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October 19, 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 bio@smartbrief.com.

  Today's Top Story 
  • Merck, Vertex and Bristol-Myers win top Prix Galien honors
    Bristol-Myers Squibb's melanoma drug Yervoy was named the best biotechnology product at this year's Prix Galien USA awards, among the highest honors in pharmaceutical research and development. The award for best pharmaceutical agent was shared by hepatitis C drugs Incivek, by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Victrelis, by Merck & Co. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
5 positive ways to respond to negative comments.
Social media is a great way to connect with your customers, but what do you do when the conversation takes a negative turn? With 5 tips, you can learn how to positively respond and help direct the conversation. Read the article and learn the 5 ways to respond positively.

  Health Care & Policy 
 
  • Actavis CEO: Biologic developers will compete on biosimilars
    Manufacturers of branded biologic drugs are likely to be the same ones making less-expensive biosimilar drugs, at least initially, outgoing Actavis CEO Claudio Albrecht said. After a regulatory path for biosimilars has been well-established, large generic-drug makers could dominate the market, he said. Reuters (10/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA backs approval of Aegerion's and Genzyme-Isis' cholesterol drugs
    A panel of FDA advisers endorsed the approval of Kynamro, or mipomersen, developed by Sanofi unit Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals, as an add-on treatment for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. The same panel recommended that Aegerion Pharmaceuticals' lomitapide be approved as an adjuvant treatment for HoFH and other severe lipid disorders. Reuters (10/18), MedPage Today (free registration) (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NCI, Kite team up to develop T cell therapies for cancers
    The National Cancer Institute and Kite Pharma agreed to collaborate in the development of engineered peripheral blood autologous T-cell therapies for multiple cancer indications. The deal gives Kite access to NCI's pipeline of autologous peripheral blood T cells designed to target hematologic and solid tumors. "Kite will focus its efforts and resources to advance the NCI clinical product pipeline into multi-center studies aimed at successful registration and commercialization," said Kite President and CEO Aya Jakobovits. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (10/18), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cadaver cells could help in novel stem cell therapies' efforts
    Cells from the brain linings and scalps of dead people can be transformed into any cell or tissue in the body, according to a study in the journal PLoS ONE. Research could aid in efforts related to novel stem cell therapies and enhance people's understanding of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder and autism. LiveScience.com (10/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Scientists find potential target for Parkinson's disease
    Researchers found the same deformities in the nuclear membrane of neural stem cells in brain tissue samples from deceased Parkinson's disease patients and found that correcting the mutation that causes the deformities reverses the phenotype. Researchers with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies studied induced pluripotent stem cells derived from Parkinson’s patients carrying the luceine-rich repeat kinase 2 mutation previously associated with the disease, then repaired the cells in vitro. The research, published in the journal Nature, "is a way for us to start asking questions about how we can use a selective small molecule to maybe reverse a disease phenotype for Parkinson's," said Jeremy Nichols, a researcher at The Parkinson’s Institute. The Scientist (free registration) (10/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Clinical Trial Data Transparency Forum: Expert insights
Hear industry and academic thought leaders - from Duke Clinical Research Institute, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and more - share valuable insight on their clinical trial data transparency and sharing initiatives. This video covers a number of key perspectives and trends.

  Company & Financial News 
  • BioCryst merges with hepatitis C drugmaker
    BioCryst Pharmaceuticals agreed to acquire Presidio Pharmaceuticals in an all-stock transaction worth about $101 million. The merger will bring together lead programs in infectious and orphan diseases, including hepatitis C and hereditary angioedema. The deal is expected to be finalized early next year. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Food & Agriculture 
  • French researchers urged to release data in biotech corn study
    Hundreds of scientists and academics joined several research bodies to encourage French researcher Gilles-Eric Séralini and his colleagues to release complete details of their much criticized study that linked Monsanto's biotech corn with tumors in rats. "The serious demands by Séralini that regulatory bodies and the public make decisions about how food is grown based on his report require that he be transparent about the means and measures by which he has drawn conclusions," said Klaus Ammann of Switzerland's Biosafety Committee. FoodNavigator (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Iowa ethanol maker agrees to use Syngenta's Enogen corn in 2013
    Plymouth Energy has agreed to begin using Syngenta's Enogen corn at its ethanol plant in Merrill, Iowa, starting next fall. The Enogen corn is expected to improve the plant's efficiency by reducing energy and water consumption. "As profit margins in the industry continue to shrink, we're always looking for ways to be more efficient," said Plymouth Energy CEO Eamonn Byrne. DomesticFuel.com (10/16) 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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  SmartQuote 
Not all those who wander are lost."
--J.R.R. Tolkien,
British writer, poet, philologist and professor


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