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October 18, 2012
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  Today's Top Story 
  Health Care & Policy 
  • ThromboGenics' eye drug Jetrea wins FDA nod
    The FDA approved ThromboGenics' Jetrea, or ocriplasmin, to treat patients with symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion. Jetrea is the first drug to be approved for this condition and provides an alternative to surgery. ThromboGenics plans to commercialize the drug in January. Reuters (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Proteon kicks off fourth trial of blood vessel-dilation drug
    Proteon Therapeutics started patient enrollment for an early-stage trial of PRT-201, an experimental blood vessel-dilation drug, as it moves toward a proposed acquisition by Novartis. The trial is the fourth clinical study for PRT-201. Researchers plan to use the drug, in combination with angioplasty, to open patients' arteries without stents. In 2009, Novartis said it would acquire Proteon for at least $550 million if midstage studies are successful. American City Business Journals/Kansas City, Mo. (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Scientists develop nonviral method for iPS cell production
    South Korean researchers have converted adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells using nanoparticles and liposomal magnetofection instead of viral vectors. Researchers said the method was free from adverse effects and may improve and hasten the production of the cells. The findings were published in PLOS One. The Korea Herald (Seoul) (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Company & Financial News 
  • Cebix raises $30.9M to further experimental diabetes drug
    Cebix said it secured $30.9 million in a Series B financing round, and appointed Joel Martin, a biotech industry veteran, as its chief executive officer. The biotech firm will use the money to fund its operations through a Phase II trial of Ersatta, a C-peptide replacement therapy for diabetes-related microvascular problems. Xconomy/San Diego (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Consortium creates rare disease science challenge
    Assay Depot, the Rare Genomics Institute and 19 life sciences companies are offering $400,000 in laboratory services, technology and other resources, plus $10,000 in cash, in the Rare Disease Science Challenge. An expert scientific panel will review online proposals from researchers at nonprofit institutions, and Facebook users in the rare disease community will vote on top proposals for the $10,000 prize. Xconomy/San Diego (10/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Deals 
  • Covagen, Mitsubishi collaborate to develop bispecific FynomAbs
    Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Covagen entered into a research and licensing agreement to develop bispecific therapeutic proteins against two pairs of targets using Covagen's Fynomer-antibody platform. Fynomers can be developed to bind to antigens, antibodies and other therapeutics proteins. The deal entitles Covagen to about $5.2 million upfront and as much as $140.2 million in milestone payments for the first pair of targets plus sales royalties. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Food & Agriculture 
  • Vending group urges members to reject biotech labeling law
    Larry Atnip, president of the California Automatic Vendors Council, called on the group's members and other vending operators to support the campaign against the Proposition 37 biotech labeling law. The law opens the door to lawsuits against grocers for selling mislabeled products, Atnip said. The measure would have extremely negative effects on all businesses that sell food products in the state, he said. (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • USDA awards $10M grant for renewable fuel research
    The Department of Agriculture has awarded a five-year, $10 million grant for research on the potential of using switchgrass, shrub willow and miscanthus as renewable fuels. "This will basically complete our efforts in every corner of the country as part of our overall effort to promote biofuel, both in terms of automobiles and truck transportation as well as aviation and marine fuel," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The study will involve researchers from 20 companies and institutions. (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from BIO 
  • Are you taking full advantage of your membership?
    BIO's cost-savings program, BIO Business Solutions, is helping 2,700 companies nationwide save on the cost of essential products and services. Members of BIO and 43 state and regional biotech associations are eligible to receive preferential pricing and other benefits at no additional cost beyond their membership dues. VWR International, FedEx, Office Depot and Business Wire are just a few of the industry leading providers that offer special pricing through this members-only program. Learn more or enroll here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."
--Guillaume Apollinaire,
French writer, poet and critic

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