Category Archives: News Roundup

Top 5 News: 1/16-1/22

Top 5 logo1) Dozens of drug makers agree on effort to combat antibiotic resistance – STAT, 1/20/2016
In an unprecedented bid to address antibiotic resistance, more than 80 drug and device makers have issued a declaration urging governments to “support investment” in developing medicines and diagnostic tools to combat drug-resistant infections.
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2) Exclusive: Fast-growing gene-editing biotech expanding near Kendall Square BBJ, 1/22/2016
A rapidly growing Cambridge-based gene-editing company has snapped up 65,000 square feet of coveted East Cambridge real estate with plans to house a newly created division in the space.
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3) GE Life Sciences to hire 100 more people in 2016 BBJ, 1/21/2016
As General Electric Co. prepares to move to relocate corporate headquarters to Massachusetts, GE Healthcare Life Sciences is finalizing its own move into new space and planning to hire over 100 new employees.
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4) MassBio Testimony: Healthcare Financing Committee Hearing on Drug Cost & Value – MassBio, 1/19/2016
On January 19th, MassBio, at the request of the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing, testified at the first in a series of informational sessions intended to provide legislators, stakeholders, and the public with a comprehensive understanding of issues of drug cost and value.
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5) Video: Experts predict the future of Big Data at #JPM16 – FierceBiotech, 1/19/2016
Storing, analyzing and managing the big data sets that are being created around genomics for drug development has created challenges for the biopharma industry. Some leaders in the field, including Google and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA, have been battering down some of these barriers, making it possible to explore the data for clues about new drug development opportunities.
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Top 5 News: 1/9-1/15

Top 5 logo1) Reports of GE’s move follow years of local expansion of its life sciences business – BBJ, 1/13/2016
News that GE is moving its headquarters to the state comes a year and a half after the company moved the headquarters for its life sciences business to Marlborough.
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2)  Key takeaways from the Shire-Baxalta deal — and the state’s new largest drugmaker BBJ, 1/11/2016
With the planned acquisition announced this morning of two drugmakers both with a major presence in the Bay State, Shire Pharmaceuticals could soon be the state’s biggest drugmaker, eclipsing Biogen in employees and very possibly in both revenue and market value.
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3) Drug trailblazers Moderna, Juno grab forum’s spotlight Boston Globe, 1/15/2016
 New ways to fight diseases are guaranteed to get plenty of attention at the top gathering of health care entrepreneurs and investors. So it’s no surprise that Moderna Therapeutics Inc. and Juno Therapeutics Inc., pioneers in potentially game-changing drug discovery technologies, emerged as two of the highest profile companies at this week’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
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4)  State opens annual tax program for life science firms that create jobs BBJ, 1/14/2016
In a good sign for continued funding of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the state agency today announced it’s taking applications for the annual tax incentive program which rewards companies for creating jobs.
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5) NIH pumps $260m into search for disease genes that matter – STAT, 1/14/2016
Federal science officials on Thursday announced the launch of a $260 million program to identify rare gene variants that raise or lower people’s risk of developing such common conditions as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and autism — the latest Big Science effort to mine DNA sequences for medical breakthroughs.
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Top 5 News: 1/2/16-1/8/16

