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December 11, 2012
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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.

  Today's Top Story 
 
  • Amgen agrees to acquire deCODE Genetics for $415M
    Amgen plans to purchase Iceland-based deCODE Genetics, a pioneer in finding genetic risk factors for various diseases, for $415 million in cash, improving its capability to develop better targeted drugs. The deal "fits perfectly with our objective to pursue rapid development of relevant molecules that reach the right disease targets, while avoiding investments in programs based on less well-validated targets," CEO Robert Bradway of Amgen said. The acquisition is expected to be finalized before year-end. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (12/10), Reuters (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Health Care & Policy 
  • FDA expands approval for J&J's Zytiga drug
    Johnson & Johnson received expanded FDA approval for its Zytiga drug to be used prior to chemotherapy treatment in patients with advanced prostate cancer. Zytiga was first approved in 2011. The therapy is used to reduce testosterone production. Reuters (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Biogen partners with Isis on R&D for antisense drugs
    Biogen Idec and Isis Pharmaceuticals agreed to collaborate in the discovery and development of antisense drugs against three neurological or neuromuscular disease targets. Isis, which will get $30 million upfront from Biogen, will be in charge of the discovery of a lead antisense drug for each of the three targets. The deal entitles Isis to potential licensing and milestone fees plus sales royalties if Biogen exercises licensing options. RTT News (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nuron boosts product portfolio with Pfizer vaccine buy
    Pfizer's Meningitec vaccine, which is registered in 23 countries and is used to prevent infections of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C, has been acquired by Nuron Biotech. Nuron plans to sell the vaccine in markets with unvaccinated and under-vaccinated populations. "Meningitec is a tremendous opportunity to expand Nuron Biotech's portfolio with a commercially successful vaccine with an established market," said Nuron CEO Shankar Musunuri. American City Business Journals/Philadelphia (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pfizer-Bristol blood thinner Eliquis hits main goal in study
    Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Eliquis, or apixaban, met the primary goal of a trial by significantly reducing recurrence of blood clots and death from any causes compared with placebo in patients with previously treated venous thromboembolism. The incidence of major bleeding was extremely low among patients who took low and high doses of apixaban. Reuters (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Roche's Perjeta extends patient lives in breast cancer trial
    Roche Holding's Perjeta, or pertuzumab, significantly extended survival of women with HER2-positive breast cancer during a late-stage trial. Perjeta, in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy, lowered the risk of death by 34% compared with a regimen of placebo, Herceptin and chemotherapy. Roche sees the Perjeta combo as a potential standard therapy for women with this aggressive form of breast cancer. Reuters (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • Pharmascience to pay $8.5M for Helix BioPharma unit
    Pharmascience will acquire Helix BioPharma's Rivex Pharma unit for as much as $8.5 million. Helix, which develops drugs for the prevention and treatment of cancer, will use the money for research and development and other operations. "This transaction will enable Helix to focus our management and financial resources on our cancer therapeutics products, including our ongoing clinical trial with L-DOS47, a drug candidate for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer," Helix CEO Robert Verhagen said. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Developments 
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  Food & Agriculture 
  • FDA's approval sought to use biotech mosquitoes for dengue control
    Officials in Florida are asking for the FDA's OK to release biotech mosquitoes from the British company Oxitec to control a breed of mosquito that spreads dengue fever. Oxitec conducted a field test of mosquitoes designed to produce nonviable offspring in 2010 on Grand Cayman Island. No timetable is set for a decision, according to an FDA spokeswoman. ABC News/"World News" (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industrial & Environmental 
  News from BIO 
  • Ship with FedEx
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  SmartQuote 
Put a grain of boldness into everything you do."
--Baltasar Gracián,
Spanish writer


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