1) Boston Alzheimer’s researcher named one of Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People’– BBJ, 4/17/15
Rudolph Tanzi is known as a pioneer of Alzheimer’s research, but now he is known as one of the world’s most influential people. Tanzi, the director of genetics and aging research at Massachusetts General Hospital, was named to Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People, an honor that has him featured next to Kanye West,Emma Watson, Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton.
2) FDA grants orphan drug status for AstraZeneca’s selumetinib to treat uveal melanoma – CBR, 4/20/15
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted AstraZeneca an orphan drug designation (ODD) for the MEK inhibitor selumetinib, to treat uveal melanoma, a rare disease.
3) Bay State’s newest Nasdaq-listed biotech, Corbus gets $5M cystic fibrosis award – BBJ, 4/22/15
A year ago today, Corbus Pharmaceuticals didn’t exist. Today, it’s publicly-traded on the Nasdaq and planning to launch a mid-stage trial of a drug to treat cystic fibrosis by the end of June. CEO Yuval Cohen of Corbus (Nasdaq: CRBP) says the speed at which the company has gotten up and running has a lot to do with the way it went public, which was not through a traditional initial public offering, nor a reverse merger into another publicly-traded firm.
4) Jounce Therapeutics Raises $56M as Immunotherapy Stays Hot – WSJ, 4/23/15
Jounce Therapeutics, an immunotherapy company, has raised a large funding round amid a handful of large exits and investor interest in the sector. The company raised $56 million in Series B funding, Brian Gormley reports for Dow Jones VentureWire.
5) Roche, Curadev Collaborate to Develop Cancer Immunotherapeutic in $555M+ Deal – GENNews, 4/20/15
New Delhi-based Curadev Pharma inked an exclusive license agreement with Roche for the development and commercialization of IDO1 and TDO inhibitors in a deal that could net the Indian company more than $555 million. The agreement covers the development of the lead preclinical immune tolerance inhibitor and a collaboration with Roche’s research and early development organization to further extend Curadev’s findings.
Alliance Pharma is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) specializing in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic (DMPK) and bioanalytical services for both small and large molecules. Our extensive and diverse industrial experience includes: new drugs, metabolites or generic drug assays, small molecule LC-MS/MS analysis, large molecule immunoassays, cell based assays, small molecule metabolite profiling and identification, and pharmacokinetic modeling and design. Website.
Coté Orphan, LLC, a regulatory affairs advisory firm based in Silver Spring, MD, provides valuable strategic planning and execution services to companies developing or seeking to develop orphan drugs. Under the leadership of Dr. Timothy R. Coté, an orphanology expert and former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director for the Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD), Coté Orphan demystifies the FDA regulatory process. Coté Orphan knows the FDA hurdles unique to orphan products and forges successful pathways to regulatory success. Website.
Covance, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with annual revenues greater than $2.5 billion and more than 12,800 employees located in over 60 countries. Information on Covance’s products and services, recent press releases, and SEC filings can be obtained through its website.
Summit Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel medicines for indications for which there are no existing or only inadequate therapies. Summit is conducting clinical programs focused on the genetic disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the infectious disease C. difficile infection. Website.
1) Momenta’s generic version of multiple sclerosis drug gets FDA approval – BBJ, 4/16/15
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first-ever generic version of the multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone, which was developed by Cambridge-based Momenta Pharmaceuticals. However, it’s still unclear when the drug might become available to patients
2) Could Massachusetts lose its edge in life sciences? – Boston Globe, 4/12/15
It’s difficult to pinpoint the year when Massachusetts emerged as the undisputed global hub for life sciences. Some harken back to 2002 when Swiss drug maker Novartis snubbed its European scientists and moved its global research headquarters to Cambridge. Others point to 2011 when French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi plunked down $20.1 billion for Cambridge biotech Genzyme and a front-row seat in the thriving biomedical game park of Kendall Square. By the time 2014 drew to a close — with Baxter International, GE Healthcare, and Shire all scrambling to set up shop or expand here — just about every player in the biosciences industry worldwide seemingly had concluded they had to be here. Today, the Commonwealth boasts more than 600 life sciences companies and research organizations employing roughly 60,000 people and a combined payroll topping $7 billion annually, according to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. In recent years, Massachusetts has drawn more than 20 percent of all venture capital outlays for biotechs nationally.
3) FDA approves Amgen’s heart-failure drug Corlanor – Fox News, 4/16/15
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Amgen Inc.’s heart-failure treatment Corlanor, which had been designated for priority review in August.
4) IBM Watson Health to hire hundreds for new Boston-area HQ – BBJ, 4/14/15
IBM will be locating its new health care analytics division in the Boston area, hiring hundreds of employees and partnering with some of the biggest names in health care to provide an umbrella analytical software able of capturing and analyzing all a person’s health information.
5) Coming up short: The state’s $1B biotech bill missed job targets. Was it still worth it? – BBJ, 4/17/15
To the extent that the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is like a $1 billion, 10-year drug trial, its effectiveness in helping grow the state’s economy is in question more than halfway through the experiment.
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Pipelines of Promise Category
BioAegis Therapeutics is a clinical stage company harnessing the body’s innate immunity to reduce serious outcomes in diseases driven by inflammation. BioAegis is commercializing biomarker-driven therapy resulting from groundbreaking medical discoveries from Harvard Med School.
3 Reasons to Vote BioAegis Therapeutics Inc.:
1. No other molecules that modulate inflammation AND boost immune function
2. Cusp of changing way that inflammation and infection are treated
3. Broad medical impact to save lives and reduce costs!
Technologies of Tomorrow Category
Cocoon Biotech is bringing the freedom of living a healthy productive life to patients worldwide initially through treatments for osteoarthritis using natural silk microspheres as local delivery of biologics. Cocoon has completed seed financing and is demonstrating in vivo safety and efficacy.
3 Reasons to Vote Cocoon Biotech:
1. Service to others: Cocoon is tackling the largest unmet needs: over 175 million with osteoarthritis.
2. Innovation: Cocoon is harnessing the natural lubricating and drug delivery properties of silk.
3. Fiercely efficient: Achieving pre-clincial safety and efficacy with minimal funds and great team.
By Dr. Elizabeth Aylward, director of Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Office of Science-Industry Partnerships.
While there are approximately 10,000 children in the United States living with lupus, a lifelong disease that causes inflammation throughout the body, there are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications to treat these kids, forcing physicians to prescribe medications that are approved for adult patients but may not be appropriate for developing bodies.
It’s a problem that impacts all areas of pediatric medicine. In 2013, the FDA in total approved 27 new drugs; just seven of these were approved for pediatric use. Of the 55,000 clinical trials conducted between 2005 and 2010, only 9% were designed for children.
“Funding for pediatric research lags disproportionately behind research funding for adult diseases. Thirty percent of the U.S. population is under the age of 21, and yet only 6% of the entire National Institutes of Health’s budget is devoted to pediatric medicine and care,” said Dr. Jim Hendricks, president of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “This gap results in limited development of new therapies for children, who now often have no other choice than to use adult-only tested medications.”
Seattle Children’s is hoping to bridge the gap between promising research and potential treatments and cures for pediatric diseases by partnering with drug manufacturers and biotech companies through its new Office of Science-Industry Partnerships. Read the rest of this entry