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October 16, 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 
 
  • AiCuris licenses HCMV portfolio to Merck
    AiCuris granted Merck & Co. global rights to develop and market its portfolio of drug candidates targeting the human cytomegalovirus. The deal covers AiCuris' drug candidate letermovir, or AIC246, which has been evaluated in a midstage trial for prevention and treatment of CMV infection in transplant patients. AiCuris will receive about $142 million upfront and as much as $433 million in milestone fees plus sales royalties. "This portfolio complements Merck's broad antiviral portfolio," Merck Senior Vice President Dr. Roger Pomerantz said. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/15), Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
GSK to Shine Light on Raw Clinical Trial Data
GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) took extraordinary steps towards data transparency disclosing plans to accelerate its "open innovation" approach to R&D by allowing researchers access to detailed patient-level data underlying clinical trials both in approved medicines and failed investigational compounds. Find out the details.

  Health Care & Policy 
  • FDA staff supports NPS' bowel drug Gattex
    NPS Pharmaceuticals' Gattex helps patients with short bowel syndrome who are off a time-consuming IV nutrition program, FDA staff said. Advisers might rely on this report when they vote Tuesday on whether to endorse approval. The FDA is set to make a final decision by Dec. 30. Bloomberg (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA gives OK for autism cord blood stem cell study
    The FDA has approved a study that will use the stored umbilical cord blood of children with autism to treat the condition. The study will be undertaken by researchers at the Sutter Neuroscience Institute in California and will involve 30 participants. Researchers will look for an effect on language and behavior. Examiner.com (10/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • NovImmune's orphan drug candidate wins $7.8M grant
    A consortium of European researchers received a grant worth about $7.8 million from the European Commission to fund clinical studies of NovImmune's NI-0501, an anti-IFN╬│ monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, an orphan disease that affects mainly children. The consortium, led by NovImmune, includes Lonza Biologics and two children's hospitals in Italy. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Developments 
  • Pharmaron and AstraZeneca enter drug-discovery deal in China
    AstraZeneca will collaborate with Pharmaron to accelerate drug discovery in China. The deal will boost AstraZeneca's 300-strong team in the country by adding "a few hundred" scientists, said Martin Mackay, president of global research and development. The agreement will cover treatments for respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and infectious diseases, as well as inflammation, neuroscience and cancer, Mackay said. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Food & Agriculture 
  • Scientists find nematode-resistant gene in soybeans
    Researchers have identified a gene that makes some soybean varieties tolerant to the cyst nematode, a pathogen that can be responsible for $1 billion in annual losses in the U.S. soybean crop. The gene creates an enzyme that can starve nematodes. The discovery, published in the journal Nature, could lead to biotech soybeans with complete resistance, said Greg Tylka, a professor of plant pathology at Iowa State University, who was not involved in the study. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • Industry seeks to weaken EU cap on crop-based fuels
    European biofuel and farm groups, as well as some European Commission departments, are urging the EU to reconsider a plan that would impose a 5% limit on the use of crop-based biofuels in the transportation sector. The proposed cap is part of the EU's efforts to address indirect land-use change. However, the plan could lead to "the loss of hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and the total disappearance of the biodiesel sector," wrote farm and biodiesel producers in a letter to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Reuters (10/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • BIOtechNOW
    BIOtechNOW is the first in a number of new products from BIO intended to enhance our communications with the biotech community -- not only with our members, but with other stakeholders as well. This e-newsletter, combined with its website, serves as our flagship in that effort. BIOtechNOW will offer original content that emphasizes the business needs of the industry; highlight BIO's advocacy efforts; and provide a portal to all BIO activities and events. Most importantly, it will spotlight for those outside the industry the value of biotechnology. Sign up for the e-newsletter. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it."
--Amelia Barr,
British novelist


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