Learn Biotech Basics in Biotech 101!

Biotech 101_30One of MassBioEd’s most popular courses, Biotech 101 for Non-Scientists is being offered THIS WEEK Sept. 18 – 19, and also this winter, December 4 – 5!
To register for FALL, click here.
To register for WINTER, click here.

**MassBio members get a $150 discount on registration**

Are you new to the life sciences industry? Do you need to have a better understanding of the science and technology driving the industry? Biotech 101 is a course designed specifically for the non-scientists. The program covers two full days of biotechnology information for non-science professionals who may be working on looking to work within a science-based industry.

Participants will benefit from several hands on activities using Lego DNA models, Agarose Gels, in addition to a DNA exercise featured here: http://youtu.be/JwRs2agM3Lk



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Welcome New Members

1Globe Health Institute is a research institute located in Norwood, Massachusetts focusing on cancer and other disorders.

Cyta Therapeutics is a drug development company located in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Axios-logo-300x75Axios Biosciences is revolutionizing oncology drug discovery by identifying drugs active in the tumor microenvironment, an important component of tumor biology where tumors interact with non-malignant tissue and can dramatically affect drug sensitivity. Our ability to discover novel targets and active compounds, overlooked using traditional drug discovery approaches, can bridge the gap between preclinical research and clinical efficacy. Link

Synchroneuron2Synchroneuron is a clinical-stage, central nervous system focused company developing a new treatment for tardive dyskinesia (TD), an involuntary movement disorder that affects approximately one million patients in the United States with no approved treatment options. Synchroneuron has brought its lead drug candidate, SNC-102, from development to a Phase 2 study for TD in less than two years, and the company is exploring additional neurological indications affecting hundreds of thousands of patients who, like those with tardive dyskinesia, have limited or no available treatment options. Link

Top 5 News Stories 9/6/14 – 9/12/14

Top 5 logo1) Genzyme eyes acquisitions as it doubles down on MS drug pipeline, Boston Business Journal, September 11, 2014
Genzyme says it is making a big bet on the field of multiple sclerosis and intends to use the full backing of its deep-pocketed parent, Sanofi, to develop new products and make acquisitions as needed. In an interview with Reuters, Genzyme’s Bill Sibold said the Cambridge-based developer of rare-disease fighting therapies has confidence in its existing lineup of MS drugs but is “very active” in seeking out new growth opportunities, namely smaller drug development companies and intellectual property that dovetail with Genzyme’s ongoing research. Link

2) Solid Ventures forges deal with Pfizer to test potential Duchenne drug, Boston Business Journal, September 9, 2014
A Cambridge biotech firm headed by a father with a quest to find a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is working with drug giant Pfizer to test one of its early-stage experimental drugs. “To take a risk on a small company like us speaks volumes about Pfizer’s commitment (to rare diseases),” company scientific analyst Joel Schneider said. Link

3) AbbVie and Biogen inch toward the FDA with once-a-month MS drug, Fierce Biotech, September 12, 2014
Partners Biogen Idec and AbbVie are touting late-stage results for their new, monthly multiple sclerosis treatment, preparing to hand in regulatory applications next year and contend in a crowded market. The drug, daclizumab, is a subcutaneous treatment designed to correct the immune system and improve symptoms of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease. Link

4) UPDATE 2-U.S. FDA panel: Novo Nordisk’s liraglutide safe, effective for obesity, Reuters, September 11, 2014
Novo Nordisk’s drug liraglutide is safe and effective enough to warrant approval for use in chronically obese patients with at least one weight-related health issue, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded on Thursday. The panel voted 14 to 1 to recommend the drug, which is already approved to treat diabetes under the brand name Victoza. Link

5) Kitchen Vaccinations Spurred Harvard Alumnus to Make Record Gift, Bloomberg News, September 9, 2014
A nurse, Chan’s mother was a hygiene devotee who would wipe down restaurant utensils with ethanol-soaked cotton before letting her children eat with them, said Chan, 63, who yesterday announced a $350 million gift to the Harvard School of Public Health from his family’s Morningside Foundation. Link

BioPharm America 2014 Leads Off with Fierce 15 Announcement & Keynote from Sanofi CSO

BioPharm America 2014 is only 11 days away! Have you registered yet? MassBio members save $200– just put “MassBio” in the comments field while registering.

