July 30, 2021
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The White House is taking additional steps to boost the number of vaccinated Americans as a new wave of COVID-19 infections threatens areas with low vaccination rates with the mandate to require proof of vaccination from federal workers and contractors and payments of $100 for each newly vaccinated. "With freedom comes responsibility. So please exercise responsible judgment. Get vaccinated for yourself, the people you love, for your country," President Joe Biden said. Presently, the number of fully vaccinated Americans has reached 163.9 million, while the number of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses now totals 344.1 million, according to the CDC.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29),  Reuters (7/29) 
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Health Care & Policy
The CDC has issued COVID-19 testing recommendations urging fully vaccinated people to get tested three to five days after exposure to the virus even if they don't experience symptoms. Prior recommendations indicated fully vaccinated people only needed testing after exposure if they were symptomatic.
Full Story: The New York Times (7/30) 
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Johnson & Johnson said the FDA allowed the shelf life of the company's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to be extended to six months. The decision was based on ongoing studies indicating the vaccine remains stable at six months when refrigerated.
Full Story: Reuters (7/28) 
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Eli Lilly's baricitinib was granted expanded emergency use authorization by the FDA as a COVID-19 drug that can be administered separately from Gilead's remdesivir. The expanded authorization was based on results from a trial involving 1,525 hospitalized COVID-19 patients that showed those treated with baricitinib had a lower risk of progressing to ventilator use or death compared with patients given standard of care.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29) 
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Company & Financial News
Deep Genomics gains $180M from funding round
(Pixabay)
A Series C financing round produced $180 million for Deep Genomics, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to analyze genetic data, as well as discover and develop new drugs. The company plans to bring four programs into clinic in the next two years, while simultaneously boosting the company's pipeline.
Full Story: MedCity News (7/28) 
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Strata Oncology raised $90 million from a Series C funding round that included investors such as Pfizer and Merck. The funds will be used to support the launch of trials for the company's new RNA-based test for treatment selection, as well as for the build out of its commercial team.
Full Story: Endpoints News (free registration) (7/29) 
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Resilience has bought bluebird bio's lentiviral vector manufacturing facility in North Carolina for $110 million and the purchase will launch a collaboration between the two companies on "next-generation manufacturing R&D."
Full Story: Endpoints News (free registration) (7/29) 
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Ag & Environment
Bayer, Enko look to pharma research for weed solutions
(Pixabay)
Bayer and crop health company Enko have teamed to develop new crop protection solutions based on innovations and discoveries made during pharmaceutical research. Innovations are needed as more weeds become resistant to existing herbicides and climate change fosters the spread of invasive weeds.
Full Story: Successful Farming (7/27) 
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Bota Bio, a Chinese startup that uses enzymes and living cells to manufacture a variety of industrial and household products, raised $100 million in its series B funding round. In March, the company received an investment from the venture capital arm of German chemical manufacturer BASF.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29) 
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The Latest From BIO
June 2021 was a particularly special Pride Month for BIO -- and not only because many of us got the chance to celebrate with our friends in person thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines. BIO was thrilled to announce our new chair, Paul Hastings, CEO of Nkarta Therapeutics -- and the first openly LGBTQ chair of the organization. Paul is one of many members of the LGBTQ+ community who have made important advances in science, medicine, and biotechnology. Here's more about Paul and four others in history you should know. Read the blog.
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When John suffered a serious accident that left 75% of his skin covered in burns, it was difficult to imagine what -- and if -- life would be. But revolutionary biotechnology can help rebuild both damaged skin tissue and lives. Watch the video.
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Through a curated network of education alliance partners, BIO offers industry professionals executive training and development resources for accelerating career growth. Whether entering the life sciences profession, exploring a new focus area or training an entire department on a new discipline, BIO offers access to a diverse portfolio of relevant online educational content. BIO Member discounts are available. Learn more.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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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.
 
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