Gilead Sciences has granted Amygdala Neurosciences rights to GS-6637, an ALDH2 inhibitor, which is expected to enter midstage trials this year as a potential treatment for alcohol and cocaine dependence. Amygdala will pay undisclosed milestone and royalty fees and gave Gilead an equity stake in the firm.
Boehringer Ingelheim's Spiriva Respimat, or tiotropium bromide, has been approved by the FDA for use as a long-term, once-a-day treatment for asthma in patients at least 6 years old. The drug was initially approved for the same condition for patients 12 years and older.
IBSA's Tirosint-SOL, or levothyroxine sodium oral solution, has been approved by the FDA as a liquid formulation to treat hypothyroidism and thyroid stimulating hormone suppression to manage certain forms of thyroid cancer. The firm plans to launch the drug within six months.
A new-drug application for ALKS 5461, or samidorphan and buprenorphine, as an adjunct treatment for major depressive disorder will be submitted by Alkermes to the FDA in the second half of the year. The drug candidate has met the primary endpoint of a late-stage trial.
ViiV Healthcare reports that a combination of its dolutegravir and Janssen's rilpivirine was effective as a maintenance therapy for patients with HIV. The virus remained undetectable in 95% of patients receiving the two-drug combination compared with 96% of those who continued their original regimen.
A mezzanine financing round has brought in $41 million for Boston-based Rhythm. The firm intends to start late-stage and midstage studies this year for RM-493, or setmelanotide, as a treatment for leptin receptor deficiency obesity, Bardet-Biedl syndrome and several other disorders.
National University of Ireland Galway and the University of Leicester will share a grant of roughly $740,000 to study potential treatments for Huntington's disease, a neurological disorder. The grant was awarded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK and Science Foundation Ireland.
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Biotech maize could be an option for South Africa and nearby countries to fight fall armyworms, which plague maize and other staple crops. The pests have grown resistant to many chemical pesticides, writes Lancaster University professor Kenneth Wilson.
The Environmental Protection Agency's chemical-review program could receive better marks from the Government Accountability Office if the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act helps improve information-sharing and makes other reforms. "Using both new and previously existing TSCA authorities should enhance the agency's ability to gather new information as necessary to evaluate hazard and exposure risks," a GAO report says.
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The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.
Charles Du Bos, writer and critic
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