Top 5 News 9/20/14 – 9/26/14

This week at BioPharm America:

What Happened At BioPharm America 2014?BioSpace, September 24, 2014 
The seventh annual BioPharm America conference kicked off in Boston, Mass., on Sept. 22 and gave biotech and biopharmaceutical professionals a place to come together for the sake of life sciences. For three days, executives from around the world attended panel discussions and networking sessions, and their level of excitement toward the future of the industry was palpable. Link

Top 5 News:

Top 5 logo1) Germany’s Merck to buy Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion to boost lab supplies operationReuters, September 22, 2014
Drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE) agreed on Monday to acquire U.S.-based Sigma-Aldrich Corp (SIAL.O) for $17 billion in cash to boost its lab supplies business, the biggest takeover in the German group’s history. The deal helps Merck, 70 percent controlled by the descendants of its 17th century founder, to focus more on supplying drugmakers and academic institutions with chemicals and services, seen as offering a steadier income stream than drug development. Link

2) Merrimack, Baxter Ink $970M+ Deal for Pancreatic Cancer DrugXconomy, September 24, 2014
It’s been an up and down year for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. On one hand, the Cambridge, MA-based company succeeded in a Phase 3 trial in the notoriously tough field of pancreatic cancer, and has a chance to win FDA approval for its first drug, MM-398. On the other hand, Merrimack lost Sanofi as a partner for a second drug prospect (MM-121) on the cusp of late-stage testing, meaning it’ll have to foot a big bill to take the candidate forward, or find someone else to do so. Link

3) Biogen Idec Named Global Biotechnology Industry Leader on Dow Jones Sustainability World Index - Marketwatch, September 23, 2014
Biogen Idec has been named the biotechnology industry leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World). The company also was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the fifth consecutive year, one of only two biotech companies included. In September 2013, Biogen Idec became the first U.S.-based biotechnology company to be named to DJSI World. Link

4) Amgen pushes for early FDA OK of leukemia drug blinatumomabFierce Biotech, September 22, 2014
Bolstered by a breakthrough drug designation at the FDA, Amgen is following through with a new drug application for its leukemia drug blinatumomab, hoping that promising Phase II data will be enough to push this program past the goal line on a greatly accelerated development schedule. Link

5) On eve of IPO, Civitas Therapeutics is acquired for $525MBoston Business Journal, September 24, 2014
On the eve of a planned $75 million initial public offering, Chelsea biotech firm Civitas Therapeutics has been acquired by an Ardsley, NY-based biotech for $525 million. Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR), which is developing treatments for multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury treatments, will be buying worldwide rights to CVT-301, a Phase 3 inhaled drug delivery technology for controlling episodes of Parkinson’s disease. Link


Register Today for MassBio Patient Advocacy Summit Nov. 10

Registration is Now Open!

  Patient Advocacy Summit 2014

Live & Breathe: Building a Patient-Centered Biotech

PA Summit patients


Save the Date! On November 10th, MassBio will host its first ever MassBio Patient Advocacy Summit at Genzyme Center in Cambridge! We’ll bring industry leaders together with patient advocates and other stakeholders to examine ways in which life sciences companies can more fully incorporate the patient voice into the work they do-not just approaching regulatory applications or at commercialization, but throughout the drug development cycle.


This full day event will include four panel discussions, four case study presentations (spotlighting industry/patient partnerships), a keynote address, as well as a networking breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception.


We’re also looking for examples of innovative industry-patient partnerships! We’ll choose four partnerships to spotlight at the Summit. Nominate a partnership today!

Questions? Contact

Thank you to our sponsors!





Welcome New Members

49136_USKenney & Sams, P.C. is a dynamic litigation boutique law firm representing individuals, businesses, and public authorities at trial and on appeal in a broad array of civil disputes throughout the New England region. The Firm distinguishes itself from other law firms by the experience, accomplishment, and leadership of its attorneys. Link

logoSNBL Clinical Pharmacology Center, Inc. is a Phase I Unit that employs the best-in-class facilities, technology, and operational excellence that enable pharmaceutical developers to reduce even the most complex trial scenarios into a simple common denominator…informative results. Link

logoSobi is a leading integrated biopharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing innovative therapies and services to improve the lives of rare disease patients and their families. They have a diversified and growth-oriented commercial product portfolio. Their key therapeutic areas are Inflammation and Genetics & Metabolism. Their late stage pipeline includes two phase III programs with substantial potential. They have world-class capabilities in protein biochemistry and biologics manufacturing development – validated by leading industry partners. Link

2Wellomics LLC is a bioinformatics company in Waltham, MA. Their mission is to advance the way we live by transforming nature’s healing power into safe and effective wellness products. Link

Top 5 News 9/13/14 – 9/19/14

Top 5 logo1) UPDATED: FDA hands Eli Lilly a big win, OKs dulaglutide for diabetes, Fierce Biotech, September 18, 2014
An embattled Eli Lilly won a major battle today, gaining the FDA’s approval to market dulaglutide for Type 2 diabetes. It will be sold as Trulicity. With Novo Nordisk already digging in to defend its position around Victoza, the once-weekly treatment has been widely billed as a likely blockbuster. Link

2) FDA approves AstraZeneca, Nektar constipation drug, Reuters, September 16, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an oral therapy to treat opioid-induced constipation developed by Nektar Therapeutics and AstraZeneca Plc. The drug, known generically as naloxegol, will be sold under the trade name Movantik, and is indicated for patients on opioids for pain unrelated to cancer. Link

3) Boehringer to pay up to $600 million for CureVac cancer vaccine, Reuters, September 18, 2014
Boehringer Ingelheim is betting on a cancer vaccine to fight lung tumors after signing a deal worth up to $600 million with U.S.-based CureVac, despite recent disappointments with cancer vaccines from rival firms. The unlisted German drugmaker said on Thursday it was investing 35 million euros ($45 million) upfront, with CureVac entitled to a further 430 million euros – plus royalties on any eventual sales – if the experimental project is a success. Link

4) Sanofi partners with MyoKardia on a ‘totally new’ approach to heart disease, Fierce Biotech, September 17, 2014
Sanofi has stepped up with a $45 million down payment on a potential $200 million early-stage deal to develop new drugs for heart muscle disease. The pharma giant inked one if its rare small-biotech collaboration pacts with MyoKardia, a South San Francisco-based biotech that was funded by Third Rock a couple of years ago. Link

5) AstraZeneca gets up to $500 million from Lilly for Alzheimer’s drug, Reuters, September 16, 2014
AstraZeneca has signed a partnership deal with U.S. rival Eli Lilly that could earn the British company up to $500 million if a promising – but risky – experimental Alzheimer’s drug proves successful. AstraZeneca said in May that it was looking to find a partner for its so-called BACE inhibitor drug called AZD3293, which is set to enter late-stage Phase III clinical testing against Alzheimer’s. Link

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:



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