Top 5 logo1) 2015 New Drug Approvals Hit 66-Year High! – Forbes, 1/4/2015
2015 has been a remarkable year for pharmaceutical innovation. What would have been a dream (or perhaps a delusion) a few years ago has happened.
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2) Key takeaways from the state’s new digital-health initiative BBJ, 1/7/2016
Elected officials and key stakeholders in the Bay State’s health care and technology sectors gathered at Boston Childrens Hospital to unveil a new public-private partnership aimed at expanding the state’s role in the fast-emerging electronic-health care sector.
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3) This Startup’s Painkiller Is Stronger Than Morphine and Non-Addictive BostInno, 1/4/2016
From a very early age, we’re taught the evils of drug addiction. No one ever starts off their lives aspiring to be an addict, and there’s a perception that anyone who is addicted to drugs belongs in the dregs of society.
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4) Eight Milestones Of 2015 In The War On Cancer Forbes, 1/1/2016
Fourteen the 45 novel drugs that hit the market in 2015 were approved by the U.S. Food & Drug administration to treat cancer—offering new hope for patients battling multiple myeloma, colon cancer, thyroid cancer and many other forms of the disease. It was a good year for pharma companies working in oncology, to be sure.
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5) 30 Under 30: Meet The Entrepreneurs Who Are Fixing The Healthcare System – Forbes, 1/4/2016
These researchers and entrepreneurs aren’t just improving how we do healthcare. They’re reinventing it.
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Top 5 News: 12/12-12/18

Top 5 logo1) Congress clears bill that would increase NIH budget by $2 billion – STAT, 12/18/2015
Congress easily approved a federal spending bill Friday with the biggest funding increase for the National Institutes of Health in 12 years — the final hurdle that had to be cleared before President Obama can sign the bill into law.
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2) Massachusetts biotechs behind one-in-six drugs approved by FDA this year BBJ, 12/15/2015
In a record-setting run for drug approvals, one out of six drugs approved so far this year was developed or marketed by a Massachusetts company.
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3) Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awards $930,000 to local companies for research Boston Globe, 12/16/2015
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center said Wednesday it has granted $930,000 to Massachusetts companies to support research and development collaborations through the agency’s “Universal Partnerships” program.
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4) Promote, not curtail, biopharma industryThe Lowell Sun, 12/14/2015
Focusing in part on the actions of a hedge-fund manager as a reflection of the biopharma industry does not give an accurate depiction of the cost and value of drug discovery, treatment, and cures (Editorial: Obscene drug profits need price-cure Rx, Dec. 7).
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5) Not slowing down: Here are all the Massachusetts biotechs that held IPOs in 2015 – BBJ, 12/17/2015
This year’s wrap-up of initial public offerings by IPO research firm Renaissance Capital calls the year “a disappointment,” with the $30 billion raised across all sectors at a six-year low.But you wouldn’t know it here in Massachusetts, where 11 biotechs went public since Jan. 1 — the second-highest number for the sector in more than a decade. Those 11 biotechs raised a total of $870 million. By contrast, just two Bay State-based technology companies went public this year.
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Top 5 News: 12/4-12/11

Top 5 logo1) Baxalta wins FDA approval with a treatment for a rare bleeding disease FierceBiotech, 12/8/2015
Baxalta ($BXLT) picked up FDA approval for a drug that treats von Willebrand disease, a rare inherited bleeding disorder that results from a missing protein.
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2) For Epizyme chief executive, the work is personalBoston Globe, 12/4/2015
Epizyme Inc.’s new chief executive Robert Bazemore understands the disease his company is targeting only too well. When he was introduced to employees this summer, Bazemore surprised them by disclosing that he’s a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a life-threatening blood cancer that could potentially be treated by the company’s lead drug candidate.
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3) Novo Nordisk partners with IBM Watson Health to develop diabetes management tools BBJ, 12/10/2015
Novo Nordisk plans to use IBM Watson Health to analyze its data on patients with diabetes, announcing today an agreement with the IBM subsidiary.
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4) Drug may give those leaving jail a better shot at recovery – Boston Globe, 12/9/2015
But the drug itself may not be the real game-changer, said Dr. Barbara Herbert, president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. More crucial, she said, are efforts by the manufacturer, Waltham drug maker Alkermes, to push prisons to link departing inmates with services on the outside, measures often lacking in the past.
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5) FDA approves Alexion drug for ultra-rare disease – Reuters, 12/8/2015
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved Alexion Pharmaceutical Inc’s treatment for an ultra-rare and potentially fatal genetic disorder.
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