Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


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    Permission granted by Ed Shipman for Mass Eye and Ear

    Years later, a first-of-its-kind treatment shows the power, and limits, of gene therapy

    Luxturna, approved four years ago as the first gene therapy for an inherited disease in the U.S., is improving sight and quality of life for several of the patients who received it.

    Shoshana Dubnow • Nov. 15, 2021
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    Adeline Kon / BioPharma Dive/BioPharma Dive

    A three-decade monopoly: how Amgen built a patent thicket around its top-selling drug

    Through high-stakes litigation, aggressive patenting practices and a bit of luck, Amgen will likely stretch Enbrel's monopoly until 2029, more than 30 years after it was approved.

    Jonathan Gardner • Nov. 1, 2021
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    A play-by-play of the FDA's meeting on Pfizer's vaccine for kids

    Experts on the agency's panel dug into questions on the vaccine's safety in younger children, as well as uncertainty over how widely it should be used. Catch up on the discussion here. 

    Ben Fidler, Shoshana Dubnow and Jonathan Gardner • Updated Oct. 26, 2021
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    'This is the time to double down': Top Vertex executives defend research plan as pressure builds

    A series of setbacks has led to criticism of the storied biotech's bid to diversify. But Vertex intends to stay the course, its CEO and top scientist say.

    Ben Fidler • Sept. 22, 2021
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    Adeline Kon/BioPharma Dive

    Biotech M&A, while far from recent heights, is picking back up. Here are the latest deals.

    Swiss pharma Vifor is buying Sanifit and its kidney disease drug for $230 million upfront, while Twist Biosciences is adding drug discovery specialist Abveris in a stock-based deal.

    Jacob Bell and Julia Himmel • Updated Nov. 22, 2021
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    del Aguila III, Ernesto. (2018). "CRISPR Cas9" [Illustration]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    Intellia, with first results, delivers a 'landmark' for CRISPR gene editing

    Results published in The New England Journal of Medicine offer the first clinical evidence that CRISPR gene editing inside the body can be safe and effective, a culmination of years of scientific research.  

    Ben Fidler • June 26, 2021
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    8 key clinical trials to watch for the rest of 2021

    The next six months could feature clinical milestones for CRISPR gene editing, the treatment of COVID-19 and gene-targeted cancer therapy.

    Ben Fidler • June 21, 2021
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    Brian Tucker / BioPharma Dive

    'The lights are no longer green': Antitrust regulators reassess pharma deals

    The FTC and its counterparts abroad are rethinking their approach to drugmaker acquisitions. Past scrutiny offers clues to where they may look next.

    Jonathan Gardner • June 10, 2021
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    A first-of-its-kind Alzheimer's drug raises heavy questions around who will and won't get it

    Biogen priced its newly approved medicine Aduhelm at an average cost of $56,000 a year, adding affordability to other barriers patients may face. 

    Jacob Bell • June 8, 2021
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    In historic move, FDA approves a closely watched and controversial Alzheimer's drug

    With the decision, the agency cleared the way for what many predict will become a lucrative and sought-after option — though fierce debate continues over whether Biogen's aducanumab actually benefits patients' daily lives.

    Jacob Bell • Updated June 7, 2021
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    Kena Betancur via Getty Images

    Trump tax law cut what US drugmakers owed. Now they fear an increase.

    The 2017 law saved pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars, BioPharma Dive found. Executives are now fiercely opposing tax hikes proposed by President Biden, claiming they've since boosted domestic investment. 

    Jonathan Gardner • May 17, 2021
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    How Gilead finally spent its money

    This year, the biotech spent about $27 billion trying to become a leader in cancer research. Executives who spoke to BioPharma Dive said there's still work to be done.

    Jacob Bell • Nov. 24, 2020
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    Adeline Kon/BioPharma Dive

    Record numbers of biotechs are going public. Here's how they're performing.

