The Dish’s Weekly News Wrap Up – August 10, 2011

This week’s headlines include, new stem Cell Therapy developments, clinical trial regulatory news, an update on the swine flu outbreak, disappointing results for a promising alzheimer’s candidate and biotech mergers and acquisitions hit 4 year high.

“Biotech M&A at 4 Year High as Pharma Faces Expiring Patents,” Reuters

Global biotech merger volume has reached levels not seen in four years as big pharmaceutical companies pursue deals to get access to new drugs, with bankers saying therapeutic areas such as cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases are proving to be especially attractive.  Large pharmaceutical companies that have expired patents are looking for products to supplement their drug development efforts and sometimes to also give their primary-care sales forces more drugs to sell, according to healthcare bankers at Credit Suisse Group.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled How Single Use Systems are Improving Bioprocess Development”


“Indiana Says Swine Flu Cases Rise Ten-Fold Now at 113,” Reuters

Swine flu is spreading in Indiana, with human cases rising tenfold in a week, state public health officials said on Wednesday, confirming 113 people are infected and saying they expect to see more.  The total confirmed cases of the Influenza A variant virus that has been transmissible from swine to humans in Indiana jumped from just 11 last week. The cases, which show symptoms of a mild seasonal flu, have been found in 18 counties across the state, state health official said.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Reducing CGMP Compliance Challenges is Key to Public Vaccine Confidence and Industry Success”


“US Bill Seeks Tighter Reporting Requirements for,” PharmaTimes

A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives is looking to tighten up reporting requirements for, the public online registry run since October 2008 by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).  H.R. 6272, the Trial and Experimental Studies Transparency (TEST) Act of 2012, was introduced by Congressman Edward Markey (Democrat, Massachusetts), senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and referred to that committee last week.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act – What it Means for Healthcare”


“Regenerative Medicine – Beating Heart Muscles from Embryonic Blood Vessels,” Red Orbit

Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently discovered that the embryonic endothelium, where the blood stem cells are produced in early development, has more plasticity than originally anticipated. The findings are exciting as the embryonic blood vessels can even produce beating heart muscles. The researchers suggest that the discovery will allow them to understand how to convert cardiac stem cells to be used in regenerative medicine.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled New Strategies Key to the Clinical Manufacturing of Stem Cells for Therapeutic Use”


“Study Uses Stem Cells to Boost Red Blood Cell Production,” Medical Express

Using human stem cells, scientists have developed methods to boost the production of red blood cells, according to a new study.  Their discovery could significantly increase the blood supply needed for blood transfusions, the researchers said, and their methods can be used to produce any blood type. “Being able to produce red blood cells from stem cells has the potential to overcome many difficulties of the current system, including sporadic shortages,” Dr. Anthony Atala, editor of the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, in which the study appeared, said in a journal news release.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Employing Innovative Platforms for Large Scale Stem Cell Culture”


“Pfizer, J&J Scrap Alzheimer Studies as Drug Fails,” Reuters

Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson scrapped further studies of one of the most anticipated experimental drugs for Alzheimer’s disease after it failed to help patients with the memory-robbing condition in a second high-profile clinical trial.  The companies said they would discontinue all other studies of the drug bapineuzumab in its intravenous (IV) form, including two more late stage trials and follow-up extension studies, in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

If you like this story, please see our blog titled “Strategies for Enhancing Media to Improve Antibody Production in CHO Cells”



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