Don’t miss the Fierce 15!

Fierce15John Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of FierceBiotech, will be giving a live announcement of the Fierce 15 at BioPharm America again this year! The Fierce 15 is a hunt that involves the biggest ideas in biotech, the most daring characters in biopharma, and entrepreneurs doing things that haven’t been done before. The Fierce 15 will include drug developers or platform biotechs with the potential to have a huge impact on the treatment of human diseases. Be there when the news breaks!


Check out the keynote & opening plenary!

The Keynote Address will be given by Gary Nabel, Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi, and will also join the Opening Plenary.

These are exciting times, because pharma companies are going back to their roots. There’s been a major shift toward external innovation and data-driven science that guides the development of new medicines.  For academic research, we see more collaboration at earlier stages.  For biotech, we see relationships built at different points in the evolution of new medicines, and we are using structures and support that incentivize both partners to achieve success,” said Nabel.

The Opening Plenary will address “Getting real: Biopharma innovation and its impact on patients” with:

  • Barry Greene, President and COO at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
  • Adam M. Koppel, Senior VP and Chief Strategy Officer at Biogen Idec
  • Richard Pops, Chairman and CEO at Alkermes plc.
  • Karen Bernstein, Co-Founder, Chairman, and Editor-in-Chief at BioCentury (Moderator)

Global pharmaceutical companies already confirmed to send business development teams to BioPharm America include AstraZeneca; Bayer HealthCare; Bristol-Myers Squibb; EMD Serono; Merck; Novo Nordisk; Sanofi; and Shire.

We look forward to seeing you at BioPharm America!


Welcome New Members

altiusAltius Strategy Consulting helps companies plan for the successful commercialization of therapeutic and companion diagnostic products by creating and demonstrating product value. By incorporating the implications of patient-centered healthcare and stakeholder evidence requirements into traditional business opportunity assessments, Altius helps companies make appropriate business decisions regarding market opportunities and product development. Working closely with its clients’ senior teams, Altius can deliver actionable content in real time and can rapidly adjust project direction in response to client needs. Altius specializes in a multidisciplinary approach, integrating scientific, clinical, regulatory, economic, quality of life, market and financial information to create effective business and commercialization strategies and value development plans for products in late preclinical and phases 1 / 2 clinical development. Link

esosomeExosome Diagnostics is developing biofluid-based molecular diagnostic tests for use in personalized medicine. Exosomes and other microvesicles are shed into all biofluids, including blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid, forming a highly enriched source of intact, disease-specific nucleic acids. The Company’s proprietary exosome technology makes use of this natural enrichment to achieve high sensitivity and specificity for rare gene transcripts and the expression of genes responsible for cancers and other diseases. Link

metastat 2MetaStat, Inc (OTCQB: MTST) is a molecular diagnostic company that develops and commercializes diagnostic tests for early and reliable prediction of systemic metastasis, the process by which cancer spreads from a primary tumor through the bloodstream to other areas of the body. MetaStat is focused on breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers, where systemic metastasis is responsible for approximately 90% of all deaths. The Company’s function-based diagnostic platform technology is based on the identification and understanding of the pivotal role of the mena protein and its isoforms, a common pathway for the development of systemic metastatic disease in all epithelial-based solid tumors. Both the MetaSite Breast™ and MenaCalc™ assays are designed to accurately stratify patients based on their individual risk of metastasis and to provide physicians with clinically actionable information to better “customize” cancer treatment. MetaStat’s testing platform improves treatment planning decisions by positively identifying patients with a high-risk of metastasis who need aggressive therapy and by sparing patients with a low-risk of metastasis from the harmful side effects and expense of chemotherapy. The company is based in New York City, with laboratories in Boston Massachusetts. Link