAQ: GHDX) said a recent study showed that the new test for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast, or DCIS, is better than traditional clinic and pathologic measures predicting recurrence of the localized cancer or the likelihood of developing a new invasive breast cancer.
It’s far from the only thing Genomic Health has been focusing on.
I spoke with Steven Shak, Genomic Health’s chief medical officer, last month about Oncotype Dx, Genomic Health’s strategy and what’s next in breast, colon and prostate cancer testing.

Anacor skin rash drugs scratch out mid-stage trial success

A mid-stage trial of two experimental skin rash treatments developed by Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. met their goals, the Palo Alto company said.
The drugs, known as AN-2728 and AN-2898, are designed to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis, a chronic rash that involves inflammation and itching. It affects about 40 million people in seven major countries, the company (NASDAQ: ANAC) said, including about 20 percent of children in the United States.

Former Genentech exec Marc Tessier-Lavigne elected to Pfizer board

Former Genentech Inc. chief scientific officer Marc Tessier-Lavigne was elected to Pfizer Inc.’s board of directors.
Tessier-Lavigne, who joined South San Francisco-based Genentech in 2003, but left last year to become president of Rockefeller University in New York. At Genentech, Tessier-Lavigne, 51, oversaw 1,400 researchers in Genentech Research and Early Development.

Amarantus hires strategic adviser

Amarantus BioSciences said it is bringing on Mark Benedyk as a strategic adviser.
The Sunnyvale-based biotechnology company said Benedyk starts immediately.

Monday, December 12, 2011

FDA won't give quick review to Onyx's multiple myeloma drug

Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. will have to wait in line for approval of its multiple myeloma drug — potentially adding weeks to the approval process — but reported results of another trial that ultimately could expand the treatment’s market.
South San Francisco-based Onyx (NASDAQ: ONXX) said the Food and Drug Administrated would review its new drug application for the drug, called carfilzomib, as it would any other drug. Onyx had sought accelerated approval based on a 266-patient Phase II trial.
What’s more, the FDA, which would complete its review by July 27, said in a letter to Onyx that its oncology drug advisory committee prefers Phase III trials. The agency also questioned whether carfilzomib’s benefit and risk are “appropriately balanced.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Vertex, Alios start early-stage hepatitis C trials on 2 drugs

Alios BioPharma Inc. and partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Friday that they started two early-stage studies on separate hepatitis C drugs.
Alios, based in South San Francisco, and Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) said the safety and tolerability studies of ALS-2200 and ALS-2158 will return data in the second quarter of 2012.

A new biotech model? Cytokinetics rents space, expertise to Third Rock startup

When scientists at Cytokinetics Inc. have a question about contract research work they’re doing for a biotech startup, they don’t have far to go — just a few steps.
Biotech companies for years have taken on contract research projects, but the landlord-as-contractor arrangement between South San Francisco’s Cytokinetics and venture-backed Global Blood Targeting Inc. marks the latest model to bring money in the door while cutting costs.
For Global Blood, funded by Third Rock Ventures and working on a drug for sickle cell anemia, the move allows it to tap experienced researchers and reduce its startup costs. Publicly held Cytokinetics, meanwhile, keeps valued scientists busy and reduces its net cash burn, thanks to Global Blood payments for space and research work.

GE-UCSF stem cell program gets boost with grant program cut due to budget woes

A public-private partnership, funded in part by a grant program killed earlier this year by the state’s fiscal crisis, could within a decade help adult leukemia patients fight off the disease.
The $841,000, three-year project at the University of California, San Francisco, seeks to discover compounds that expand the number of stem cells found in umbilical cord blood and the placenta. If successful, that could increase the chances of adult leukemia patients receiving bone marrow transplants with blood-forming stem cells.
The cost of the project is covered by a “Discovery Grant” from the UC Office of the President and GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ cell technologies unit.
The UC grant program was set up to encourage projects between UC scientists and companies. In May, however, UC told researchers the program would be eliminated to help reduce a projected $500 million cut in state funding in fiscal 2012. Only the best of the best projects already in the pipeline would be funded, a UC spokeswoman said.

