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February 6, 2013
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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 
  • Opexa licenses MS T-cell therapy to Merck Serono for up to $225M
    Merck Serono has signed a deal with Opexa Therapeutics for the option to acquire exclusive development and marketing rights to Opexa's Tcelna, or imilecleucel-T, an experimental personalized T-cell treatment for multiple sclerosis, in all countries except Japan. Opexa received $5 million upfront, and would get an additional $25 million or $15 million if Merck exercises the option. Opexa is also eligible to receive as much as $195 million in milestone fees plus sales royalties. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Care & Policy 
  • Talent gap threatens biopharma research
    Pharmaceutical industry executives say they have had difficulty hiring top talent, a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute survey of CEOs found. One-third of U.S. biopharmaceutical companies have tried novel approaches to filling research and development staffing needs, including: revamping their R&D operations; narrowing focus areas; and partnering with contract research organizations, competitors, foundations or academic institutions. Researchers will increasingly need skills in developing and managing outside partnerships, an understanding of regulatory science, and knowledge of bioinformatics and health economics, biopharma CEOs say. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sanofi-Regeneron's Zaltrap wins EU approval for colon cancer
    The European Commission approved the use of Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Zaltrap, or aflibercept, in combination with irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin to treat patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who don't respond to an oxaliplatin-containing treatment regimen. The decision was based on the VELOUR study, which showed that combining Zaltrap with chemotherapy significantly prolonged survival. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA seeks more data on Hemispherx's Ampligen
    The FDA didn't approve Hemispherx Biopharma's application for its candidate chronic fatigue syndrome drug Ampligen. The drugmaker will seek an "end-of-review" meeting with regulators and could file a formal appeal. Hemispherx said the agency requested data analyses, the completion of nonclinical trials and at least one more study involving patients. Reuters (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • StemEx lowers mortality rate in patients with blood cancers
    Gamida Cell said a late-stage clinical trial found its allogeneic stem cell treatment, StemEx, can reduce mortality rates among leukemia and lymphoma patients. The death rate 100 days after StemEx treatment was 15.8%, compared with 24.5% for those treated with two double cord umbilical blood transplants. Globes (Israel) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • J&J's Janssen Labs welcomes individual life sciences entrepreneurs
    Janssen Labs, the Johnson & Johnson business accelerator program, will welcome individual life sciences entrepreneurs to join the innovation center, after working with 18 early-stage companies since it opened last year. Jansen's "concept lab" is under development and will offer 10 workstations to be leased individually, and the lab is also creating shared office space that can accommodate 20 people for use not just by scientists but in the pursuit of financing and partnerships. Xconomy (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Food & Agriculture 
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • Austria's Andritz to equip Brazilian cellulosic ethanol project
    Austria-based Andritz expects to formalize a deal this month to provide equipment to a $40 million demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant that Brazilian research agency Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira will develop in Sao Manoel. Finland's Poyry Oyj will begin building the plant in July, with production expected to begin mid-2014, said Robson Cintra de Freitas, CTC's director of business and new technology. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
--Maya Angelou,
American author and poet


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