Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Alzheimer’s Research U.K., a dedicated dementia research charity, has announced a $46.3 million Drug Discovery Alliance, launching three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and University College London (UCL). The Drug Discovery Institutes will see 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Genticel, a French biotechnology company and developer of therapeutic vaccines, has announced that the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent committee of experts which monitors safety data every six months during a study, met as scheduled on Jan. 22. It recommended the RHEIA-VAC study proceed without any modifications. The DSMB already had made the same recommendation during the first review on July 1, 2014.
A number of medicines for which authorization in the European Union (E.U.) was primarily based on clinical studies conducted at GVK Biosciences in Hyderabad, India should be suspended, according to the EMA. The recommendation is based on findings from an inspection that raised concerns about how GVK conducted studies at the Hyderabad site on behalf of marketing authorization holders.
Syncona, a London-based subsidiary of the Wellcome Trust, and UCL Business, the wholly-owned technology transfer company of University College London (UCL), have announced the creation of Autolus, a London-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of next-generation engineered T-cell therapies for hematological and solid tumors. Autolus is founded upon the work of Dr. Martin Pule, an academic clinical hematologist and thought-leader in T-cell engineering. Syncona has committed $33.5 million to Autolus in a Series A financing. Dr. Christian Itin, former CEO of Micromet, has joined the company as chairman.
Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), a global CRO based in Wilmington, N.C., has expanded its good manufacturing practices (GMP) operations in Athlone, Ireland, by adding a new, state-of-the-art laboratory for cell-based assays to its existing portfolio of services at the facility. The new lab provides GMP bioassay testing with dedicated areas to support cell culture activities with multiple assay endpoint expertise.
The NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) has published a review of drugs included in the fund and increased the budget for cancer drugs. The budget for the CDF will grow from $235 million in 2013-2014, to $329 million in 2014-2015, and an estimated $400 million from April 2015. This represents a total increase of 70% since August 2014.