1) Report: Approved drugs by Bay State biotechs up 13 percent since 2010 – Boston 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
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!
Welcome to the Purchasing Consortium, Nature Publishing Group and Journal of Commercial Biotechnology!
Today we released our annual MassBio Industry Snapshot for 2014! The 2014 MassBio Industry Snapshot shows Massachusetts leads in federal research funding and venture capital invested per capita, as well as research and development jobs, but that recent dips in seed-stage funding could negatively impact innovation long-term. Seed-stage funding in Massachusetts companies continues to grow, but 2014 investment must near $200 million to sustain five-year averages and ensure a solid startup environment into the next decade. You can read the full press release here and see the full snapshot here.
Here are the top 10 highlights:
1) Seed-Stage Deals & Investment – In the last five years, Massachusetts companies have received 33.4% of all seed funding for biotech. Over the past decade, Massachusetts has outperformed the nation in percentage of deals and investment at the seed-stage as a percentage of total venture funding.
2) Venture Investment - VC investment rose to $984M in 2013. Massachusetts received more than 21% of all VC investment in biotech in the U.S.
3) NIH-Funded Hospitals - The top five NIH-funded independent hospitals in the U.S. in 2013 are in Boston.
4) NIH-Funding Per Capita – Massachusetts continues to far exceed other leading NIH-recipient states.
5) Industry Employment - 57,642 – an all time high – accounts for over $7 billion in payroll.
Medidata Solutions is a leading provider of clinical trial solutions that enable the world’s most advanced life science organizations to maximize the value of their clinical research investments by putting powerful tools into researchers’ hands. A pioneer since 1999 in innovative technologies for planning and managing clinical studies — including protocol design; clinical data capture, management and reporting; and trial contracting and negotiation — Medidata Solutions and its global network of business partners address the unique needs of sponsors and sites of all sizes. With deep expertise in conducting studies across all phases and therapeutic areas, on six continents and in more than 80 countries, Medidata Solutions helps clinical researchers reduce trial cycle times, achieve early visibility to reliable clinical data, and maintain strict fiscal responsibility, while safely accelerating the process of bringing life-enhancing treatments to market. Link
GE Healthcare will establish a new US headquarters for its life sciences division in Massachusetts, in a move that could bring hundreds of jobs to the state. The company declined to provide details, including where the headquarters will be located in Massachusetts. The unit is based in Piscataway, N.J., where it employs about 400 people. It is unclear how many of those jobs will come to Massachusetts, but GE issued a notice to New Jersey government officials that 218 positions in Piscataway will be affected by the move, beginning Jan. 1. Link
2) FDA approves J&J diabetes drug Invokamet – Pharma Times – 8/10/14
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Invokamet, a fixed-dose therapy combining Invokana (canagliflozin) and metformin. Link
3) Accepting the challenge: Here’s how close we are to a new drug for ALS – Boston Business Journal – 8/12/14
So you’re standing there, dripping wet, having just dumped a bucket of ice water over your head in the name of ALS. The thought occurs to you to ask: What exactly am I doing this for? What you probably don’t know is that while there’s only one late-stage trial in the world being conducted of a drug intended to address the root causes of ALS, local companies from Biogen Idec to the Third Rock-back startup, Voyager, are also working on drugs in much earlier stages of development. Link
4) Seventh Sense raises $16 million for blood collection device – Beta Boston – 8/13/14
Cambridge’s Seventh Sense Biosystems has closed a Series B round of $16 million to complete the development of its more convenient and efficient blood collection system. Link
5) UniQure bets on a gene therapy for heart failure – Fierce Biotech – 8/11/14
After making international headlines with the West’s first approval for a gene therapy, pioneering biotech uniQure is working to flesh out its pipeline of one-time treatments, buying into an early-stage shot at heart failure that could put its technology on the biggest stage yet. Link