East Coast Biotech Roundup: NY Disruptors, Commense, Regeneron, & More

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Adnexus, which Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired in 2007. I spoke with them about their plans for ImmuneXcite,  and the questions the technology—a method of tricking immune cells known as neutrophils into battling tumors—has to answer before clinical testing.

—Shares of Cambridge-based Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ: GNCA) nearly doubled after the company provided the latest update from an open-label mid-stage trial of experimental genital herpes vaccine GEN-003. Genocea said that the data showed lasting effects from the vaccine after 12 months, suggesting a chance for a possible once a year or less dosing regimen. Check out this piece on the data Genocea released after six months of results. I took a detailed look at Genocea’s vaccine platform, and how GEN-003 is supposed to work, back in 2013.

—Cambridge-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) said it will cut about 90 jobs in the U.S. and Europe as part of an ongoing strategic review.  It’ll provide more details on the progress of that review during the second quarter.

—The disastrous saga of Aveo Oncology’s (NASDAQ: AVEO) tivozanib—a prospective cancer drug that was shredded at an FDA advisory panel in 2013 and rejected by the agency—has now resulted in a fraud charge from the Securities and Exchange Commission to boot. The SEC said Aveo “concealed the FDA’s level of concern” about tivozanib by hiding the fact that the FDA wanted the company to run another trial before filing for approval. Aveo agreed to pay $4 million to settle the charges without admitting or denying any wrongdoing. The SEC’s case continues, however, against former Aveo executives Tuan Ha-Ngoc, David Johnston, and William Slichenmyer.

—Waltham, MA-based Radius Health (NASDAQ: RDUS) submitted an application to approve its osteoporosis drug abaloparatide in the U.S. The drug is already under review in Europe.

—Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson said it shut down a Phase 3 program for osteoarthritis pain drug fulranumab and handed rights to the drug back to partner Amgen, terminating the 2008 licensing deal between the two.

—Waltham-based Tesaro (NASDAQ: TSRO) began collaborating with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in a bid to discover and develop small molecule cancer immunotherapy drugs. Tesaro will fund research at MD Anderson, and get commercial rights to any drugs to come from the work.

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