Spotlight On... Quanterix raises $46M in Series D round, but no mention of an IPO; Morphotek cutting 27 jobs; Blend spins out Placon; and more...

Molecule testing and diagnostics firm Quanterix Corporation has secured $46 million in Series D funding from both new and existing investors, adding to the $54 million it's raised in previous rounds. The Lexington, MA-based company has recently said it would consider an IPO, but did not discuss any plans to do so in its latest release--likely because of the current shaky financial environment. The new money will go towards the launch of desktop instruments in 2017 as well as the development of 60 new assays by the end of the year, while also looking to further its global reach. It currently focuses on oncology, neurology, inflammation, immunology, cardiac and infectious diseases. Report

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> Eisai subsidiary Morphotek, based in Exton, PA, is cutting 27 jobs, part of the parent company's restructuring plan, according to a report in the Philadelphia Business Journal. Story

> As earlier announced, Blend Therapeutics has formally spun out Placon Therapeutics, which will advance BTP-114 and a pipeline of platinum-based cancer therapies. And the FDA has accepted their IND, setting the stage for human studies. Release

Pharma News

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> Merck wins first round in $3B-plus hep C royalty fight with Gilead. Report

> Letter to the Editor: Tufts' Joseph A. DiMasi debunks the Andrew Witty R&D cost meme. More

> FDA sets new limits on use of immediate release opioids. Article

Biotech Research News

> Researchers advance work on a new oral therapy to fight pancreatic fibrosis. Item

> Caltech scientists gain traction in nanoparticle-therapy for treating human solid tumors. More

> Imperial scientists find a key miRNA that silence breast and lung cancers in the lab. Story

> Using CRISPR, Temple team eliminates HIV from T-cells. Report

> Johns Hopkins team IDs a new target for obesity R&D. Article

Vaccines News

> NIH-developed dengue vaccine protects all patients in challenge study. Report

> CSL's Seqirus aims for 'industry leadership' as it integrates Novartis' flu vaccines. Article

> Sanofi science chief on Zika: It's time to disrupt traditional vaccine development. Story

Pharma Marketing News

> Merck enlists patients for award-winning marketing on black box allergy-fighters Ragwitek, Grastek. Report

> Physician's Weekly revamps its offering, adding digital tablets and more content. More

> U.K. watchdogs reject Vertex's CF med Orkambi, citing $147K annual cost. Item

> Lilly's new psoriasis med Taltz sets up head-to-head with Novartis' Cosentyx. Story

> Analyst slashes Entresto sales forecast in half as skeptical heart docs hobble uptake. Article

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