Blog Archives

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Top 5 News Stories: 9/5-9/11

Top 5 logo1) Eli Lilly expands size of new Kendall Square innovation center – BBJ, 9/11/2015
Eli Lilly is expanding the size of its new drug delivery and device innovation center just down the street from Genzyme’s Cambridge headquarters, at 450 Kendall St.

2) On a crash course with Celgene? Biogen inks a $544M autoimmune drug deal – FierceBiotech, 9/9/2015
After suffering back-to-back R&D and franchise setbacks, Biogen ($BIIB) is beefing up its pipeline with a late-stage autoimmune drug, handing over $60 million in cash and promising up to $484 million in milestones to complete the pact with Mitsubishi Tanabe.

3) Massachusetts General Hospital joins partners to cure ALS – BBJ, 9/10/2015
One year after everyone dumped ice water on their heads, the Ice Bucket Challenge may have helped kick start a cure for ALS. Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins University, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are coming together to launch Answer ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a group committed to the progressive and fatal disease that causes the degeneration of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

4) Sanofi backs $38M E round for Langer’s Selecta  – FierceBiotech, 9/8/2015
Selecta Biosciences is taking another carefully planned step down the biotech path it set for itself, raking in $38 million in fresh venture cash from some prominent investors–including its close collaborator Sanofi ($SNY)–and paving the way through a key mid-stage study of its lead program.

5) NIH partners with Framingham biotech to develop cancer drug – BBJ, 9/8/2015
A Framingham-based company’s artificial intelligence-developed cancer drug has caught the attention of the federal government, which has plans to conduct preclinical trials to help speed the drug to market.

Top 5 News: 7/2-7/10

Top 5 logo1) Novartis wins early U.S. approval for major new heart drug – Reuters, 7/7/2015
Novartis AG on Tuesday won U.S. approval for its keenly awaited new heart failure drug Entresto earlier than expected, boosting hopes for a medicine tipped by analysts to reap billions of dollars in annual sales.

2) Massachusetts-made medical devices are heading into space – BBJ, 7/7/2015
The final frontier is calling for two Massachusetts medical device companies, with each winning a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to conduct experiments in space.

3) US funding on research could surge – Boston Globe, 7/9/2015
It was a rare show of bipartisanship: Republicans and Democrats on a House committee voting 51-to-0 recently to shower billions of dollars in scientific grants on research institutions from Massachusetts to California, the largest increase in a decade.

4) HIV investigators at Harvard, J&J see promise in early-stage vaccine FierceBiotech, 7/2/2015
A team of collaborators drawn from Harvard, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and other groups published results from a preclinical animal study Thursday afternoon that underscores the potential for developing the world’s first HIV vaccine. After more than 30 years of frustrations and setbacks, the investigators say that their work involving dozens of rhesus monkeys has produced the best early evidence seen so far that they might be on the right track toward protecting millions of people from a notoriously puzzling and lethal virus.

5) Google locks up more space in ‘essentially 100% leased’ Kendall Center – BBJ, 7/9/2015
Less than a year after unveiling a 300,000-square-foot campus in the heart of Cambridge, Google Inc. (NYSE: GOOG) is expanding into an additional 50,000 square feet at its Kendall Center campus.

Guest Post: Seattle Children’s Aims to Partner With Medical Industry to Develop Pediatric Therapies

By Dr. Elizabeth Aylward, director of Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Office of Science-Industry Partnerships.

Aylward_ElizabethWhile there are approximately 10,000 children in the United States living with lupus, a lifelong disease that causes inflammation throughout the body, there are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications to treat these kids, forcing physicians to prescribe medications that are approved for adult patients but may not be appropriate for developing bodies.

It’s a problem that impacts all areas of pediatric medicine. In 2013, the FDA in total approved 27 new drugs; just seven of these were approved for pediatric use. Of the 55,000 clinical trials conducted between 2005 and 2010, only 9% were designed for children.

“Funding for pediatric research lags disproportionately behind research funding for adult diseases. Thirty percent of the U.S. population is under the age of 21, and yet only 6% of the entire National Institutes of Health’s budget is devoted to pediatric medicine and care,” said Dr. Jim Hendricks, president of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “This gap results in limited development of new therapies for children, who now often have no other choice than to use adult-only tested medications.”

Seattle Children’s is hoping to bridge the gap between promising research and potential treatments and cures for pediatric diseases by partnering with drug manufacturers and biotech companies through its new Office of Science-Industry Partnerships. Read the rest of this entry

MassBio Industry Snapshot 2014 – Top 10 Highlights

stage icon industry stats 2014Today we released our annual MassBio Industry Snapshot for 2014! The 2014 MassBio Industry Snapshot shows Massachusetts leads in federal research funding and venture capital invested per capita, as well as research and development jobs, but that recent dips in seed-stage funding could negatively impact innovation long-term. Seed-stage funding in Massachusetts companies continues to grow, but 2014 investment must near $200 million to sustain five-year averages and ensure a solid startup environment into the next decade. You can read the full press release here and see the full snapshot here.

MA Seed-Stage Funding, Annual, 1999-2013


Here are the top 10 highlights:

1) Seed-Stage Deals & Investment – In the last five years, Massachusetts companies have received 33.4% of all seed funding for biotech. Over the past decade, Massachusetts has outperformed the nation in percentage of deals and investment at the seed-stage as a percentage of total venture funding.

2) Venture Investment – VC investment rose to $984M in 2013. Massachusetts received more than 21% of all VC investment in biotech in the U.S.

3) NIH-Funded Hospitals – The top five NIH-funded independent hospitals in the U.S. in 2013 are in Boston.

4) NIH-Funding Per Capita – Massachusetts continues to far exceed other leading NIH-recipient states.

5) Industry Employment – 57,642 – an all time high – accounts for over $7 billion in payroll.

Read the rest of this entry