Top 5 News: 8/22-8/28

Top 5 logo1) FDA approves first once-a-day epilepsy pill by Sunovion that can replace older drugs – BBJ, 8/28/15
The FDA has approved the second new drug in recent years — and the only non-extended release medication that can be taken once a day — that can replace decades-old drugs used by people with epilepsy to control seizures.
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​2) Amgen’s newest drug will fuel company’s New England expansion – BBJ, 8/28/15
U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval yesterday for a new cholesterol-lowering drug by Amgen could help fuel the California drugmaker’s plans to beef up its presence in New England.
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3) Novo Nordisk buys diabetes startups founded by Lilly R&D veteran – FierceBiotech, 8/28/15
Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has gone on a shopping spree in Indiana, picking up a pair of biotechs co-founded by Eli Lilly ($LLY) R&D veteran Richard DiMarchi. The startups, the oldest of which was founded in 2013, are both developing protein-based diabetes drugs based on research performed by DiMarchi.
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4) Kendall Square plans an image makeover – Boston Globe, 8/26/15
Six-foot-tall magenta kiosks, crowned by oversized letter Ks, could be popping up throughout Kendall Square in the coming months, as part of an effort to rebrand the innovation hub.
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5) The FDA offers a controversial solution to the biosimilars name game – FierceBiotech, 8/28/15
The industry has been wrestling for years now over naming the first wave of biosimilars building on the coast of the American drug industry.
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Countdown to BioPharm America 2015!

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BioPharm America is just around the corner! The 8th Annual International Partnering Conference is set to take place September 15-17 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

BioPharm America™ is where biotech industry partnerships get started. Meet face-to-face with biotech and pharma executives from around the world to identify and enter strategic relationships. Equipped with partneringONE®, the world’s leading web-based partnering system for the life science industry, BioPharm America is the only event in North America based on the same reputable formula as EBD Group’s acclaimed European events BIO-Europe® and BIO-Europe Spring®.

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Benefits of partneringONE:

  • Conduct more meetings at one conference than in the rest of the year
  • Contact existing and potential partners prior to the conference
  • Manage all your conference activities in one place
  • Your meetings will be prescheduled to maximize your time on site.

biotech start up day

Biotech Startup Day is a powerful opportunity to present your company to Boston’s leading financiers, pharma dealmakers and biotech business KOLs. This special program is specifically designed for early stage projects and young companies to get on the radar of the global life science community and to make the connections that matter. Learn more & register

This year’s conference has an impressive lineup of speakers, including a special executive discussion with rare disease leaders:

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View the full program here & register to reserve your spot!

***MassBio Members receive an additional $200 off! Just type “MassBio” in the comments field!***

Welcome New Members!

Applied_PhotophysicsApplied Photophysics Inc. (APL) has firmly established itself as a global developer and manufacturer of high quality, high performance, modern CD spectrometers for the study of structural, thermodynamic and kinetic properties of a wide range of samples with particular focus on proteins and other bio-macromolecules. Website

checkmatelogoCheckmate Pharma is developing a new approach for cancer immunotherapy, activating the immune system in a specific manner to recognize and kill tumor cells throughout the body, without harming normal tissues. Website

german acceleratorThe German Accelerator supports German tech startups to enter the U.S. market. The German Accelerator provides startups with hands-on mentoring at its locations in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York City, and from January 2016 onwards also in Boston. The three months program is open to a broad range of startups from ICT related sectors. The new Accelerator in Boston will have a particular focus on Life Science. Ideal participants generate domestic revenue, enjoy customer traction and have the potential for category leadership in a large, global market. Website

imagen-bgImagen is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of precision therapeutics for a broad range of human diseases. Imagen’s therapeutic and discovery technologies capture the principal advantages of T cell-based immunotherapies while addressing many of the limitations and toxicities seen in the current immunotherapeutics landscape. Website

