Apple's HealthKit data-sharing platform for mobile health apps has been pulled from the iPhone 6's operating system after an upgrade to iOS 8 disrupted cellular service, resulting in a bucketful of delayed app launches or upgrades, to the benefit of competitors.
GlaxoSmithKline and San Diego-based Avalon Ventures have crafted two new biotechs which will explore the therapeutic potential of a pair of new drugs. These companies, dubbed Silarus Therapeutics and Thyritope Biosciences, will each get a $10 million Series A and research support from the venture group and its Big Pharma partner, which will consider whether it wants to snap up the companies once they hit the proof-of-concept stage a few years down the pipeline.
Japan's Global Health Initiative Technology Fund is investing $15.3 million to speed the development of new drugs and vaccines for malaria, dengue and Chagas disease.
MiMedx Group announced a second partnership with a major medical device firm to sell its regenerative biomaterials product. This time, it is with orthopedic player Zimmer. Last year, MiMedx disclosed a similar deal with Medtronic.
With its candidate diabetes vaccine in Phase II combo studies, Diamyd Medical is seeing some new investment--including a bumped-up agreement with longtime partner Protein Sciences.
Australian nanopatch developer Vaxxas signed on with the World Health Organization this week in an effort to co-opt the company's patch for use with the polio vaccine. The WHO will help fund the research and move it through preclinical and clinical studies as the organization seeks to make polio a thing of the past.
Sutro Biopharma has landed another marquee name for its list of development partners for antibody-drug conjugates. Merck KGaA, which has been struggling in the clinic for years, has signed on with the San Francisco-based biotech, offering a $300 million package of milestones along with some unspecified research support.
Sanofi has stepped up with a $45 million down payment on a potential $200 million early-stage deal to develop new drugs for heart muscle disease. The pharma giant inked one if its rare small-biotech collaboration pacts with MyoKardia, a South San Francisco-based biotech that was funded by Third Rock a couple of years ago.
Drug delivery specialist Genisphere announced that it has raised $2 million in private funding to advance its 3DNA nanotechnology platform through collaborations with pharma companies. The funders are existing investors including Corporate Fuel Partners.
Pharma companies are increasingly relying on academic and nonprofit collaborations for basic science and drug discovery research, and some big players have formed some notable unions in 2014.