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November 2, 2012
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  Today's Top Story 
  • Ensemble, Boehringer unite on R&D of macrocycle drugs
    Ensemble Therapeutics and Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to collaborate in the discovery and development of drugs against several disease targets using Ensemble's macrocycles collection and other drug discovery technologies. The deal entitles Ensemble to get as much as $186 million in milestone fees plus future sales royalties. Boehringer will get the exclusive rights to develop and sell the drugs arising from the partnership. Boston Herald/BizSmart blog (11/1), Xconomy/Boston (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
7 keys: Put real-world evidence into action
Life sciences organizations need to know how their therapies work in the real world once clinical trials end. And these seven key components to standardizing real-world data and analytics platforms are how they get started. Read the paper, Institutionalizing Real World Evidence.
  Health Care & Policy 
  • Approval of Lilly's human insulin paved way for "new biotechnology"
    The FDA's approval of Eli Lilly and Co.'s human insulin product developed using recombinant DNA technology 30 years ago marked the birth of "new biotechnology," writes Dr. Henry I. Miller, founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. Hundreds of drugs and diagnostic tests have been approved since then, and their sales exceed more than $100 billion annually. The advances in biotechnology continue, but the long wait for regulatory approval and high cost of developing drugs are preventing the biotech sector from reaching its full potential, he writes. Forbes (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BioMarin licenses orphan drug Firdapse to Catalyst Pharmaceutical
    BioMarin Pharmaceutical granted Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners exclusive rights to develop and market its orphan drug Firdapse, or amifampridine phosphate, for all indications in North America. Firdapse is under late-stage clinical development for Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome in the U.S., and is approved for treatment of the rare disease in Europe. BioMarin will invest $5 million in Catalyst to support its drug development efforts in the U.S. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Genzyme's leukemia drug beats existing primary MS drug in trials
    After two clinical trials, Genzyme's leukemia drug Campath, or alemtuzumab, proved more effective in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis than the current primary MS drug, interferon beta 1a. The drug also proved to be more effective in treating patients who had failed treatment with available drugs. The drug, under the name Lemtrada, could be approved in its new usage as an MS treatment before the end of the year. Los Angeles Times/ScienceNow blog (tiered subscription model) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • British researchers form stem cell company DefiniGEN
    Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. have formed a company called DefiniGEN to grow human liver cells from skin cells on a commercial scale. The company aims to provide stem cell products to entities involved in drug development and regenerative medicine. The company also has a system called OptiDIFF that has produced libraries of disease-modeled cells for various conditions. Business Weekly (U.K.) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Univ. of Wash. spinoff raises $5.8M to advance lupus drug
    Resolve Therapeutics, a University of Washington spinoff, secured $5.8 million in a second round of venture financing to further develop a drug to treat lupus by blocking excess production of inflammatory molecules implicated in the disease without suppressing the immune system. Instead of aiming for a public offering or whole-company acquisition, Resolve plans to take the drug through Phase II trials, then license it to a big drugmaker. Xconomy/Seattle (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Food & Agriculture 
  • Intrexon buys 48% of biotech salmon maker for $6M
    Intrexon agreed to pay $6 million in cash to acquire a 48% stake in AquaBounty Technologies. AquaBounty develops hybrid farmed salmon, shrimp and trout using genetic engineering methods. "This transaction will accelerate our efforts to play a leading role in solving the world’s emerging food shortages through biotechnology," said Thomas Kasser, president of Intrexon's animal science unit. "AquaBounty's pioneering work in genetically modified fish is an initial step toward creating a large-scale, efficient, and environmentally safe and sustainable global aquaculture market." Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • Researchers develop way to turn biomass into ethanol, animal feed
    Two brothers who are executives at Australia-based yeast developer Microbiogen have developed technology to convert corn husks and sugarcane into ethanol and a high-quality animal feed, according to a study presented at the AusBiotech Conference in Melbourne, Australia. The breakthrough is "very impressive" because it simultaneously addresses food and fuel concerns, said AusBiotech CEO Anna Lavelle. The brothers financed their research with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and a $2.5 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The Australian/Australian Associated Press (tiered subscription model) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from BIO 
  • Ship with FedEx
    FedEx is now offering member companies discounts of up to 35% off select FedEx services, both U.S. and international services. The BIO program with FedEx is one of the many cost-savings programs offered by BIO through its Business Solutions program. There is no charge for BIO member companies to participate in any of the BIO Business Solutions programs -- it is a benefit of membership. Learn more about the BIO and FedEx program. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."
--Ray Bradbury,
American writer

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