Top 5 News Stories 8/23/14 – 8/29/14

Top 5 logo1) Seed funding for local biotechs has ballooned in the last 10 yearsBoston Business Journal, August 26, 2014

A recent report shows a big rise in biotech seed financing, usually the earliest investment a new company gets. But some local venture capitalists say that may be in part due to a changing definition of what is called “seed” financing. Healthy seed financing generally leads to the creation of more very early-stage companies — usually with just a one or two employees who work to test out a theory or scientific approach to making new drugs. Such early-stage companies essentially mean more chances that some of those approaches will be successful and lead to larger companies and new treatments. Link

2) Here’s what’s drawing Baxter to Boston - Crain’s Chicago Business, August 29, 2014

The area of Cambridge, Massachusetts, that Baxter International Inc. is reportedly eyeing has become a magnet for biopharmaceutical companies looking to be near some of the nation’s top hospitals and universities. Link

3) Pfizer (PFE) and Protalix BioTherapeutics (PLX) Report FDA Approval of Pediatric Indication for, August 28, 2014

Pfizer Inc. and Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved ELELYSO™ for injection for pediatric patients. ELELYSO is therefore now indicated for long-term enzyme replacement therapy for adult and pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Type 1 Gaucher disease. Link

4) Pfizer and Merck extend heavyweight immuno-oncology pact to lung cancerFierce Biotech, August 26, 2014

Two Big Pharma heavyweights in the cancer field are joining hands on yet another immuno-oncology pact, adding to a long string of combination drug partnerships that promise to amp up the impact of a growing portfolio of cancer therapies. In today’s case, Merck and Pfizer have struck a deal to add the PD-1 superstar pembrolizumab to Xalkori for ALK-positive cases of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Link

5) Lilly Diabetes Treatment Now AvailableInside Indiana Business, August 26, 2014

Jardiance (empagliflozin) tablets are now available by prescription in pharmacies across the United States, including Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kroger and many other leading chain and independent retailers, according to Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BIPI) and Eli Lilly and Company. Link

MassBio Golf Classic Right Around the Corner!

golf 2014 web adFriday, September 5th is our 20th Annual MassBio Golf Classic to support MassBioEd at the beautiful Pine Hills Golf Club in Plymouth! The day will start at 8:00am with a continental breakfast and tee off is at 8:55am. There is still time to register for this fun and important fundraising event!

After golfers finish their day on the course, the fun continues with a reception, food, cocktails, and our live auction and raffles. Thanks to the generous donations from businesses and individuals all around New England, we are able to feature some great items for you to bid on and take home!

Taste of Cape Cod:

Alberto’s Ristorante, Yarmouth House, and The Beech Tree Cantina, Cape Cod


The Pinehills

Taste of Cambridge:

Catalyst, Commonwealth, Craigie on Main, Evoo, FUJI at Kendall, MexíCalí Burrito, The Friendly Toast, and Za

Hotel stays:

The Le Meridien, Hotel Marlowe, and the Omni Parker House


Russell House Tavern, The Lansdowne Pub, Newburyport Brewing Company, and the Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge


Bose Sound Link Mobile Speaker III and the new Maker Bot Digitizer 3D printer donated by WB Mason

Travel & Elegant Retreats:

Pair of Jet Blue tickets from Colpitts, Day at the Mirbeau Inn & Spa – Pinehills, Plymouth, MA and the 5 star Euu Hotel & Resort in Palm Beach Florida


Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Plymouth

Family Fun:

Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Duck Tours, Water Wizz and the F1 Racing Boston

Outdoor Adventures:

Wachusett Mountain Ski tickets and Charles River Canoe Stand Paddle Board rental

Arts & Culture:

Gift certificates for Art in Giving Fine Art and Bradford Renaissance Portraits of Palm Beach

Museum Mania:

MASS MoCA, MIT Museum, and Newport Mansions

Performance tickets:

Donated by the Berklee College of Music, Handel & Haydn Society and the SpeakEasy Stage Boston


The Scarlet Oak Tavern, Hingham

Catering Services:

Salvatores and MexíCalí Burrito

Cool Science:

MassBioEd Learning Center course



Join us for a day of fun and help support STEM education in Massachusetts!

Spots are filling up so be sure to-



Thank you to our sponsors!


      emd    emd serono                emd millipore

Fisher Logo




veolia 2     Linde Logo


alexandria_logo   boston analytical          


eastern bank    forum 2    takeda millenium


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Sponsorship opportunities are available!

