Top 5 News Stories 7/23-7/27
1) KeraFAST moves headquarters to Boston
A startup that offers a faster way to sell difficult-to-access research materials from the laboratories of academic investigators has opened its new headquarters in Boston’s Innovation District. KeraFAST Inc. broke ground Wednesday on its new 3,000-square-foot offices at 27 Drydock Ave.
2) Bluebird soars with $60M fundraise
Gene therapy company bluebird bio has closed its $60 million Series D financing from new and existing investors, the company announced Wednesday. Deerfield Partners, RA Capital, Ramius Capital Group and two “undisclosed” public investment funds participated in the round along with existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, Third Rock Ventures, TVM Capital and Forbion Capital Partners.
3) Gen9 hopes to be the Intel of custom DNA
The founders of Gen9 believe that just as cheap, plentiful microchips revolutionized the world we live in, so will cheap, plentiful genetic material. It will lead to breakthrough drugs, new ways of making fuel without oil, and perhaps even biologically based information storage systems.
4) FDA approves Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ blood cancer drug Kyprolis
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it approved a new blood cancer drug from Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. for patients with advanced disease who have not responded to at least two other drugs. The injectable drug Kyprolis treats multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that causes tumors to grow in the bone marrow, preventing the production of normal blood cells.
5) Artificial jellyfish built from rat cells
Bioengineers have made an artificial jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. The synthetic creature, dubbed a medusoid, looks like a flower with eight petals. When placed in an electric field, it pulses and swims exactly like its living counterpart. “Morphologically, we’ve built a jellyfish. Functionally, we’ve built a jellyfish. Genetically, this thing is a rat,” says Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the work. The project is described today in Nature Biotechnology.