Biotech start-ups land in new Boston digs; Cell Targeting hopes to raise $11M;

> Two biotech start-ups, Ginkgo BioWorks and Eutropics Pharmaceuticals, have landed in new homes in Boston after getting assistance from the city's LifeTech initiative. Report

> After bagging a research grant and moving into larger quarters, Cleveland, OH-based Cell Targeting hopes to raise $11 million to help advance its technology for targeting stem cell therapies to where they are needed. Story

> Boehringer Ingelheim has handed over an $8 million milestone payment to Vitae Pharmaceuticals for its work on new drugs for diabetes and metabolic diseases. Release

> Palatin Technologies snagged $5 million from AstraZeneca relating to an amendment of its ongoing exclusive research collaboration and license agreement to discover, develop and commercialize compounds that target melanocortin receptors for treatment of obesity and related indications. Release

> Sanofi has launched Lantus safety studies. Report

Pharma News

> GlaxoSmithKline has quarantined a batch of its Cervarix vaccine when a 14-year-old British girl died soon after getting the shot at school. Officials are investigating the death, stressing that the human papillomavirus vaccine may not have caused it. Report

> A U.S. district court has dismissed a shareholder lawsuit brought against Sanofi-Aventis in 2007. U.S. regulators rejected the diet drug Zimulti in June 2007, citing concerns over psychiatric side effects such as suicidal behavior and depression. Report

> Back in January, Oscient Pharmaceuticals filed a patent infringement lawsuit against India's Lupin Pharmaceuticals (LUPN) over the cholesterol drug Antara (fenofibrate). Just days ago, Lupin announced it had purchased the rights to Antara for $38.6 million. With Oscient tied up in bankruptcy proceedings, it seems the drugmaker had no choice but to offload the drug. Antara is licensed from Ethypharm, which will retain rights to some royalties. Report

Research News

> Writing in Nature Nanotechnology, researchers at the University of Toronto say they have created a device no bigger than a Blackberry that can analyze and detect cancer biomarkers using only minute quantities of biological samples. Report

> Punam Malik has led a team of researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center which has been studying the intricate workings of sickle cell anemia. And after a decade of work, he says that they're readying human trials of a new gene therapy that has the potential to cure the disease, which afflicts up to 100,000 African-Americans in the U.S. Report

> Sirtris Pharmaceuticals took center stage at a conference on aging held at Harvard Medical School last week, offering a detailed look at the drugs it is developing that mimic the activity of resveratrol in extending a person's lifespan and combating disease. Report

> Deverlopers investigating new RNA interference therapies will soon have a new and powerful tool to aid their research work. Report

> Pancreatic cancer has long been known as one of the deadliest and most frustrating cancers to treat--a virtual death sentence for anyone who gets it. Only 13 percent of patients survive a year following diagnosis. Now, in a first, researchers say that they have solid proof that inhibiting the TAK-1 enzyme sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells and leaves them vulnerable to chemotherapy. Report

And Finally...Researchers say that obesity may eventually become the leading cause of cancer in women in Western countries. Report

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