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Bio Roundup: Phase 3 Fails, Shkreli Jailed, Moderna Flip-Flops & More

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amps up the pressure on the drug to succeed in two trials for postpartum depression expected to produce results later this year.

—Amicus Therapeutics’s (NASDAQ: FOLD) experimental drug for epidermolysis bullosa, a debilitating skin disease, failed a Phase 3 trial. Amicus acquired the drug when it bought Scioderm, of Durham, NC, for $224 million up front last year.

SHAKE IT UP

—Three years after Moderna Therapeutics began to form subsidiaries to develop its messenger RNA drugs, the Cambridge, MA, company has ended the experiment. CEO Stephane Bancel and president Stephen Hoge explained how the project unfolded and why the Moderna mothership is re-absorbing the offshoots.

—Otonomy (NASDAQ: OTON) of San Diego is cutting a third of its staff, excluding those who sell its only commercial drug, after a Phase 3 failure of its experimental ear injection for Meniere’s disease crushed its share price two weeks ago.

—Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN) announced it will cut 20 percent of its staff and relocate its headquarters from New Haven, CT, to Boston. Alexion will keep a research center in Connecticut.

MONEY AND DEALS

—Genetic testing firm 23andMe has raised $250 million to ramp up marketing of its testing kits to consumers and to support its drug research and development work.

—Rocket Pharmaceuticals, a stealthy New York City gene therapy developer, went public this week when it merged with struggling Inotek Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ITEK). Rocket shareholders will own 81 percent of the combined company.

—Palo Alto, CA-based BridgeBio Pharma raised $135 million to support development of new drugs that treat rare genetic disorders.

—Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO) announced deals with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and Roche, both of which are focused on using the San Diego biotech’s drug delivery technology to develop new injectable therapies.

Ben Fidler and Frank Vinluan contributed to this report.

Photo by Travis Wise via a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

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