Ask Lazlo

life sciences… only

Calistoga Pharmaceuticals

In Frazier Healthcare Ventures portfolio

News: Lead drug CAL-101 is said to kill tumor cells (Dec. 9, 2008)

Advertisements

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Companies | , , | Leave a comment

HealthCare Ventures

HealthCare VenturesHealthCare Ventures

Click here to see this fund’s portfolio. Continue reading

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Companies, Venture Capital | , , | Leave a comment

Merck Goes Generic

MerckMerck (MRK) announced that it will be pursuing a “follow-on biologics” program through its Merck BioVentures Division.  Merck is signaling that it plans to manufacture and sell generic versions of the most popular biotech compounds on the market.  

Merck is expecting it can demonstrate the bioequivalence of its products without having to conduct expensive Phase III trials.  If this turns out to be true, this generic strategy could prove very profitable for Merck.

But at what expense?  It is interesting that Merck, long known for its R&D capabilities, has chosen a path of emulation over discovery.  Is this a signal that pharma’s innovative future is winding down, or is this simply a smart way to capitalize on a unique opportunity?

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Biotech, Pharma | , , , | Leave a comment

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY)

Alnylam PharmaceuticalsCore Competency: RNAi interference

Alliances: Novartis, Roche, Takeda

News: Purchased 116 pieces of IP from Nucleonics (Dec. 8, 2008)  Looks like Alnylam is making a move to cluster and consolidate its presence in the RNAi space in terms of IP positioning.

RNAi platforms seem to be all the rage right now, so such a move seems a strong strategic advance for the Cambridge, MA company.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Biotech, Companies | , , , , , | Leave a comment

So, VC’s Broke… Can We Fix It?

There was a terrific interview with Alan Frazier (from Frazier Healthcare Ventures) posted on Xconomy’s site.  I encourage everyone to check it out.  

Here’s the major passage I took away (quoting Mr. Frazier):

We are investing a little more than half in biotech, and the balance in medical devices. We are, for sure, doing less startups and more later-stage companies. We do a lot of new companies, still, probably one-fourth of our companies are new companies. But a lot of them are like Calistoga where it starts out with a product pretty much ready to go, where we pull it from someone else and try it in a new indication.

So, it seems to me like there is a new equation for VC that looks a lot more like private equity.  In other words, VC’s will be looking for enterprises in the future that are closer to positive cash flow, and they will be looking for companies that will make attractive acquisition targets (as opposed to potential IPOs).

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Biotech, Deals, Med Tech, Pharma | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seattle Genetics

Seattle GeneticsSGN-35.  Targeted antibody that identifies CD-30 and dumps a lethal dose of chemotherapy into tumor cells.

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Biotech, Companies | , , , , | Leave a comment

Genentech Purchase?

The proposed deal that would involve Roche’s (RHHBY) outright purchase of Genentech (DNA) may not go through.  The rumored bid of $43.7B for the remaining 44% of Genentech that Roche does not presently own would require a $45B loan, which appears to be hung up at the moment.  

The lending squeeze is apparently the culprit, as reported by Reuters.  The deal itself makes sense, but the magnitude of the required loan is just not feasible in the present economic climate.

Nonetheless, the Genentech buyout remains on the table. Read this article over at Pharmalot for further analysis on the matter.

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Biotech, Deals, Pharma | , , , | Leave a comment