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October 3, 2012
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  Today's Top Story 
  • Astellas licenses anti-inflammatory candidate to Janssen
    Janssen Biotech obtained exclusive rights to develop and market Astellas Pharma's ASP015K as an oral therapy for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases in all countries except Japan. ASP015K, a small-molecule Janus kinase inhibitor, is under clinical development for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The deal entitles Astellas to an upfront fee, plus milestone payments and royalties. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Care & Policy 
  • InterMune's pulmonary fibrosis drug Esbriet wins Canadian approval
    Health Canada approved InterMune's Esbriet, or pirfenidone, as a therapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. InterMune expects the drug to be available in the Canadian market at the start of 2013. The drug is in an added late-stage trial after it was not approved by the FDA in 2010, and it has been approved in Japan, Europe, Argentina, South Korea, China and India. Reuters (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ablynx, Merck sign nanobody deal worth up to $590M
    Merck & Co. secured exclusive global rights from Ablynx to develop nanobodies against a selected target with an option for a second target. Nanobodies are a new class of therapeutic proteins under development for a number of conditions, including oncology and inflammation. Under the terms of the deal, Ablynx will get about $8.4 million upfront, $2.6 million in research funding, and as much as $578.6 million in milestone fees plus royalties. PharmaTimes (U.K.) (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Threshold drug shows promise against brain cancer in study
    Threshold Pharmaceuticals reported positive results for TH-302 as a glioblastoma drug candidate in an early-stage study. Patients who took a combination of TH-302 and Genentech's cancer treatment Avastin, or bevacizumab, had 128 days between the start of treatment and disease worsening, compared with 89.5 days for patients treated with only Avastin. TH-302 is being studied in patients who are preparing for brain surgery and whose disease has progressed despite previous therapy with Avastin. CNBC/The Associated Press (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers discover how to predict which flu strains succeed
    Researchers may have made it easier to predict the spread of the flu and determine which virus strains to include in the yearly vaccine by analyzing DNA sequences to find which types are best and worst at expanding their population reach. Teams from Germany and the U.K. studied thousands of 1971 influenza A strains isolated from 1969 to 2007 and looked at how mutations competed for survival and spread. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  Food & Agriculture 
  • Slow review of biotech animal-based foods upsets scientists
    The process of obtaining regulatory approval for foods derived from biotech animals has been unjustifiably slow, scientists said, and at least one has taken a discovery to another nation for development. Last month, more than 50 scientists and biotech leaders sent a letter, asking President Barack Obama to urge the FDA to decide on AquaBounty Technologies' biotech salmon. AquaBounty is still waiting for the FDA's decision two years after the agency concluded the biotech fish is safe and posed no environmental risk. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New Zealand researchers develop cow with hypoallergenic milk: Scientists at AgResearch in New Zealand have modified a cow to produce milk with 96% less of the allergen beta-lactuglobin. They used a process called RNA interference to silence the genes responsible for producing the protein, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Telegraph (London) (10/1), Reuters (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industrial & Environmental 
  News from BIO 
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--Edward Bulwer-Lytton,
British politician, poet, playwright and novelist

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