Heptares agrees to purchase G7 for $11.8M | Ariad's treatment for rare leukemias receives FDA approval | FDA grants priority review to Merck's Keytruda as treatment for MSI-H cancer
December 1, 2016
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Heptares agrees to purchase G7 for $11.8M
G7 Therapeutics will be purchased by Heptares Therapeutics for $11.8 million, become a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm and be renamed Heptares Zurich. The acquisition will bolster Heptares' research and development targeting G protein-coupled receptors.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (11/30) 
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Health Care & Policy
Ariad's treatment for rare leukemias receives FDA approval
Ariad Pharmaceuticals has received approval and a label update from the FDA for Iclusig, or ponatinib, for use in patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia for whom no other TKI therapy is indicated, and for the treatment of patients with T315I-positive CML or T315I-positive Ph+ acute lymphocytic leukemia. The drug initially received accelerated approval in 2012 based on earlier results of a midstage trial and was granted full approval after assessment of the four-year follow-up data from the trial.
OncLive (11/29) 
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FDA grants priority review to Merck's Keytruda as treatment for MSI-H cancer
The FDA has accepted Merck's Keytruda, or pembrolizumab, for priority review as a second-line treatment for patients with advanced microsatellite instability-high cancer. The agency's decision is expected by March 8.
PMLive.com (U.K.) (11/29) 
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Eiger seeks FDA approval for PBH drug candidate
An investigational new drug application has been submitted to the FDA by Eiger BioPharmaceuticals for exendin 9-39 to treat post-bariatric hypoglycemia. The drug, a 31-amino acid peptide, selectively targets and blocks GLP-1 receptors.
Seeking Alpha (free registration) (11/29) 
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21st Century Cures Act clears House
The 21st Century Cures Act, which contains provisions that would speed up the process for approving drugs and medical devices, passed the House by a vote of 392-26 on Wednesday and is scheduled for a vote in the Senate next week.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (11/30) 
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Gilead now marketing Truvada for HIV prevention
Gilead Sciences has begun marketing Truvada for use as a pre-exposure prophylaxis drug, reversing a previous stance supported by patient advocates. The new campaign includes print media targeting the LGBT community, with plans to expand to digital and social media.
Reuters (11/30) 
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Company & Financial News
Funding round generates $75M for Novogene
A Series B financing round has raised $75 million for China-based Novogene Technologies. The genomic sequencing firm plans to use the funds to help expand its next-generation sequencing services worldwide.
GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (11/30) 
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The BIO Asia International Conference, happening March 14-15, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan, brings together the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry to explore licensing and research collaborations in the current Asia-Pacific business and policy environments. Learn more and register.
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Industry Deals
Warp Drive hands antibiotic program R&D to Sanofi
Clinical research and development of Warp Drive Bio's aminoglycoside antibiotic program targeting Gram-negative bacteria will be managed by Sanofi after a milestone was reached in a broader collaboration launched by the firms in January. Under the terms of the collaboration, Sanofi will handle commercialization of antibiotics worldwide and will pay Warp Drive milestones and tiered royalties.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (11/30) 
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Food & Agriculture
Need for education on benefits of biotech foods remains
This year was a positive one for biotech foods with the implementation of a nationwide labeling law after 15 years of debate and a report from the National Academy of Sciences concluding the safety of biotech foods, writes Joseph Clayton of the International Food Information Council. However, work should continue to educate consumers on the new labels and communicate how the benefits of biotech food align with their values, he writes.
Forbes (11/30) 
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Industrial & Environmental
Iowa researchers turn plants into bioplastic pots
Iowa State University researchers have created biodegradable pots using bioplastics derived from corn and soybeans. "The plastics that had a soy component were consistently leading to plants with darker green leaves or to growth that was enhanced compared to containers that didn't include a soy component" and "also led to a structurally better root system," said horticulture professor Bill Graves.
Iowa Public Radio (11/28) 
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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.
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