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BIO releases 5th annual emerging therapeutic company trend report showing record year for venture capital funding

May 31, 2019 | BIO

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released the 2019 Emerging Therapeutic Company Trend Report, highlighting ten years (2009-2018) of biotechnology funding and deal making across five areas: venture capital, Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), follow-on public offerings, licensing, and acquisitions. The report also contains a 2019 snapshot of the industry’s clinical pipeline to highlight the significant contribution of emerging companies.

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Milken Institute releases report on role of non-profits in drug development

April 2, 2019 | Milken Institute

Shepherding a drug from discovery to the market is a complex process that involves many actors. The process often begins with academic researchers making a breakthrough discovery in the lab and ends with pharmaceutical companies running large-scale clinical trials to demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective. But what about the middle of this process—the point at which the discovery is translated into something that could be meaningful for treating patients? Who is responsible for the translational, or preclinical, part of the process? There is a lack of clarity about who should assume that role; translational research is often too expensive for academics to perform by themselves, but it is too risky for pharmaceutical companies given the uncertainty about the discovery’s safety and market worthiness.

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FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb announces he will resign

March 5, 2019 | NPR News

The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, announced Tuesday that he is resigning the position, effective in one month. Gottlieb won approval from many as an effective advocate for public health. Within the Trump administration, he stood out for his efforts to more tightly regulate several industries; he's been particularly intent on curbing vaping and making generic drugs more accessible.

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GE surges after agreeing to $21.4 billion sale of biopharma unit

February 25, 2019 | Bloomberg

When Larry Culp took command of flailing General Electric Co. late last year, his mandate was simple: be more aggressive. Fewer than five months later, investors are applauding. The shares soared Monday as Culp took his boldest step yet to rescue the troubled behemoth, agreeing to sell GE’s bio-pharmaceutical business to his former employer, Danaher Corp., for $21.4 billion. Culp halted plans to spin off the broader health-care business as GE focuses on completing the Danaher deal by year end. ... The bio-pharma unit, which makes equipment for manufacturing biotechnology and drug therapies, represents about $3 billion of GE Healthcare’s annual sales. The deal, expected to close by the end of the year, is not subject to a financing condition or a shareholder vote, GE said in a statement. GE will receive cash proceeds of about $21 billion while also transferring certain pension liabilities to Danaher. GE received plenty of interest in the bio-pharma operations, Culp said, and the deal with Danaher came together over the past few months. GE isn’t planning other big sales, he said.

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Long-awaited M&A boom will hit biopharma in 2019 despite persistent worries, prognosticators predict

December 19, 2018 | FiercePharma

When Congress passed a business-friendly tax package last year, pharma prognosticators predicted 2018 would be the year that mergers and acquisitions in the sector would finally gain steam. They were wrong. Despite the industry’s newfound ability to repatriate cash at a 15.5% tax rate versus the 35% rate they had to pay before, biopharma companies did not make 2018 the year of M&A. But 2019 will most certainly be that year, analysts say. Sure, many of the worries that kept potential acquirers on the sidelines last year still exist, but biotech valuations have come way down—the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index has dropped nearly 7% in the year ended Dec. 16, in fact—and that could make all the difference.

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