New Paradigm Biosciences

New Paradigm Biosciences is a biotech company dedicated to developing therapies using humanized mouse models and other cutting edge technologies. The Company has exclusive licenses to technologies developed at MIT, University of North Carolina and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. It has operations in both US and Asia. Website

selvitaSelvita Inc. was incorporated in February 2015 and is located in Cambridge MA. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Selvita S.A. Selvita S.A. is well-established, publicly-held company based in Krakow, Poland, which delivers services as a Contract Research Organization and is actively engaged in the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines to treat oncology, central nervous system (CNS) and autoimmune diseases. Website

Top 5 News: 8/15-8/21

Top 5 logo1) F.D.A. Approves Addyi, a Libido Pill for Women – New York Times, 8/18/2015
The first prescription drug to enhance women’s sexual drive won regulatory approval on Tuesday, clinching a victory for a lobbying campaign that had accused the Food and Drug Administration of gender bias for ignoring the sexual needs of women.
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2) Baxalta’s Cambridge-based R&D chief describes new model as ‘small R, big D’ BBJ, 8/20/2015
Since Baxalta rejected a $30 billion bid from Shire last month, Baxalta CEO Ludwig Hantson has called the company’s pipeline of potential drugs “underappreciated” and said that “the new research and development model is gaining positive momentum.”
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3) Sarepta and BioMarin race for an FDA tag that could be worth $350M-plus – FierceBiotech, 8/21/2015
Rivals Sarepta Therapeutics ($SRPT) and BioMarin ​Pharmaceutical ($BMRN) are in line to become the next recipients of an FDA coupon for a fast review, each potentially picking up a sellable asset that recently brought in $350 million on the open market.
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4) GlaxoSmithKline flips an MS project to Novartis for up to $1B – FierceBiotech, 8/21/2015
Novartis ($NVS) is paying GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) as much as $1 billion for the rights to a mid-stage multiple sclerosis treatment, betting it can develop an heir to the blockbuster Gilenya, soon to lose patent protection.
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5) Biogen teams up with Columbia to decode ALS – FierceBiotech, 8/18/2015
Biogen ($BIIB) is joining Columbia University in an effort to sequence the genes of 1,500 people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, hoping to better understand the disease’s underlying biology to inform drug R&D.
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Top 5 Takeaways From Harness the Power of Social Media: Open Dialogue with Patients & Patient Advocacy Groups

hcsmOn Thursday August 13th, a panel of patient experts joined forces for the final installment in the Harness the Power of Social Media Forum Series: Let’s Talk: Open Dialogue with Patients & Patient Advocacy Groups.

Often a difficult subject to broach due to the laundry list of rules and regulations surrounding industry and patient interaction, the panel offered sound advice for an audience eager to engage with patients on social media.

What were the five biggest takeaways from the Forum? Read on to find out!

1) Commit 100%

Each member of the panel was a big proponent of engaging with patients on social media but with the caveat that you must have the resources in place to maintain an active presence.

“Social media has changed the ways in which we communicate but it has not changed the fundamentals of relationship building.” – Sara Loud, MSEE, MBA, COO, Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis

Social media is a new way to form relationships. Relationships can only be maintained through frequent and valuable communication. If you don’t have the resources to maintain relationships through posting, social listening, and interacting with the patient population, you probably are not ready to commit.

2) Identify Key Patient Influencers & Connectors

Once you have decided you are ready to commit, a great place to start by identifying patients who are active on social media. These influencers have the potential to become your “trusted voice”. Once you gain their trust, they may be willing to engage fellow patients in your work.

Patient connectors have the ability to create “webs” and link your organization with other patients who are active on social media. Sarah Loud shared how pivitol connectors have been for converting patients who visit their website to enrollees in their iConquerMS online community. People referred to the website by patient connectors are shown to have a 60% conversion rate!

As a key patient influencer in the world of Cystic Fibrosis, Oli Raynor, Special Adviser of Research & Patient Involvement at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, shared that when he was asked to help generate feedback on Comparative Effectiveness Research, he created a Survey Monkey and by simply sharing it on Twitter he received nearly 400 responses! Read the rest of this entry