This well-attended industry event offers a great opportunity for maximum visibility! Click here to learn more or contact Larissa Fawkner at or 617-674-5100 for more information.

Welcome New Members

arryve newARRYVE helps our BioTech, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Device clients accelerate product development and manage R&D; develop operational strategy and implement supply chain improvements, and accomplish timely technology transfer and manufacturing scale-up. Link


commonwealth newCommonwealth Laboratories provides take-home hydrogen and methane breath tests to aid in the diagnosis of digestive distress. They have developed and implemented a mail-order laboratory model that allows physicians to simply stock and dispense Commonwealth Laboratories’ test kits to their patients from their office and Commonwealth Laboratories takes care of the rest. Link


Ge-healthcare-logoGE Healthcare Life Sciences provides expertise and tools for a wide range of applications, including basic research of cells and proteins, drug discovery research, as well as tools to support large-scale manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. Link



Top 5 News Stories 8/16 – 8/22

Top 5 logo1) Report: Approved drugs by Bay State biotechs up 13 percent since 2010Boston Business Journal, August 22, 2014
The state’s biotech industry group, MassBio, put out its latest compilation of data to measure the local cluster on Wednesday. The Industry Snapshot, which has been an annual report since at least 2010, looks at all types of funding (venture capital, seed and NIH) as well as the amount of lab space. Notably, it takes an extra-close look at employment numbers in wake of the controversy following a Pioneer Institute report earlier this summer which found the job increase since the start of the 10-year Massachusetts Life Science Initiative to be much smaller than have other reports in recent years. Link

2) FDA approves Sanofi’s Gaucher disease drug Cerdelga – Reuters, August 19, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it has approved Sanofi SA’s drug Cerdelga to treat patients with type 1 Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder. The drug was developed by Sanofi’s Genzyme unit, which also developed the Gaucher disease drug Cerezyme. Cerdelga, known also as eliglustat, is a pill, while Cerezyme must be infused. Link

3) Biogen scores fresh MS advance with blockbuster Plegridy OK – Fierce Biotech, August 18, 2014
Billing it as the most important new innovation in the interferon drug class in a decade, Biogen Idec nailed down the FDA’s approval of Plegridy, a new multiple sclerosis drug that patients can easily inject themselves with once every two weeks. Essentially, Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) is a new-and-improved version of Avonex, Biogen’s once weekly interferon beta therapy for relapsing forms of MS. Link

4) GE unit to be based in Marlborough – Boston Globe, August 20, 2014
GE Healthcare, which last week said it would open a US headquarters in Massachusetts for its life sciences business, is set to disclose Wednesday that the business will be based in Marlborough, where the company expects to add about 220 jobs. The life sciences unit, called GE Healthcare Life Sciences, sells bioreactors, diagnostic tools, and other equipment used in biotechnology manufacturing globally. Link

5) Illumina Partners With Big Pharma To Create New Genetic Tests For Cancer – Forbes, August 21, 2014
Illumina, the leading maker of DNA sequencing equipment, is partnering with Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson to create a test for more mutations in dozens of genes that will be used first in clinical trials and, eventually, to help decide which patient should get which marketed drug. The tool is necessary because new cancer drugs like Roche’s Zelboraf and Astra’s Iressa work only against cells that became cancerous because of particular genetic mutations. Link

New Savings for MassBio Members on Nature & the Journal of Commercial Biotech

MassBIO_logo-largenature publishing groupJournal of Commercial Biotech


We know that access to scientific publications is critical for our members, so we are very excited to share that MassBio members can now save on leading scientific journals through new partnerships with Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, launched today!

Nature Publishing Group and the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology join the MassBio Purchasing Consortium to provide high-impact peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and medicine, in biotechnology business strategy and management information, and in current issues and industry trends. They will offer MassBio members significant savings on articles and subscriptions. We’re thrilled to be able to offer these important resources to MassBio members at a discount!

MassBio members are eligible for:

  • Special pricing on NPG’s Articles on Demand
  • Reduced site license pricing for the journals Nature and Nature Biotechnology
  • A free one-year digital institutional subscription of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology
  • Discounts off personal or institutional subscriptions of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology
  • And more!

See contract details here.

Click here for the full press release.

Welcome to the Purchasing Consortium, Nature Publishing Group and Journal of Commercial Biotechnology!