Obesity treatment devices have been in the regulatory spotlight in 2015 with two approvals for balloon-based devices and another for a neurostimulator. That makes for a total of 5 FDA-approved obesity devices--including the two banding devices that were already approved.
The European Union is funding a consortium that is looking into combining synthetic nanoparticles or antibodies with low-level radioactive substances to improve the use of companion diagnostics in battling cancer and other diseases.
Pfizer and Allergan have confirmed what many long suspected, agreeing to merge in a $160 billion deal that gives the former a much-desired tax break and the latter a predictable final resting place. But the combination Pfizer's penchant for postdeal job cuts and Allergan's well-established aversion to early-stage research paints a cloudy picture of how R&D will get done at what would be the world's new largest drugmaker.
The chemotherapy drug temozolomide can be quite effective in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer, but virtually all patients eventually become resistant to it. Now scientists believe they have discovered a way to resensitize glioblastoma cells to the treatment--and they're turning to pet dogs that have developed the same type of brain tumor to help prove it.
AstraZeneca and Sanofi have exchanged 210,000 compounds from their respective libraries in a no-cash, no-strings-attached deal. The agreement gives scientists at both companies free rein to research and develop compounds shared by the other, without having to pay fees or steer clear of certain therapeutic areas.
New York City biotech Axsome Therapeutics raised $51 million in an IPO to support its work on a nonopioid treatment for chronic pain.
Only a scant few years old, CRISPR gene editing technology already is heavily weighted with potential implications for human disease and health. It's already being used to more easily and precisely create genetically modified plants and animals. And for the first time last year, CRISPR was used to genetically modify a human embryo.
Gurnet Point Capital, a biotech investment firm run by ex-Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher, launched its first company with a $600 million commitment and a plan to partner up with industry and academia.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been taking a deeper dive into med tech this past year, teaming up with industry heavyweight Royal Philips to open a new med tech incubator in Israel. Now the Israeli pharma is forging ahead with another tech initiative, teaming up with University College London for a brain-imaging study to uncover biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease.
A team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla this week said they have identified four antibodies to target weaknesses in HIV, touting an "important advance" in HIV vaccine research that could assist in developing a vaccine.