Aspyrian raises $8.5M for cancer therapy; Insys gets orphan status; BioCryst gains FDA fast track;

@FierceBiotech: The Special K connection: Naurex spotlights another promising NMDA depression drug. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: I see R&D costs climbed to $7.1B at $PFE last year. Probably same again in '15. Citing Phase III costs. Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Per earnings statement, $NVS finally submitted the COPD combo QVA149 + NVA237 to the FDA late last year. Release | Follow @DamianFierce

> Aspyrian Therapeutics, a San Diego-based startup developing a photoimmunotherapy-linked antibody drug conjugate for cancer, has raised $8.5 million, according to a filing with the SEC. Filing

> The FDA has granted Insys Therapeutics ($INSY) an orphan drug designation for its Liposomal Encapsulated Paclitaxel candidate for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Release

> BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has won fast track status for a new therapy for hereditary angioedema. Release

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Sequenom strikes a deal with Cypher Genomics to develop advanced noninvasive prenatal test. FierceDiagnostics story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: IYCMI yesterday: Medtronic and Covidien to close $43B merger today with Irish High Court approval. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Medtronic sets sights on hospital and product innovation post-Covidien deal close. News

> Hoffman pleads guilty to murdering former Boston Sci exec in Minneapolis suburb. Report

> J&J launches new, smaller, more precise vascular stapler for thoracic surgery. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Supreme Court pitches patent fight over $SHPG's Lialda after $TEVA ruling. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: ICYMI from FiercePharmaManufacturing: Actavis explains the recall of generic Neurontin was limited to 2,000 bottles shipped to one customer. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

> With generic losses on the horizon, Pfizer puts up a stormy 2015 forecast. Report

> U.S., India make incremental IP headway during Obama visit. Story

> Pharmaceuticals and biotech a backdrop to China-Taiwan economic talks. Article

Biotech Research News

> UCSD team turns the PKC tumor theory upside down. Item

> Psoriasis researchers identify a lineup of suspect proteins behind disease progression. More

> International team tags a key brain pathway for hypoglycemia. Report

> Stanford scientists use modified RNA to rejuvenate aging cells. Story

> Alzheimer's investigators at Gladstone find a drug target for guarding memories. Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

> BASF invests $63M in PVP manufacturing operations. More

> Novo will soon open plant in Russia. Article

> Hospira recalls more saline after human hair found in a bag. Report

> FDA slaps down another Indian plant, adding to the industry's woes. Story

> Australia's TGA issues updated guidelines on drug supply chain releases. Item

Suggested Articles

Genentech followed a $1 billion pact with Sosei Heptares with discovery deals around cancer and neurological diseases with Skyhawk and Convelo.

The partners will use wearable devices to assess how heart failure patients function and feel after being discharged from hospitals.

After spinning out two companies at the start of the year, Sosei Heptares has now inked a new deal with Roche biologics unit Genentech.