Spotlight On... Aduro offers $7.5M to fuel UC Berkeley's immunotherapy research effort; Stat report skewers Verily chief Andrew Conrad; FDA rejects orphan exclusivity for Eagle Pharma's bendamustine; and more...

Berkeley, CA-based Aduro is handing over $7.5 million to UC Berkeley for a 3-year program to investigate a new class of immunotherapeutics called cyclic dinucleotides as well as natural killer (NK) cells. Their work will cover cancer as well as infectious diseases and there's an option to extend the pact by an additional three years. "We're increasingly finding that immune stimulants associated with disease-causing microbes work as cancer therapies, and conversely, that immunotherapies for cancer may have application in fighting infectious disease," said IVRI director David Raulet, a professor and co-chair of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. "Bringing infectious disease and cancer researchers together in a synergistic research effort at UC Berkeley and Aduro Biotech is an exciting and unique idea, and could be where the next generation of therapies will come from." Release

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@JohnCFierce: From the weekend bureau: Forum faces the end o' the road. Story | Follow @JohnCFierce

> An in-depth report from Stat skewers Verily (Google's life sciences upstart) chief Andrew Conrad, who's described as a "divisive and impulsive leader whose practices are driving off top talent and leaving openings for competitors." Stat

> Shares of Eagle Pharmaceuticals ($EGRX) slid about 8% this morning after the Woodcliff Lake, NJ-based biotech announced that the FDA had spurned its request for 7 years of orphan drug exclusivity in the U.S., for BENDEKA (bendamustine hydrochloride injection, or bendamustine HCI). Eagle says the decision was "incorrect." The drug was approved late last year for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and for the treatment of patients with indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Release

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI: Philips shells out $35M to settle sleep apnea mask kickback charges with DOJ. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI: Medtronic to stop manufacturing some devices in Colorado in pursuit of $850M in promised synergies. Article | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Valeant's wounds bleed onto Ackman's Pershing Square with latest Senate probe. FiercePharma story | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Ex med tech CEO faces jail time for bribing docs to promote skin-like wound dressing. Report

> Goldman Sachs invests $37M in Chinese TAVR player. Story

> Fed judge rules case against Bayer's Essure birth control device to move forward. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Intersections snags $20M loan to support struggling Voyce health monitor for dogs. FierceAnimalHealth report | Follow @FiercePharma

@CarlyHFierce: ICYMI: With Cinqair nod, Teva squares off with GSK in severe asthma. Article | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Novartis kickbacks case 'explodes' with feds' demand for backup on 80,000 doctor events. Story

> Merck's $200M damages in Gilead hep C case falls far short of expectations. Report

> Valeant's wounds bleed onto Ackman's Pershing Square with latest Senate probe. Article

Animal Health News

> Akorn emerges from audit with better-than-expected 2015 results. Item

> Neogen plunges on Q3 miss as CEO seeks global growth for gene-testing services. Article

> Genes in canine bone tumors predict drug response: Report. More

> Intersections snags $20M loan to support struggling Voyce health monitor for dogs. News

> Roslin turns to business with new animal health venture. Report

Biotech IT News

> Lundbeck upgrades ArisGlobal regulatory and safety IT system. Item

> 23andMe tech brings genetic data to Apple ResearchKit studies. More

> Overturning bioinformatic predictions, Venter creates minimal synthetic cell with 473 genes. Story

> Sony-backed M3, Endeavour Vision unveil digital health investment funds. Article

> Microsoft co-founder commits $100M to early-stage research at intersection of IT and biology. Report

Pharma Marketing News

> Looking for a respiratory edge, Boehringer teams with Propeller to test 'smart inhaler' for adherence. Article

> Apple's CareKit opens new door for pharma to develop apps, but will it walk through? More

> Could J&J get an image boost from new health-oriented research? Experts say yes. Story

> Novartis kickbacks blows up as feds demand info on 80,000 doc events. Item

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