The Dish’s Weekly Biotechnology News Wrap Up – November 21, 2014

By on November 21, 2014

This week’s biotechnology news headlines include, Tufts report on drug costs, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s deal to raise money, FDA approves Phase III cell-based therapy, FDA grants fast-track for pancreatic cancer candidate, FDA approves Sanofi’s MS drug, and Activis to acquire Allergan.

Cell Culture Events

Life Technologies’ 2nd Annual, 24 Hours of Stem Cells Virtual Event Now Available On Demand

Register free for the 2nd Annual 24 Hours of Stem Cells virtual event, a major stem cell research event.

Please see our summary blog from this year, “The Second Annual 24 Hours of Stem Cells Virtual Conference Begins Today


Cell Therapy Manufacturing – December 3-4, 2014 – Brussels, Belgium

ASCB – December 6-10, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA


“Tufts says average new drug costs $2.6 bln to develop, critics wary,” Reuters

“The estimated average cost of developing an approved new drug has more than doubled to over $2.5 billion from a 2003 estimate by Tufts University, but critics questioned the figure and noted the school’s strong financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Three vaccines in development are poised to make significant impact on global public health

“Deal by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Raises Cash and Some Concern,” The New York Times

“About 15 years ago, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation made what was considered a risky foray for a nonprofit organization into the world of business. It began giving money to a small biotechnology company to entice it to develop drugs for the deadly lung disease.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled The Benefits of Implementing Bioprocess Monitoring and Quality by Design in Process Development

“FDA OKs Phase III Trial of Cell-Based Heart Failure Therapy and Diagnostic,” FDA News

“San Carlos, Calif.-based BioCardia has received a green light from the FDA to begin a Phase III study of its combination bone marrow-derived CardiAMP therapy and in vitro diagnostic for heart failure. The product is the first heart stem cell therapy to go through the FDA’s medical device approval process rather than the biologics pathway.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Where’s the Beef!?”

“FDA grants fast track designation to MM-398 for metastatic pancreatic cancer,” Healio

“The FDA granted fast track designation to an investigational nanoliposomal irinotecan injection as a potential treatment for patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who have been previously treated with gemcitabine-based therapy, the drug’s manufacturer announced.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Last Week’s BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition

“The Real Cost of “High-Priced” Drugs,” Harvard Business Review

“Much of the recent press about drug pricing has taken a narrow view of the topic. As the chief medical officer of a global pharmaceutical company, I view patients’ access to medicines as an issue of such importance that it demands a broader perspective. I also see the matter from two other vantage points: as a physician who has cared for patients and as an academic who led a Boston teaching hospital and medical school. With these complementary perspectives, I assess the value of a medicine not in isolation, but as part of an interlocking system with the patient at its center.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Raw Material Sourcing for Cell Culture Media – Important Considerations

“U.S. FDA approves Sanofi’s MS drug Lemtrada,” Reuters

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Sanofi’s multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada, Sanofi said in a statement on Saturday.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Genome Editing and Associated Technologies

“Actavis to Acquire Allergan for $66 Billion,” Fox Business

“Actavis PLC said Monday that it would pay $66 billion in cash and stock for Allergan Inc. in a deal that appears to have thwarted a hostile takeover of the Botox maker.”

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Interactive Scheduling is Key to Successful Biomanufacturing Operations

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