Second-quarter earnings reports, flowing fast in the last days of July, delivered a bevy of contrasting results, from A to V. Stymied by the pandemic, Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. booked exactly zero net sales during the quarter for its expected blockbuster peanut allergy treatment, Palforzia. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Seattle Genetics Inc. beat top-line expectations, driven primarily by strong sales of new products.
Weeks after raising an oversubscribed $60 million series A, Affinia Therapeutics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., is collaborating with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a far larger deal, one potentially worth more than $1.6 billion.
LONDON – Amphista Ltd. becomes the latest to join the growing band of proteolysis targeting chimera (Protac) specialists, arriving on the scene with a $7.5 million series A and what it says is a new approach to targeted protein degradation (TPD).
Biotech investors had every reason to feel bullish heading into the new decade. The sector had turned around in 2019 and was riding a wave of a very strong fourth-quarter performance, with the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical Index closing up 14% for the year after being underwater from April through to September. Unfortunately, those great expectations were quickly erased during J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference week (Jan. 10 – Jan. 17), which turned out to be a very low-key affair absent of any blockbuster M&A revelations. As a result, confidence has now given way to concerns about the prospects for biopharmaceutical companies going forward, particularly as unfavorable political rhetoric on drug pricing will certainly be dialed up during this election year.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. brought in $4.16 billion in product revenues in 2019, bolstered in large part by the late October approval of Trikafta, earning $420 million in the few weeks that remained in the year.
Delegates convening in San Francisco Monday for the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and other related biotechnology conferences running at the same time will certainly be in a better frame of mind than just 12 months ago. Back then, the sector had just come off a terrible fourth quarter, with investors shying away from biopharma company equities big time.
It has been a productive year for cell and gene therapy companies, and every week the sector never fails to generate exciting news flow to keep investors engaged. Given these ongoing developments, it is not surprising that companies involved in the area continue to attract financing and strategic partners.
DUBLIN – Crispr Therapeutics AG has delivered what appears, so far at least, to be a safe, functional cure for the first patient enrolled in each of its phase I/II trials of lead CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing therapy CTX-001, in beta-thalassemia and in sickle cell disease.