    Vigil Neuroscience and Bionomics, which just outlined their IPO plans, could become the eighth and ninth neurological drug developers to go public in 2021, a total that would eclipse each of the previous three years. 

    Ben Fidler • Updated Nov. 23, 2021
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    From no drugs to 3: Patients with spinal muscular atrophy now face hard choices

    The availability of three vastly different, cutting-edge medicines for the rare disease has put patients, families and doctors in an unfamiliar position.

    Jonathan Gardner • Oct. 5, 2020
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    Danielle Ternes/BioPharma Dive

    How biotech and pharma companies pay their CEOs, and their workers

    The median CEO of 231 drug companies analyzed by BioPharma Dive earned 50% more last year than in 2017, a leap that far outpaced the more modest pay gains among employees.

    Ned Pagliarulo • Sept. 9, 2020
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    Relay Therapeutics set out to change how drugs are designed. Can it continue what Vertex began?

    Vertex pioneered a more precise way of developing drugs. Relay, which has raised nearly $1 billion since its founding, thinks it can go one step further. 

    Ned Pagliarulo • Aug. 24, 2020
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    Danielle Ternes/BioPharma Dive

    A cure for hemophilia seemed closer than ever. For many patients, it's now further out of reach

    The surprise rejection of BioMarin's hemophilia A gene therapy delayed a decades-long mission to fix the rare bleeding disorder.

    Jacob Bell • Updated Aug. 19, 2020
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    Courtesy of Lonza Ltd.

    Vaccines can end the coronavirus pandemic. Will every country get them?

    Scientists around the world are racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine. But the factories slated to make the leading candidates are concentrated in a handful of countries, raising concerns about global access.

    Jonathan Gardner • June 23, 2020
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    Brian Tucker/BioPharma Dive

    Coronavirus vaccines are rolling out quickly. Here's where the pipeline stands.

    Fuller data in hand, Pfizer and BioNTech plan to soon seek full U.S. approval for their vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. 

    Ned Pagliarulo, Jonathan Gardner, Shoshana Dubnow, Ben Fidler and Nami Sumida • Updated Nov. 24, 2021
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    Venture capital found its footing in biotech. Then came the virus.

    There's been no better time for venture firms to invest in drug startups than the past few years. But when a virus upended the world, it raised new questions about what types of investors and investments would succeed moving forward.

    Jacob Bell • May 26, 2020
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    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2020). "Novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2" [Microscope image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihgov/49565158908/in/album-72157713108522106/.

    A closer look at the race to develop antibody drugs for COVID-19

    Eli Lilly, Regeneron and China's Junshi are now testing antibody drugs in clinical trials, while others are close behind. Here's why they will matter.

    Ben Fidler • May 12, 2020
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    Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    A coronavirus vaccine may arrive next year. 'Herd immunity' will take longer.

    Experimental vaccines for COVID-19 are moving at an unprecedented pace. But that could mean researchers won't definitively know whether they're safe and effective when they do arrive.

    Jonathan Gardner • May 4, 2020
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    Big pharma shied away from gene therapy for years. Academia picked up the slack

    The byproduct was richer licensing fees for universities and a throng of startups, but also questions on fair prices and research priorities.

    Jonathan Gardner • March 17, 2020
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    Adeline Kon / BioPharma Dive

    Big pharma backed away from brain drugs. Is a return in sight?

    Biotech executives see a new era of neuroscience breakthroughs on the horizon. But in a historically challenging space, it's hard to pinpoint what would cause big pharma to dive back in — and what ripples that would create.​

    Jacob Bell • Jan. 29, 2020
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    Lydia Polimeni, National Institutes of Health

    Will sky-high drug prices spur the US to use an obscure power over patents?

    New cell therapies as well as gene-based treatments like Zolgensma benefited from NIH funding of early-stage research. Advocates say the time is now for the government to invoke its "march-in" rights. 

    Jonathan Gardner • Dec. 4, 2019