In the last few years, researchers have gotten very good at mass-producing pancreatic beta cells that produce sufficient insulin to offer improvement for diabetic patients. But now, they're focused on inventing and testing the means to use these beta cells in a way that effectively introduces insulin into the system--while simultaneously protecting the cells from a patient's immune system.
Gecko Biomedical has raised €22.5 million ($25.5 million) to get it through the clinic and gain regulatory approval for its biopolymer platform in several indications for tissue reconstruction. It's aiming for a first approval within a year--with the first focus on its cardiovascular reconstruction candidate, dubbed GB-02. The goal is to create an entire product portfolio based on its novel polymer that enables guided tissue repair and localized drug delivery.
Building on its growing JLABS network, Johnson & Johnson is opening another biotech incubator, this one in Europe. Dubbed JLINX, it will be housed at J&J;'s Janssen campus in Beerse, Belgium, and is set to open this summer.
GlaxoSmithKline and Miltenyi Biotec have signed an R&D; cell and gene therapy pact that will see the British Big Pharma delve deeper into the brave new world of CAR-T-based oncology treatments. This brave new world will not however feature its leader, Andrew Witty, who announced his retirement today.
Vitae Pharmaceuticals said its in-development psoriasis treatment proved its worth in a short study, looking to calm concerns about the drug's safety and advance it into a bigger trial.
INC Research appointed Judith Ng-Cashin to serve as its chief scientific officer, picking up a physician with stints at CRO giant Quintiles and pharma magnate GlaxoSmithKline on her resume.
Collaborations between med tech companies and healthcare providers are becoming the new norm, and Boston Scientific is wide to the trend. The company this week is revealing a long-standing research deal with Mayo Clinic aimed at improving medical devices.
Bayer has dipped its toe into Cambridge, MA, teaming up with the Broad Institute on a cancer therapy in 2013 and contributing $25 million Versant's biotech venture fund in 2014. Now, the German pharma is going full throttle, setting up the Bayer East Coast Innovation Center, establishing a regional presence and boosting its ties to the biotech community.
Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical teamed up with biotech venture firm Frazier Healthcare Partners to launch a startup focused on new therapies for urologic diseases, joining a $41 million A round to get the company up and running.
Vedanta Biosciences has appointed a Genzyme veteran as its new chief science officer as it expands into its new HQ in Massachusetts.