Takeda to cover costs of 3-year R&D project focused on GI disorders | U.K. academics to have access to stalled pharmaceutical compounds | Germany lists drugmakers with products suspended over data questions
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December 11, 2014
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Takeda to cover costs of 3-year R&D project focused on GI disorders
Takeda Pharmaceutical, the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Australia's Monash University agreed to collaborate in the discovery and development of new drugs for gastrointestinal diseases. Takeda will shoulder the costs of the three-year research project, which will be headed by Monash Institute deputy director Nigel Bunnett and his colleague Dr. Daniel Poole. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (12/9)
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Get Creative: 10 Ways to Think Outside the Box
No matter your business, smart solutions come from out-of-the-box thinking. We all know creativity is king, but are you doing all you can to inspire and encourage creativity in your staff? Read the article and learn 10 ways to inspire creativity at your office.

U.K. academics to have access to stalled pharmaceutical compounds
Seven pharmaceutical companies, including Takeda, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and Pfizer, are partnering with the U.K. Medical Research Council to make 68 drug compounds no longer under investigation available to academic researchers. "Repurposing abandoned compounds could lead to the development of new medicines for many debilitating conditions," said Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills. Chemistry World magazine online (12/10)
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Germany lists drugmakers with products suspended over data questions
Germany's Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices has identified 16 makers of generic drugs who have products that were suspended over concerns regarding the quality of data from clinical studies performed by GVK Biosciences of India. Mylan, Dr. Reddy's and Stada are among the makers of the 80 suspended products. Reuters (12/9)
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Asia Pacific
Biosimilar of Humira selling in India for one-fifth of U.S. brand-name price
Cadila Healthcare's biosimilar version of AbbVie's top-selling anti-inflammatory drug Humira, or adalimumab, will be sold in India at about 20% of the brand-name drug's U.S. price. The biosimilar is not expected to be available in the U.S. until 2019. Reuters (12/9)
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North America
Ebola vaccine makers offered legal immunity in U.S.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell acted Tuesday to speed the development of three experimental Ebola vaccines by granting their makers liability immunity in the U.S. The declaration was made under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The decision extends protections similar to those for makers of childhood vaccines. Reuters (12/9), The Hill (12/9)
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Cubist accepts Merck's $9.5B buyout offer
Merck will pay $8.4 billion in equity and assume $1.1 billion in debt to purchase antibiotics maker Cubist Pharmaceuticals. The acquisition will allow Merck to "create a stronger position in hospital acute care while addressing critical areas of unmet medical need, such as antibiotic resistance," Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said. The deal will give Merck access to Cubist's drugs for superbugs, including its lead product Cubicin, or daptomycin, the only approved once-daily treatment for S. aureus bacteremia and complicated skin and skin structure infections. Reuters (12/8), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (12/8), The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (12/8)
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Billionaire launches cell research institute with $100 million pledge
Former Microsoft executive Paul Allen has pledged $100 million to establish the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle. "We really don't have a good idea of how normal cells work, and what goes wrong in disease," said Rick Horwitz, who will lead the organization. The institute's first focus will be an examination of how stem cells derived from adult tissue differentiate. The Seattle Times (12/8), Nature (free content) (12/8)
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WHO: Global malaria mortality down 47%
Global malaria deaths dropped 47% from 2000 to 2013, while mortality in Africa, where 9 in 10 malaria deaths occur, decreased by 54%, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO said aggressive malaria control programs, better diagnostic testing and improved treatment have helped. Reuters (12/9)
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Study: Pharma sector records higher R&D return this year
A Deloitte study showed that pharmaceutical R&D returns increased to 5.5% this year from 5.1% last year as drugmakers continue to replenish their pipelines after a series of patent expirations that peaked in 2012. To date, 35 products have been approved by the FDA this year, up from 27 products last year. "There are signs that returns from pharmaceutical R&D are turning a corner. ... However, we continue to see a relentless rise in the costs to develop a new medicine," said Julian Remnant, who heads Deloitte's European R&D advisory practice. Reuters (12/9)
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