AB Science jumps ahead into late-stage melanoma test; Apricus raises $9M;

 @FierceBiotech: Cancer researchers testing radical change in drug trials. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Langer starts biotech companies more often than I buy boots. And I have a closet full. |  Follow @JohnCFierce

> AB Science has won regulatory approval to jump right into late-stage testing of its melanoma therapy, skirting the routine need for a mid-stage study. Story

> San Diego-based Apricus Biosciences says that it raised more than $9.3 million from an offering. Story

> Akebia Therapeutics says it successfully completed a Phase 2a study for AKB-6548 in stage 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease patients. Akebia release

> Accera has named Thomas Werner as president and CEO. Accera release

> Stemedica International, a subsidiary of Stemedica Cell Technologies, has inked an agreement to form a joint venture with AnC Bio, a global manufacturer of stem cell-based products. Stemedica release

And Finally... With a keen eye to the commercial potential for a new stem cell breakthrough, Derrick Rossi joined with MIT's prolific Robert Langer and Harvard Medical School's Kenneth Chien to form ModeRNA Therapeutics with backing from Flagship Ventures. Story