Hansen Medical secures $30M debt facility

Hansen Medical Inc. said Friday it secured a $30 million debt facility through Oxford Finance LLC and Silicon Valley Bank.
Mountain View-based Hansen (NASDAQ:HNSN) specializes in flexible catheter robotics and developing robotic technology for accurate 3D control of catheter movement. It plans to use the funds for general corporate financing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CIRM puts up $5.6M to recruit stem cell researcher to UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley’s attempt to woo stem cell researcher Zhigang He from Children’s Hospital Boston got a $5.6 million boost from California’s stem cell research funding agency.
The six-year award, approved Thursday by the board overseeing the San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will help the University of California recruit He, whose research has focused on regenerating nerve projections that carry signals along the spine.

Stem cell board approves two research-centered programs totaling $27 million

California’s stem cell research funding agency will pump $27 million into various projects, including up to $12 million for disease-focused research teams, programs looking to move academic work into patients and for clinical trials.
The oversight board of the San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine voted Thursday to approve the programs, which are designed to accelerate stem cell research projects in the state.

Gilead selling $3.7 billion in notes for Pharmasset buyout

Looking for ways to finance its planned $11 billion acquisition of Pharmasset Inc. , biotech giant Gilead Sciences Inc. said it will sell $3.7 billion worth of bonds.
The four-part issuance consists of $750 million in bonds, due in 2014 and paying 2.4 percent interest, another $700 million at 3.05 percent interest and due in 2016, a third tranche of $1.25 billion 10-year notes at 4.4 percent interest and $1 billion at 5.65 percent interest due in 2041.

Gilead donates $8M of 'black sickness' drug to WHO

Gilead Sciences Inc. will donate 445,000 vials of AmBisome over five years to help the World Health Organization treat more than 50,000 patients with “black fever,” or visceral leishmaniasis.
Based on Gilead's no-profit price through its access program for developing countries, the donation is valued at more than $8 million.

Combo of Genentech's Herceptin, new drug delays spread of breast cancer - study

Combining the experimental Genentech Inc. antibody drug pertuzumab and the breast cancer drug Herceptin with docetaxel chemotherapy translated into metastatic breast cancer patients living more than a half-year longer without the disease progressing, according to results of a trial by the South San Francisco biotech giant.
Patients receiving the three-drug combination, who had received no previous treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer that had spread to other parts of their body, lived a median of 18.5 months without the disease progressing, compared to 12.4 months for patients on only Herceptin and chemo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FDA panel backs Affymax anemia drug for dialysis patients

A federal advisory panel Wednesday approved Affymax Inc.’s once-a-month anemia drug for kidney dialysis patients.
The 17-member Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts recommended that the agency approve peginesatide from Palo Alto-based Affymax (NASDAQ: AFFY) and partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Two Phase III studies showed that the drug is safe and effective for dialysis patients, but two other late-stage studies found that peginesatide could cause heart problems in kidney patients who weren’t yet on dialysis.
The FDA often follows an advisory panel’s recommendation but isn’t required to do so. The FDA is expected to approve or reject peganesatide by March 27.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CIRM names former iPierian exec as first CFO

The former chief financial officer of stem cell company iPierian Inc. was hired for the same job at California’s stem cell research funding agency.
Matthew Plunkett, who also has worked as a biopharma investment banker at Oppenheimer & Co. and predecessor CIBC World Markets, was named the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s first chief financial officer. He worked at iPierian in South San Francisco from August 2009 to this past April, when he, along with much of the management team and a couple of board members, exited the company.

Monday, December 5, 2011

UCSF, GE Healthcare program seeks to boost number of disease-fighting cord blood cells

A group of UCSF scientists will seek chemical compounds that can be added to blood-forming stem cells and progenitor cells in cord blood to increase their population and boost cord blood treatments for adult patients.
The $841,000, three-year program, funded by GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ cell technologies unit and the University of California’s Office of the President, initially will screen about 120,000 chemicals to find those that could expand the population of hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells and progenitor cells.
The work is important because cord blood — a rich source of stem cells and progenitor cells — often doesn’t provide a large enough number of stem cells to treat adults with life-threatening diseases like lymphoma, leukemia or sickle cell anemia.

Science Exchange raises $1.5 million

Science Exchange, the online research marketplace launched earlier this year out of the Y Combinator incubator program, raised $1.5 million in a round led by Andreesen Horowitz.

