In biotech, here are the top 10 news stories of the year so far, based on web traffic.
Pfizer's partnership with German counterpart Merck KGaA for $850 million upfront, plus as much as $2 billion in milestones, improves the prospects of PD-L1 and PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors in the oncology space, to the excitement of developers of combination therapies to the class of medicines, which feature both biological and mechanical mechanisms.
Forget the odds on Thanksgiving Day football games. What's your bet on Pfizer lodging another bid for AstraZeneca?
Will they or won't they? That question seems to be on quite a few minds these days as the oddsmakers assess the chances of another Pfizer megamerger bid for AstraZeneca after the U.K.'s cooling off period ends on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca has been touting its pipeline full of promising products as a reason it will return to growth by 2017 and has no need to hook up with Pfizer. As if to put an exclamation point on that declaration, the company says it will kick off a U.S. expansion that will add 300 jobs so it can realize that potential.
As Pfizer's Trumenba rolls out in the U.S., it may get a head start on Novartis' Bexsero, which is still awaiting FDA approval. But the drug giant still doesn't yet have what it needs to build a considerable lead: a recommendation from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
When Pfizer and Merck KGaA announced their big immuno-oncology deal Monday, market watchers immediately started extrapolating. The tie-up means Pfizer won't come back for another try at AstraZeneca, some say. But others figure that there's still a solid chance of Pfizer, round two.
Pfizer is determined to be a major player in the fast-emerging field of immuno-oncology, and the pharma giant is paying handsomely to buy its way into an anti-PD-L1 program now underway at Merck KGaA. In a deal announced Monday Pfizer outlined plans to pay a whopping $850 million upfront and up to $2 billion in milestones for the right to co-develop and co-market MSB0010718C and any other IO drugs they put in the pipeline.
With Pfizer's eligibility to bid again for AstraZeneca nearing, the drug giant seems unlikely to make another run at its one-time target, industry-watchers say. But that doesn't mean it isn't prepping a run at someone else.
Pfizer inked a deal with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to roll out a long-acting contraceptive in 69 of the world's poorest countries.