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Democratic Presidential Contender Bernie Sanders Delays Califf’s FDA Nomination

Add Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders to the list of U.S. senators seeking to delay Robert Califf, MD, from becoming FDA commissioner. Sanders, D-VT, said Tuesday that he was joining Sen. Edward Markey, D-MA, to place a “hold” on a Senate floor vote. Sanders said he was concerned over what he described as Califf’s close […]

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Blend Therapeutics Secures $38 Million in Series C Financing led by Novo A/S and NEA and Changes Name to Tarveda Therapeutics

Company to focus on pipeline of Pentarins™ as a unique and promising approach to treating solid tumor cancers Lead drug candidate PEN-221 targeting neuroendocrine and small cell lung cancers to advance into clinical studies in 2016   WATERTOWN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tarveda Therapeutics, Inc., formerly Blend Therapeutics, today announced that it has secured $38 million in Series […]

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Unum Sets Up New HQ in Cambridge and Plans to Double Headcount in 2016

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Celebrating its one-year anniversary since launching Unum Therapeutics, a company developing cellular immunotherapies for cancer treatment, took up new office space in one of the hottest real estate areas for pharma and biotech companies. The company opened a new 33,000 square-foot headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. and is expecting the new space will […]

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The Bay Area’s Secretive Adicet Bio Raises $51 Million and Buys Israel-based Applied Immune Technologies

January 27, 2016By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff   Menlo Park, Calif.-based Adicet Bio, Inc. announced today that it had closed on a $51 million Series A financing round. The financing was led by OrbiMed and joined by Novartis Venture Fund and Pontifax. In addition, Adicet announced it had acquired Israeli company Applied Immune […]

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Biotech 2016: Now Starts the Hangover

January 27, 2016By Karl Thiel for BioSpace.com   Not that you need to be reminded of this, but… For the stock market, this has been the worst kickoff ever to a new year. And for biotech, it has been much, much worse. The Nasdaq Biotech Index plummeted over 17 percent in the first eight trading […]

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Obama calls for rapid Zika research as virus seen spreading

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for the rapid development of tests, vaccines and treatments to fight the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects and could spread to the United States in warmer months. U.S. health officials are stepping up efforts to study the link between Zika virus infections and birth […]

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Biosimilar drugs get boost as UK cost agency backs their use

Cheaper “biosimilar” copies of expensive biotech drugs received a boost in Britain on Tuesday when the country’s health cost-effectiveness agency NICE said patients needing such medicines “should be started with the least expensive drug”. So-called biosimilars are gaining ground in Europe, which has been faster to adopt their use than the United States, offering savings […]

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Big Pharma’s bet on Big Data creates opportunities and risks

Novartis wants every puff of its emphysema drug Onbrez to go into the cloud.   The Swiss drugmaker has teamed up with U.S. technology firm Qualcomm to develop an internet-connected inhaler that can send information about how often it is used to remote computer servers known as the cloud. This kind of new medical technology […]

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Top 20 Life Science Startups to Watch in the U.S.

BioSpace (DHX) is pleased to present its NextGen Bio “Class of 2016.” This list contains 20 life science companies that launched no earlier than 2013 and are headquartered in the United States. Once BioSpace sorted the companies into that group, they were then weighted by a number of different categories and ranked in a cumulative […]

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GlaxoSmithKline Hunts for New CEO to Succeed Embattled Sir Andrew Witty, U.S. Hedge Fund Calls for Board Shakeup

GlaxoSmithKline has kicked off the search for a chief executive to succeed embattled Sir Andrew Witty. With the drugs giant facing pressure from powerful shareholders, it is understood the board has started succession planning. Witty, who was paid £3.9million in 2014, joined Glaxo in 1985 and took over as chief executive in May 2008 after […]

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Akashi Halts DMD Clinical Trial, Third Company to Recently Have Problems With DMD Drug Trials

January 26, 2016By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff   Cambridge, Mass.-based Akashi Therapeutics announced yesterday that after one of its patients in its clinical trial for HT-100 in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) developed serious, life-threatening health problems, it has halted the trial. The patient was receiving the highest dose in the HALO trial, 60µg/kd/d. […]

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Galapagos bowel drug fails in research trial

Belgian biotech group Galapagos said its experimental drug to treat bowel disease ulcerative colitis had failed to prove its efficacy in a medical trial and it would discontinue the program for that disease. While the drug GLPG1205 was well tolerated, Galapagos said it did not perform better than the placebo given to another group of […]

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Actelion receives Canada approval for Uptravi

Actelion Ltd (ATLN.VX), Europe’s biggest biotech firm, said on Tuesday that Health Canada had granted a notice of compliance for Uptravi, a new pulmonary arterial hypertension medicine.   The approval is “a major milestone”, Chief Executive Jean-Paul Clozel said in a statement, adding that the company is working to make the drug available to patients […]

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Money Talks: Social Media and Inflation Penalties for Generic Drugs

A white paper by Robert Blank, Senior Consultant, Alliance Life Sciences   In November 2015, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was signed into law, bringing with it a host of changes for the scope and structure of a variety of governmental programs. One such affected entity is the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. This amendment […]

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GSK evaluating possibility of using vaccine technology for Zika

GlaxoSmithKline Plc is concluding “feasibility” studies to see if its vaccine technology might be suitable for the Zika virus, a company spokeswoman told Reuters. The mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas, except for Canada and […]

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Number of obese and overweight children under five ‘alarming’, WHO says

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – At least 41 million children under the age of five are obese or overweight across the globe, with numbers rising most rapidly in developing countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. The number of obese or overweight children has risen by 10 million worldwide since 1990 and there […]

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Independent experts cast doubt on OncoMed’s cancer drug

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc lost nearly half its market value after independent investigators informed the company that its pancreatic cancer drug was unlikely to meet the main goal in a mid-stage study. The investigators told OncoMed that while the drug, tarextumab, had a clean safety profile, they had observed worsening response rates in patients taking the […]

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WHO warns Zika to spread across Americas, spurring vaccine hunt

The mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil, is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said on Monday. Zika has not yet been reported in the continental United States, although a woman who fell […]

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Feds Find “Serious Deficiencies” at Theranos Lab

January 25, 2016By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff   PALO ALTO, Calif. – The new year is off to a rough start for embattled blood-testing company Theranos, as more reports are surfacing of deficiencies at one of its laboratories, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. Although a report has not yet been made public, […]

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GSK, Astra, J&J link with universities in new drug research fund

GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have joined with three leading British universities to create a new 40 million pounds ($57 million) fund backing early drug research.   The Apollo Therapeutics Fund, which aims to improve the speed and potential of university research being translated into new medicines, is a further example of a trend […]

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