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March 22, 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 
 
Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence™ makes outsourcing easy
As a leading biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence™ offers tailor-made contract development and manufacturing services to the biopharmaceutical industry, providing the entire production technology chain from DNA to fill and finish under one roof at its facilities in Biberach (Germany), Vienna (Austria) and Fremont (USA). Explore BI BioXcellence™
  Health Care & Policy 
  • Va. law restricts biosimilar substitutions
    A new law in Virginia forbids pharmacists from dispensing a biosimilar substitution to a brand-name biologic drug if the prescribing physician specifies the prescription must be dispensed as written or if a patient wants the branded drug. Pharmacists must inform the patient before dispensing a biosimilar and must note the product name and manufacturer on the prescription label and dispensing record. Pharmacists also must give patients cost information on the branded and biosimilar products under the law, which would remain in effect until 2015. Drug Store News (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Parkinson's researchers might be chasing the wrong culprit
    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Elan, NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals and Prana Biotechnology are among the drugmakers developing therapies that focus on reducing alpha-synuclein in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients, but new research associates low levels of the protein with worsening symptoms. Parkinson's patients who had the lowest production of alpha-synuclein had a 23% higher risk of developing dementia or becoming disabled than patients with the highest levels, researchers reported at an American Academy of Neurology meeting. Bloomberg (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA panel endorses Titan's Probuphine for opioid addiction
    A panel of FDA advisers recommended the approval of Titan Pharmaceuticals' Probuphine to treat opioid addiction. The vote was 10-4, with one abstention. Probuphine is a long-acting version of Subutex and Suboxone. Some advisers, however, expressed concern that the firm's risk-mitigation strategy might not be adequate. Reuters (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Celgene partners with Bluebird to develop gene therapies for cancer
    Celgene and Bluebird Bio agreed to collaborate in the discovery, development and marketing of gene therapies for cancer. The collaboration will center on modification of patients' chimeric antigen receptor T cells to target and kill cancer cells. Celgene will pay Bluebird an undisclosed upfront fee and as much as $225 million in option and milestone payments for each product arising from the collaboration. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • GSK's malaria vaccine gradually loses efficacy, small study shows
    The protection rate of GlaxoSmithKline's RTS,S, an experimental malaria vaccine for children, reaches as high as 53% initially, but decreases after eight months, protecting 16.8% of children over a four-year period, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Since the findings were based on a small, midstage trial, they failed to "provide definitive answers about the duration of protection or how the vaccine candidate works in different malaria transmission settings," a GSK spokeswoman said. Reuters (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • T cell therapy shows promise against acute adult leukemia
    A cellular therapy has induced remission in a deadly form of adult acute leukemia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center researchers reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The therapy uses disabled viruses to program T cells to attack B cells, and it has been used to treat other forms of leukemia. "This is the first report showing some real, clinically beneficial activity in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia," said Dr. Carl June of the University of Pennsylvania, who is developing a similar treatment. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • Calif. institute grants $26M for stem cell work
    The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded Cellular Dynamics International $16 million to develop three induced pluripotent stem cell lines for each of 3,000 samples from healthy and ill donors. The institute also will give $10 million to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research to create a biobank for the cell lines and a repository for the samples. American City Business Journals/Philadelphia (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Food & Agriculture 
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • Tesoro agrees to buy algae-based crude oil from Sapphire Energy
    Tesoro has signed a deal to purchase an undisclosed quantity of algae-based crude oil produced at Sapphire Energy's demonstration-scale facility in Columbus, N.M. The transaction is "the first step of a commercial relationship" between the two companies, Sapphire Energy said. Bloomberg (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  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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  SmartQuote 
If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships."
--Bertrand Russell,
British philosopher, mathematician and historian


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