Ship with FedEx | Products do matter in pharma, expert tells investors | "Breakthrough product" designation would speed drugs to patients
April 25, 2012
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Today's Top Story
Biotech firms' takeover premium is on the rise
Drugmakers relying on acquisitions to replenish their pipeline are increasing bids for biotech firms, driving the average premium higher, according to Bloomberg data. For biotech takeover targets valued at greater than $500 million, the premium over 20-day average share price is 71% this year, the most in at least 12 years.
Bloomberg Businessweek (4/24) 
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Compact PDUFA Meets Congressional Redesigners
WASHINGTON, DC ? Hopes for a mean, lean PDUFA bill that would cruise speedily through Congress are being dashed as lawmakers, and industry, continue to add their pet extras such as ? reforming the FDA to advancing pediatric trials and adding cosmetics to the mix. Find out the details.
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Health Care & Policy
Products do matter in pharma, expert tells investors
Investors considering pharmaceutical makers often do not pay attention to product news because they are too focused on short-term profits, ISI Group biotech and pharma analyst Mark Schoenebaum wrote to his clients. "Over the long term, making money in any biotech or drug stock is about products," he wrote. The fact that the pharma market is slow to respond to product news creates an opportunity for investors, he added.
Forbes (4/19) 
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"Breakthrough product" designation would speed drugs to patients
Recently proposed Senate legislation to designate certain experimental drugs as "breakthrough products" would allow the FDA to streamline the approval process without compromising safety, write Mark B. McClellan, director of the Brookings Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, and Ellen Sigal with Friends of Cancer Research. The designation would reduce the total time and cost to develop the most promising treatments and minimize the number of patients receiving placebo or a treatment known not to work well, they write.
The Brookings Institution/The Hill (4/20) 
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Biotie, Seikagaku end licensing deal for VAP-1 antibody program
Biotie Therapies regained the development and commercialization rights in the Asia-Pacific region for BTT-1023, its VAP-1 antibody program, after agreeing to terminating a licensing deal with Seikagaku. The reprofiling of BTT-1023 to target fibrotic diseases no longer fits Seikagaku's business strategy, Biotie CEO Timo Veromaa said. Biotie anticipates initiating proof-of-concept clinical trials this year.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (4/24) 
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Biogen's MS drug candidate performs well in Phase III study
A second late-stage trial showed that Biogen Idec's oral drug candidate BG-12 significantly reduced relapse and additional brain lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis over two years compared with placebo. Glatiramer acetate was used as a reference comparator. BG-12 also demonstrated safety and tolerability.
Mass High Tech (Boston) (4/24) 
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Pharma boosts spending on patient adherence
Drugmakers have increased spending on patient adherence programs by 281% since 2009, with much of the increase going to digital and mobile outreach, according to a report from market research firm Cutting Edge.
Pharmalot/Pharma Blog (4/23) 
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Company & Financial News
Amgen plans to buy MN Pharma for about $700M, sources say
Amgen reportedly is close to a deal to acquire Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayii, which makes generic drugs and active ingredients in Turkey. The about $700 million agreement would expand Amgen's presence in emerging markets.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/24) 
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Argos raises $25M for Phase III trial of kidney cancer drug
Argos Therapeutics secured $25 million in a financing round to support a late-stage trial of AGS-003, a dendritic cell immunotherapy candidate, in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The study will start this summer. AGS-003 has fast-track status from the FDA.
BioWorld Online (free registration) (4/24) 
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Developer of miRNA-based therapies pulls in $20M
MiRagen Therapeutics raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Remeditex. Proceeds will go toward the development of the company's pipeline of preclinical-stage miRNA-based treatments.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (4/24) 
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Business Tips and Advice
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Food & Agriculture
BGI, institute to collaborate on sequencing-based research
BGI and India's International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics agreed to a long-term applied genomics research and molecular breeding collaboration. The goal of the partnership is to achieve sustainable food production by improving breeding programs for semi-arid tropic crops through the use of next-generation sequencing technologies.
The Economic Times (India) (4/25),  GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (4/24) 
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Industrial & Environmental
U.S., India team up to develop biofuels from nonfood sources
The U.S. and India have started a five-year joint research project whose goals include the development of biofuels from nonfood sources. The $125 million Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center aims to promote biofuels, reduce consumption of oil and increase energy efficiency. The team for the project's biofuels component will include scientists from five U.S. universities, Show Me Energy Cooperative and Green Technologies.
CleanTechnica (4/23) 
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News From BIO
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Thomas Edison,
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