CytRx shares jump on interim brain cancer drug data; Symic raises $15M; AstraZeneca gets new IO chief;

@FierceBiotech: A record year for biotech inspires some great expectations for 2015. Editor's Corner | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Third Rock-backed GBT bags $48M round, plots upcoming IPO. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: $GUD's CEO says he got so many calls about FDA priority review voucher that Knight may make a business out of it. More from Bloomberg | Follow @DamianFierce

> Shares of CytRx ($CYTR) shot up 15% this morning after the biotech reported that interim data for its brain cancer drug aldoxorubicin demonstrated signs of success in a small Phase II study. Investigators said that the treatment "both prolonged stable disease and tumor shrinkage in several patients, including one patient who demonstrated no microscopic evidence of tumor when tissue was examined after resection, representing a complete response." Release

> San Francisco-based Symic Biomedical has garnered $15 million in Series A financing. This financing will help advance its two lead programs into clinical trials. The financing was led by Lilly Ventures, and included investors Den Danske Forskningsfond, Mitsui Global Investment, Ally Bridge Group and InCube Ventures, as well as participation by Purdue Foundry Investment Fund, Mission Bay Capital, QB3 Partners, and other individual investors. Release

> Reuters reports that AstraZeneca ($AZN) has named Robert Iannone as its new head of immune-oncology R&D, a big field for the pharma giant's comeback attempt. He replaces Rachel Humphrey, who left quietly at the end of November. Story

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI yesterday: FDA approves Medtronic's drug-coated balloon, setting up clash with Bard in new U.S. market. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: Covidien shareholders approve proposed $43B merger with Medtronic; Medtronic shareholder vote TK. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Qualcomm to connect medical devices to cloud for Walgreens, Novartis. Report

> Health devices take the stage at Consumer Electronics Show. Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Hello, hep C pricing war: Gilead hits back at AbbVie with exclusive CVS deal. More | Follow @FiercePharma

@CarlyHFierce: NPS is officially up for sale. Will deal-minded Shire bid? Story | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Pharmacyclics chief puts his staff in training to be geniuses. Item

> Salix CEO takes a hike in latest fallout from inventory snafu. Report

> Gilead hits back at AbbVie with exclusive CVS hep C deal. More

Biotech Research News

> Mouse study points to a particular T cell target for diabetes, insulin resistance. Report

> Cold Spring Harbor scientists find a biomarker for p53 cancer mutations. Item

> Positive primate study for Parkinson's inspires a rally for Minerva. Story

> Johns Hopkins stem cell team tests out CRISPR tech, with encouraging results. More

> CHOP scientists herald new approach to neurodegenerative diseases. Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

> Hospira recalls cancer med that was focus of warning letter. More

> FDA delays enforcing track-and-trace rules by four months. Report

> FDA sends warning letter to China's Novacyl Wuxi. News

> Patients had problems after being given IVs intended for training, FDA reports. Story

> Valeant says inhaled drug used on infants may be contaminated. Article

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