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December 12, 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

  Today's Top Story 
  • Xenon licenses pain drug to Teva in deal potentially worth $376M
    Xenon Pharmaceuticals granted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries global rights to develop and sell its experimental pain drug XEN402, which is designed to inhibit the Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 sodium channels in sensory nerves. Xenon will get $41 million upfront plus as much as $335 million in milestone fees. "Teva is building a focused pipeline of novel medicines in select areas of medical need. XEN402 fits this strategy," Teva President and CEO Jeremy M. Levin said. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teva will narrow its portfolio: Teva Pharmaceutical announced plans to halt five research programs and refocus drug development efforts on diseases of the respiratory and central nervous systems. Bloomberg (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Amarin to Launch Vascepa Alone with $100M Debt Financing
In a conference call last week, Amarin Corp. plc CEO Joe Zakrzewski insisted that it would be "a mistake" to assume that the company's decision to launch Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) on its own through the use of a $100 million debt instrument meant that it had abandoned its search for a partner. Find out the details.

  Health Care & Policy 
  • AstraZeneca, Isis unite to develop antisense cancer drugs
    Isis Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca agreed to jointly discover and develop antisense treatments against five cancer targets. The agreement also covers rights to develop and market Isis' experimental drug ISIS-STAT3Rx, which is in Phase I development for patients with advanced lymphomas. The deal entitles Isis to $31 million upfront and near-term fees, plus potential licensing and milestone payments and sales royalties. Reuters (12/11), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • GSK partners with cancer center to develop muscular dystrophy drugs
    The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and GlaxoSmithKline agreed to collaborate in the development of a small-molecule drug against facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. GSK scientists will work together with a group of Hutchinson researchers led by Stephen Tapscott, who has been studying the genetics of the illness. The cancer center will receive an upfront fee and research funding plus possible milestone fees and royalties. Xconomy/Seattle (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NIH announces Big Data, biomedical research initiatives
    The NIH announced new initiatives and grants intended to boost biomedical research and improve data handling and sharing. Among the initiatives are Big Data to Knowledge to develop policies and software for sharing and analyzing data, InfrastructurePLUS to modernize the NIH's computer network and support high-performance computing and storage, Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity to give mentoring and financial support for undergraduates, and the National Research Mentoring Network to bring mentors together with students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Prize4Life and Mass. General set up ALS database
    Prize4Life, Massachusetts General Hospital's Neurological Clinical Research Institute, the ALS Therapy Alliance and the Northeast ALS Consortium are partnering to create the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials database focused on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Sanofi, Novartis, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals provided support as well. The database will be open to researchers worldwide and will pool data from publicly and privately funded clinical trials for the world's. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Disease-causing mutations are very common, study finds
    The 179 healthy people from the United States, Japan, China and Nigeria who had their genomes analyzed as part of the 1,000 Genomes project had a surprisingly high number of mutations associated with disease, researchers report in the American Journal of Human Genetics. "The critical take-home medicine here ... is that as we enter the age of genomic medicine, simply having a mutation in a disease gene does not mean you have the disease or will get the disease," geneticist Robert Green of Harvard said. National Public Radio/Shots blog (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • Galera lands $11M in venture capital funding
    Galera Therapeutics, which specializes in drugs that target oxygen metabolic pathways as possible treatments for diseases such as cancer and fibrosis, obtained $11 million in a Series A funding round led by New Enterprise Associates and Novartis Venture Fund. The biotech firm will use the money to fund clinical development of its small molecule drugs as treatments for chemoradiation-induced mucositis. American City Business Journals/Philadelphia (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Food & Agriculture 
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • U.S. cellulosic biofuel output to climb nearly 20-fold in 2013
    Cellulosic biofuel production is expected to reach 9.6 million gallons next year, nearly 20 times more than the approximately 500,000 gallons this year, according to data gathered by the Energy Information Administration. KiOR, Ineos Bio and Abengoa are among the companies scaling up operations. "You're seeing the commercialization and the first wave of plants coming on," Novozymes North America President Adam Monroe said. Bloomberg (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  News from BIO 
  • 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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