FibroGen starts anemia trial; Could Chantix black box warnings be avoided?;

@FierceBiotech:  Interview: Pfizer vaccine unit eyes adults, infectious disease. News | Follow @FierceBiotech 

> FibroGen and Astellas Pharma will start a new Phase IIB trial for FG-4592, a treatment for anemia patients with chronic kidney disease. As such, FibroGen received a $40 million milestone payment from Astellas for the continued progress of the first-in-its-class hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor. FibroGen release

> Some experts believe Chantix's black box warnings could have been avoided if clinical trials had included patients with depression. According to Reuters, more than 40 percent of smokers suffer from depression, and by excluding them from clinical trials on the drug, Pfizer couldn't predict suicide risk as a side effect. Report

> Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks has entered a deal with AstraZeneca for cancer research; the partnership will use Sage's disease genetic computer models and AZ's compound network and expertise to target better therapies. Sage announcement

> BioNanomatrix has closed a $23.3 million round of Series B financing, thanks to Domain Associates, Gund Investment Corporation, Battelle Ventures, Innovation Valley Partners and KT Venture Group. The company is developing the nanoAnalyzer platform for single-molecule imaging and analysis. BioNanomatrix release

Pharma News

@FiercePharma:  Analysts ponder prospects of $7B Pfizer spinoff. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

> EMA opens Actos safety probe after cancer reports. News

> Radiation panic spurs drug sales in U.S. News

> Judge may toss former GSK lawyer's indictment. Report

> Pfizer exec outlines spin-off strategy. Article

> Host of bidders in race for AstraZeneca dental unit. Item

And Finally... A genetic mutation that causes fever disorders in Shar-Peis may be the next step to learning about human fever disorders. The culprit is located near a gene that produces hyaluronan, which is responsible for the dog's wrinkled demeanor, and is replicated multiple times in the Shar-Pei genome. While it's not the definitive cause of human fever disorders yet, "It's about as good a smoking gun as one can imagine," Greg Barsh of Stanford University told Live Science. Story

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