Gilead HIV booster passes Phase III test

An experimental HIV therapy booster from Gilead Sciences Inc. — a key part of Gilead’s experimental four-in-one, once-a-day Quad pill — met the goal of a Phase III trial, the company said Monday.
The booster, named cobicistat, showed in the 96-week study that it was at least on par with ritonvair, or Norvir, from Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) said.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gilead cancer strategy relies heavily on Yale collaboration

Gilead Sciences Inc. is best known for combining HIV-fighting drugs for AIDS patients, but it may draw on that experience as it pursues a two-pronged strategy in cancer.
After a decade away from the oncology space, Gilead’s buyouts of CGI Pharmaceuticals, Arresto Biosciences and Calistoga Pharmaceuticals over the past 18 months allow the Foster City-based biotech giant (NASDAQ: GILD) to hurdle some of the early cancer drug development challenges.
Given less attention, at least after the deal's initial announcement in March, is the company’s collaboration with heavy-hitting cancer researchers at Yale University. That $40 million, four-year effort is sequencing various types of tumors to identify new targets.

Manufacturing problems cause shortage of Theravance-developed superbug drug

Manufacturing problems at a third-party manufacturer have led to “critical” shortages of the serious skin infection drug Vibativ, developed by South San Francisco-based Theravance Inc.
Astellas Pharma US, which is marketing the drug, told wholesalers and distributors Friday that no new patients should be started on Vibativ, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday by Theravance (NASDAQ: THRX).
Vibativ, a once-daily injectable drug to treat Gram-positive bacteria, including the MRSA “superbug,” was approved in the United States in September 2009. It won European approval this past September.

Genentech settles Rituxan whisteblower suit for $20M

Genentech Inc. will pay $20 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit around off-label marketing of the cancer-fighting drug Rituxan.
The settlement, completed last month and first reported by Drug Industry Daily, will net $5.7 million for John Underwood, who was a senior manager of sales development from the start of Genentech’s oncology franchise in 1997.

You're so vain: Baby boomers, tech and lower risk for investors pump up aesthetics, vanity market

Kerry Pope wants to liberate women — and make some money in the process.
Pope’s Palo Alto company, Viveve Inc., is launching a product that promises to tighten vaginal tissue stretched by childbirth and return women’s sex lives to pre-child days. The half-hour radiofrequency technology procedure, already used to tighten saggy facial skin, allows women to return home or to work with nary anyone else the wiser for it.
“It’s all about her,” Pope said.
It also is about opportunity.
Vain baby boomers looking to suck, heat, squeeze or freeze their way toward the fountain of youth are pumping up a $10 billion-a-year market. Lower regulatory risk for companies and investors, a new wave of technologies and consumers willing to pay out of pocket are fattening up the industry as well.
Call it the aesthetics, personal care or vanity market, but one thing is sure: Even in a tough economy, a cadre of Bay Area companies with science-backed, minimally invasive methods for smoothing wrinkles, removing love handles or even restoring couples’ sex lives are tapping consumer lust for younger days.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Amyris, Total expand joint biofuels venture

Renewable fuels and chemicals company Amyris Inc. and French energy giant Total have expanded their partnership to produce renewable diesel products through a joint venture, to which Total will contribute an additional $105 million on top of the $180 million the companies already have committed, according to financial filings.
The 50-50 joint venture has the exclusive rights to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel worldwide. It also has a non-exclusive agreement to develop and market other non-fuel products. The venture will begin operations in the first quarter of 2012.

Transcept could land $90M after Purdue opts for sleep drug

Purdue Pharma LP exercised its option for U.S. rights to the middle-of-the-night sleep drug Intermezzo, developed by Richmond’s Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Transcept (NASDAQ: TSPT), which lost $30 million in potential Purdue payments after the Food and Drug Administration twice rejected the drug, now could receive up to $90 million in milestone payments.
The FDA finally approved Intermezzo last month. Purdue had until Dec. 8 to exercise its option on the lozenge, which is designed to help people go back to sleep for up to four hours after waking up in the middle of the night.

BioMarin buys back patents for rare disease drug for $81M

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. bought the intellectual property at the core of the drug Naglazyme for $81 million cash, according to terms of a buyback deal disclosed Wednesday.
The Novato-based company (NASDAQ: BMRN), known for developing drugs to treat rare lysosomal storage diseases, said it paid the cash upfront to SA Pathology, a unit of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network in Australia. The patents are related to the purified form of Naglazyme and the method of using the enzyme to treat mucolpolysaccharidosis VI, or MPS VI.