How Lilly Let Telaprevir Go to Vertex, SV Focusing on Health IT With Latest Fund, Genzyme Isis Cholesterol Drug Shows Strong in Clinical Trial, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

8/6/10Follow @xconomy

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it cured three out of four patients in a Phase III clinical trial earlier this spring, a milestone that has likely caused Lilly to regret its decision to pull out of the collaboration in 2002, Ryan wrote. The drug’s potential has made Cambridge-based Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) the third most valuable Bay State biotech company.

—Speaking of Vertex, the drugmaker’s stock got a boost after Phase III clinical trial results of Merck’s rival protease inhibitor hepatitis C drug lagged behind Vertex’s drug, telaprevir. The Merck (NYSE: MRK) drug met its primary goals in the trial, but wiped out the disease in only 66 percent of the patients in the study, compared to 75 percent of patients in the telaprevir trial.

—Cambridge-based Genzyme and its Carlsbad, CA-based collaborator Isis Pharmaceuticals announced that their treatment for ultra-high cholesterol passed two important clinical trials. The biotechs are preparing to pursue FDA clearance for the drug mipomersen, which has now passed four pivotal clinical trials, in 2011. Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ, which has been in the news heavily in the past few weeks surrounding rumors of a buyout by Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY), still saw its shares fall slightly after the news came out. Genzyme, meanwhile, has remained very tight-lipped about a potential deal with Sanofi, which offered between $67 and $70 a share for the Cambridge drugmaker, according to Bloomberg News

—Cambridge-based diagnostics startup Seventh Sense Biosystems has the support of the U.S. intelligence community, at least financially. The startup is backed by In-Q-Tel, the nonprofit venture arm of the CIA, which invests in startups whose technologies could aid the U.S. security and defense mission, Ryan wrote. Seventh Sense, which is developing a device for the less painful drawing of blood, declined to discuss In-Q-Tel’s stake in the company.

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