Regulators speed review of Merck's Hep C drug; EMA approves Lucentis for wider use;

 @FierceBiotech:  Biogen Idec taps two ex-CEOs to head R&D, corporate development. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: I really want to see the FDA deliver those CRL letters to the public. Long, long overdue. | Follow @JohnCFierce

> European and American regulators will expedite their review of Merck's Hepatitis C treatment, boceprevir. The FDA hopes to finish its review in six months. Article

> The University of Maryland will double the size of its for-rent biotech lab facilities, which have been used by MedImmune and Human Genome Sciences. The lab brings $300,000 in annual revenue to the university and has helped Digene and Martek Biosciences grow into billion-dollar biotech companies. News

> Novartis got some good news from the EMA today. Its eye drug Lucentis has been approved for wider usage in patients suffering visual impairment from diabetic macular edema, a leading cause of blindness in adults. Report

> BIND Biosciences has started a Phase I clinical trial for a cancer treatment nanoparticle: BIND-014. The targeted polymeric nanoparticle contains docetaxil, and, according to preclinical trials, can deliver 20 times more docetaxil than an equivalent dosage of Taxotere, which also uses docetaxil. BIND release

> Three Boston-area biotech companies received $1 million grants from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation for multiple myeloma drug development. The three companies are Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Epizyme and Karyopharm Therapeutics. MMRF release

> Animal health company Aratana Therapeutics closed a $20 million Series A financing round led by Avalon Ventures and MPM Capital. Aratana release

And Finally... It's official: Women's tears can trigger a sudden drop in testosterone. Story

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In this week's EuroBiotech Report, Roche's risdiplam clears another phase 3 SMA trial, Merck KGaA spinout raises cash and Korean VCs back PDC*line.

In our EuroBiotech roundup this week, a liver disease biotech raises €11 million, Autolus offers stock and Abivax plans midphase trial. 

Merck KGaA spinout iOnctura has raised a €15 million series A round to support an early-phase solid tumor trial of a PI3Kδ inhibitor.