Versant ventures into Canadian startup field; Taiwan group partners with Advaxis; Acura shares jump as FDA ponders fate of failed pain drug;

@FierceBiotech: 2013 American Society of Hematology meeting roundup: AbbVie, Gilead join Novartis in the center ring. Coverage | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Biogen forges a $200M preclinical Alzheimer's drug deal with Proteostasis. Story | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: And, lest we forget, this started out as Auxilium Pharmaceuticals' day. Story | Follow @DamianFierce

@EmilyMFierce: A dried-up antibiotics pipeline has led two scientists to launch a crowdsourcing campaign for antibiotics research. Story | Follow @EmilyMFierce

> Versant Ventures has set up an incubator in Toronto with an eye to fueling a round of Canadian biotech startups. A similar venture is being planned for Montreal next year as the VC group extends its reach in Canada. "We are investing in Canada to develop early-stage companies because we believe there is a strong combination of drug discovery talent as well as leading academic research across the country,' said Brad Bolzon, managing director of Versant Ventures. Release

> Shares of Advaxis ($ADXS) shot up on the news that it had struck a development and commercialization deal with Taiwain's Global BioPharma. The company is looking to start registration trials using Advaxis' lead drug for cervical cancer, with plans to expand into other cancers as well. Release

> Last summer Acura Pharmaceuticals' ($ACUR) shares plunged after the biotech reported that its abuse-resistant pain drug had flunked a mid-stage study of 40 patients. Today, its stock jumped after the biotech said that FDA regulators are willing to take a look at the data to consider if it just might be willing to review the results in an NDA. That evidently sounded positive enough to warrant a brief surge in the stock price. "We had a collegial and informative meeting with the FDA," said Bob Jones, the CEO of Acura. "We are pleased that, following our discussions and clarifications, FDA has agreed to further review the results of our Study 301. We look forward to a timely response from the FDA." Release

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Covidien is acquiring Given Imaging, maker of the 'PillCam' oral endoscope, for $860M. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Zoll won Japanese approval for a next-gen monitor/defibrillator, marking its continued expansion in a giant HC mkt. Release | Follow @MarkHFierce

@MichaelGFierce: IT firm Cerner invests in Dx maker Claritas Genomics. Item | Follow @MichaelGFierce

@GalenMoore: Had breakfast yet? Here's a video of Pillcam's journey through the colon. Video | Follow @GalenMoore

> FDA asserts support for consumer genetic tests despite 23andMe crackdown. More

> Robert Langer co-founds a French wound-closure startup with a $10.8M Series A. Story

> Boston Scientific's departing CFO leads a massive exec stock sell-off. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: ICYMI Friday: The Adcock Ingram sale gets messier, with Bidvest upping stake to block $1.2B CFR Pharma buyout. More | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: Former Actavis CEO Robert Wessman gets Iceland to invest $250M in his biosimilars aspirations. Friday's story | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: Pentagon tasks Pfizer with radically rethinking vaccine development. Story from FierceVaccines | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Auxilium's Xiaflex is approved to treat painful curved penis condition. Story

> The feds zero in on United Therapeutics' marketing practices. Report

> Power struggle at Novartis? Not at all, new chairman says. More

> J&J, Roche, Novartis tout key cancer-drug data at ASH. Report

CRO News

> Sarah Cannon buys a clinical trial outfit to expand its cancer reach. Story

> Fast-growing Agilux doubles its preclinical space. News

> Venn snags an Irish CRO in its global buyout push. Report

> Charles River recruits Sloan-Kettering CEO to bolster its science. More

> Pfizer's unlocked trial data could be a boon to CROs. Article

> Sluggish Parexel could be poised for a long-term turnaround. Item

Biotech IT News

> Pfizer is opening up clinical trial data to researchers, patients starting in 2014. Report

> Wanted: 1,000 citizen scientists to crowdsource antibiotics research. Story

> Report tips analytics to get biopharma out of its productivity slump. News

> U.K. sets up $16M competition to find genome data analysis tools. Article

> Text mining 88,000 papers gives Pfizer a drug safety database. More

> Machine learning improves accuracy of flu forecasts. Item

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