Pfizer and Merck KGaA's Bavencio, or avelumab, has received FDA approval as a treatment for patients at least 12 years old with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.
GlaxoSmithKline and UK Biobank agreed to collaborate with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' subsidiary Regeneron Genetics Center to sequence genomes from approximately 500,000 participants from UK Biobank. The project, which aims to support development of new therapies to treat a range of diseases, will analyze 50,000 samples by the end of the year.
A letter of intent to collaborate has been signed by ImmunoCellular Therapeutics and Memgen. The potential partnership would focus on clinical studies combining Memgen's viral cancer immunotherapy ISF35 with two immunotherapy candidates from Immunocellular.
C4 Therapeutics entered a five-year partnership with Calico to develop treatments for cancer and other aging-related diseases. Both firms will be involved in preclinical research, and Calico will have the rights to develop and commercialize programs arising from the deal.
A team of researchers is studying resurrection plants, which dry up during drought but revive when it rains, to learn how they could use biotechnology to switch on plants' survival mechanism to make other crops more drought-tolerant. "By figuring out how they turn on these genes in roots and leaves, we can enable the same processes in leaves and roots of crops under drought conditions," said researcher Jill Farrant.
The Trump administration's freeze on new regulations pending review, including the final rule for renewable volume obligations for 2017-18 under the Renewable Fuel Standard, ended Tuesday, allowing implementation of higher biofuel and biodiesel volumes. Biomass-based diesel was finalized at 2.1 billion gallons for 2018, and advanced biofuels were finalized at 4.28 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons for 2017.
Apicore's abbreviated new drug application for tetrabenazine tablets has been approved by the FDA. The drug, which is indicated for patients with involuntary movements associated with Huntington's disease, is a generic version of Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Xenazine.
OPKO's candidate CUR-1916, an oligonucleotide-based anti-natural antisense transcript to treat Dravet syndrome, was given orphan drug status by the FDA. The company plans to begin a clinical study of the drug this year.
A late-stage clinical trial of Novartis' candidate serelaxin, assessed as a treatment for patients with acute heart failure, failed to meet its primary endpoint. The drug plus standard of care did not reduce cardiovascular death or worsening heart failure in patients.
Updated familial breast cancer guidelines have been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to include five-year use of anastrozole for postmenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer. Anastrozole joins tamoxifen and raloxifene as an option for doctors to prescribe to reduce the risk of patients developing the disease.
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