Tekmira gets new name, will focus on hepatitis B drug development | FDA grants breakthrough designation to Bristol-Myers' HIV drug | EU approves Amgen's cholesterol drug
July 22, 2015
Bio SmartBrief

Today's Top Story
Tekmira gets new name, will focus on hepatitis B drug development
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced it will rename itself Arbutus Biopharma Corp. following its acquisition of OnCore Biopharma. The combined company will focus on the development of a chronic hepatitis B treatment and will suspend all activities related to the Ebola vaccine TKM-Ebola. A specific business unit will be created to concentrate on non-hepatitis B programs. BioSpace (San Francisco) (7/20)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Making Customer Feedback Count
Whether you're a startup or an established business, coming up with new features or products customers want isn't a mystery—all you have to do is ask. Click here to read Boomtown: Think Like a Startup

Health Care & Policy
FDA grants breakthrough designation to Bristol-Myers' HIV drug
Bristol-Myers Squibb's investigational HIV drug BMS-663068 has been designated a breakthrough therapy by the FDA for use in previously treated patients and those who have developed resistance to other therapies. The designation was granted based on data from a midstage trial. A late-stage trial is underway. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
EU approves Amgen's cholesterol drug
The European Commission has granted approval to Amgen's Repatha, or evolocumab, as a treatment for patients with genetic predisposition to high cholesterol and those who are intolerant or insufficiently responsive to statins. The approval was based on trial data showing the drug yielded about a 55% to 75% reduction in LDL cholesterol in patients with primary hyperlipidemia and mixed dyslipidemia, and about a 15% to 30% reduction in patients with high-risk homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, compared with placebo. Reuters (7/21), PharmaTimes (U.K.) (7/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Exelixis' kidney cancer drug performs well in late-stage trial
A late-stage trial found that Exelixis' Cometriq, or cabozantinib, was associated with longer overall survival and a 42% reduction in death or disease progression risk among patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, compared with everolimus. Cometriq is already approved to treat medullary thyroid cancer. BioSpace (San Francisco) (7/20)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Janssen to support Forge Therapeutics' pilot study
Forge Therapeutics' pilot study of its chemistry platform designed to discover novel metalloprotein inhibitors will receive funding from Janssen's research-and-development unit. Financial terms were not disclosed. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (7/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Company & Financial News
Horizon raises offer for Depomed
Horizon Pharma has increased its all-stock bid for Depomed to $33 a share, up from $29.25 earlier this month. Depomed's directors said the previous offer was not in its shareholders' interest. The New York Times (single-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Discovery Laboratories targets $35M from stock offering
Warrington, Pa.-based Discovery Laboratories hopes to secure $35 million in a public stock offering. The firm will use part of the money to support the development of its midstage Aerosurf therapy, which is designed to treat premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome. American City Business Journals/Philadelphia (7/20)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Exact Sciences announces public stock sale
Exact Sciences announced Monday that it is selling 7 million shares in a public offering to raise funds for the commercialization of its Cologuard colorectal cancer test. Funds generated from the stock sale will also be used as working capital and for product development. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (7/20)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
The Latest From BIO ...
Registration is open for the 2015 BIO Latin America Conference!
BIO Latin America, happening Oct. 14-16 in Rio de Janeiro, delivers expert-led panel discussions on the latest market and investment opportunities and key policy trends affecting the region, company presentations, and partnering opportunities. Register today.
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Food & Agriculture
Monsanto's R&D site in India expanded
Monsanto inaugurated its newly expanded vegetable seed research-and-development site located near Bengaluru. The company plans to soon introduce a white cauliflower variety and a new variety of tomato that has a longer shelf life. The Hindu Business Line (India) (7/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Industrial & Environmental
Levulinic acid commercial scale production has begun, firm announces at World Congress
The commercial scale production of levulinic acid, a biomass-derived chemical that can be used as a replacement for petroleum-based products in various sectors, has been initiated by GFBiochemicals in Caserta, Italy, the company announced during the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal. "A fundamentally lower price range is now possible using our unique technology. This will give access to previously undiscovered market segments," GFBiochemicals Chief Commercial Officer Marcel van Berkel said. PlasticsToday.com (7/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
News From BIO
Summer 2015 BIO Therapeutic Newsletters
The BIO Emerging Companies Section Policy Team has compiled the latest news to keep you informed on the action in Washington with respect to the disease category on which your company is focused. Topics covered comprise: Allergy/Infectious Disease/Antiviral; Cardiology/Pulmonology/Blood; Nephrology/Endocrinology/Metabolism/Gastroenterology; Neurology/CNS; Oncology; and Rheumatology/Anesthesia/Inflammation/Pain. BIO has included updates from biotech stakeholders around Washington, including Congress, FDA, NIH, and patient organizations. Access our Summer 2015 Therapeutic Newsletters.
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Press Releases
Post a Press Release
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure."
-- Confucius,
philosopher and teacher
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Learn more about BIO ->Conferences | Join Bio | Media | Issues | Industry
The news summaries appearing in BIO SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The information is not compiled or summarized by BIO. Questions and comments should be directed to SmartBrief at bio@smartbrief.com.
Subscriber Tools
Please contact one of our specialists for advertising opportunities, editorial inquiries, job placements, or any other questions.
Editor:  Tara Rosenzweig
Advertising:  Meryl Harold
  P: 202.407.7828

Download the SmartBrief App  iTunes / Android
iTunes  Android
Mailing Address:
SmartBrief, Inc.®, 555 11th ST NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004
© 1999-2015 SmartBrief, Inc.®
Privacy policy |  Legal Information