Friday, January 30, 2015
Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman has announced a further $20.6 million investment in stratified medicine collaborations funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC). Four new awards bring the total of stratified medicine consortia funded by the MRC to 13, with investments totaling over $21 million—part of the government’s $195.4 million commitment to stratified medicine set out in the U.K. life sciences strategy.
AstraZeneca has announced four research collaborations aimed at harnessing the power of CRISPR, a pioneering genome-editing technique, across its entire discovery platform in the company’s key therapeutic areas. The four research collaborations are with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, U.K.; the Innovative Genomics Initiative, California; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Mass.; and the Broad Institute/Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Mass. The technology will allow AZ to identify and validate new drug targets in preclinical models that closely resemble human disease.
Immunomic Therapeutics, a company developing next-generation vaccines based on the LAMP-vax platform headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and Astellas Pharma of Tokyo have entered into an exclusive license agreement for Japan to develop and commercialize JRC2-LAMP-vax, Immunomic Therapeutics’ vaccine designed to treat allergies induced by Japanese red cedar pollen. The companies expect to initiate a phase I trial of JRC2-LAMP-vax in Japan as soon as it is ready.
The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), based in Durham, N.C., has announced recommendations to streamline Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training of investigators who participate in clinical trials. GCP is an international standard for the design, conduct, performance, monitoring, auditing, recording, analyses and reporting of clinical trials.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals has appointed Mark Stephen Gelder, M.D., as vice president, clinical development. Gelder will be responsible for planning and executing Inovio’s clinical development strategy for its immunotherapies against human papillomavirus (HPV)-caused cervical cancer and dysplasia. He will report to Dr. Mark Bagarazzi, Inovio’s chief medical officer.
GlaxoSmithKline has received clearance from the European Commission (E.C.) of its proposed three-part transaction with Novartis, which includes the acquisition of Novartis’s vaccines business (excluding influenza vaccines), the creation of a consumer healthcare joint venture between GSK and Novartis and the divestment to Novartis of GSK’s marketed oncology portfolio, related R&D activities and rights to two pipeline AKT inhibitors.