Janssen extends cancer drug-development pact with Aduro | FDA allows Chimerix to conduct trials of experimental Ebola drug | Sanofi Pasteur signs herpes drug development deal with Immune Design
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October 17, 2014
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Janssen extends cancer drug-development pact with Aduro
Janssen Biotech, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, was granted exclusive global rights to develop and market lung cancer drugs using Aduro BioTech's LADD immunotherapy platform as part of an expanded deal between the firms. Janssen will be in charge of research and development, manufacturing, regulatory filings and marketing of all licensed products. The deal entitles Aduro to $30 million upfront and as much as $817 million in milestone fees. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/16), American City Business Journals/San Francisco/BiotechSF blog (10/16)
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Health Care & Policy
FDA allows Chimerix to conduct trials of experimental Ebola drug
The FDA has permitted Chimerix to conduct clinical trials to test brincidofovir, its experimental broad-spectrum antiviral drug, against Ebola. The emergency investigational new drug application submitted by the company was supported by data from in vitro assessments and ongoing animal testing. FDAnews (10/15)
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Sanofi Pasteur signs herpes drug development deal with Immune Design
Sanofi Pasteur and Immune Design agreed to collaborate in the development of combination therapies for herpes simplex virus using Immune Design's GLAAS drug discovery technology. Sanofi will shoulder all preclinical and clinical development costs and will get the rights to further develop and market the most promising drug candidates. Immune Design will get milestone and royalty fees on products arising from the partnership. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/16)
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Astellas, Harvard partner to develop gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa
Astellas Pharma and Harvard Medical School researchers will collaborate to investigate new therapeutic targets and develop a gene therapy for patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a disease caused by genetic mutations that leads to loss of peripheral and night vision. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (10/14)
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Regeneron Genetics Center partners with 3 institutions to study Mendelian, other diseases
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' subsidiary the Regeneron Genetics Center has signed research collaborations with the Clinic for Special Children, Baylor College of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The collaboration will focus on various Mendelian diseases and include genetic studies of familial disorders and pediatric diseases in certain populations. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (10/16)
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Company & Financial News
HHS awards $5.8 million to support Ebola vaccine development
Profectus BioSciences has received a $5.8 million one-year contract from HHS to develop an Ebola vaccine to be used in animal safety studies and future clinical trials. The contract could be extended and reach up to $8.6 million. The firm expects to begin clinical trials by the middle of next year. FederalTimes.com (10/16), The Baltimore Sun (10/16), Modern Healthcare (free registration) (10/16)
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Food & Agriculture
Biotech crop harvests have surpassed 4 billion acres since 1996, group says
Advocacy group The Truth About Trade and Technology said that over 4 billion acres of biotech crops have been harvested worldwide since 1996. These figures illustrate the importance of biotech crops in feeding the world, said Bill Horan, the group's chairman. "There are a lot of voices out there critical of biotechnology, spinning their precautionary tales. Four billion acres of biotech crops have filled a lot of stomachs, and biotech is one of the answers for meeting agriculture's goal to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050," Horan added. Farm Futures (10/13)
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Industrial & Environmental
BIO agrees with USDA report on growth of bio-based product market
A Department of Agriculture report showed that the U.S. bio-based products and renewable chemicals sector benefits the economy and continues to grow despite market challenges. The agency expects the renewable chemical sector to continue its strong growth and account for more than 10% of the chemicals market by next year. "The bioeconomy is rapidly growing, creating new economic opportunities and providing well-paying jobs for tens of thousands of Americans," said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's industrial and environmental section. Chemistry World magazine online (10/16)
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EPA Green Chemistry Award recipients include Amyris, Solazyme
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the winners of its Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for products that decrease energy, water and chemical waste and reduce manufacturing costs. Among the winners are Amyris, which engineered yeast to create a renewable fuel, and Solazyme, which developed novel oils from engineered algae and sugar in a manner that decreases environmental impact. Environmental Leader (10/17)
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News From BIO
Summer 2014 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 attempted to include updates from biotech stakeholders around Washington, including Congress, FDA, NIH, and patient organizations. Access our Summer 2014 Therapeutic Newsletters. Should you have any comments or questions, please contact Matt Stross.
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People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,
American psychiatrist
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