Monsanto and KWS' glyphosate-resistant biotech sugar beet H7-1 was approved for reauthorization by European Food Safety Authority scientists. The crop was approved for processing and import in 2007 for 10 years by the European Commission.
Scientists from Russia proposed using hydrothermal liquefaction to convert food waste into biofuel. The method allows the direct production of biofuel from wet biomass, which requires less energy than dry biomass conversion.
A Republican tax bill that recently cleared the full House and the Senate Finance Committee would benefit multinational medical device companies, including those that operate only in the US, because it would implement a 20% corporate tax rate, down from a maximum of 35%; allow tax-free intangible corporate property transfers from foreign firms to US parents; and apply a 12.5% rate to foreign-earned intangible income. However, a provision that would repeal the Affordable Care Act individual mandate could put a full Senate vote at risk.
Neovasc raised about $27.8 million in a private placement of senior secured convertible notes and Series E warrants and $37.5 million in an offering of Series A units and Series B units. The company intends to use the proceeds for litigation expenses and general corporate functions, as well as to fund its ongoing Tiara clinical program and complete its Tiara-II study.
Roche Holding agreed to pay an undisclosed amount for Viewics, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based laboratory business analytics firm that offers a cloud-based solution for integration of big data from information technology platforms. The acquisition, which is expected to be completed Tuesday, will make Viewics an integral part of Roche and help labs speed up data-driven informed decisions on their processes and operations.
Anthem has granted a positive coverage policy decision for artificial pancreas systems, including Medtronic's MiniMed system, after the JDRF persuaded the insurer through the Coverage2Control campaign to "make changes to coverage that enable better diabetes management," JDRF said. The decision means that the country's 25 biggest insurance companies now cover the MiniMed system, JDRF said.
The FDA granted Grifols approval for its blood-based alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency test for use with DNA extracted from a dry blood spot or a blood sample. The test is intended for the detection of 14 SERPINA1 mutations, which cause AAT deficiency, and enables simultaneous analysis of 192 samples per kit.
AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker said he was optimistic that the medical device tax would not go into effect on Jan. 1, but that could be the result of a temporary moratorium and not a permanent repeal. Whitaker also said that AdvaMed will focus more on reimbursement reforms in its priorities next year, as well as ensuring that the FDA implements MDUFA IV as it was intended by Congress.
A study in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer found that supportive therapies for anemia resulted in better patient-reported outcomes for patients with lymphoma than those with multiple myeloma. The 250-person study also found that increases in hemoglobin levels were tied to improvements in fatigue and health-related quality of life. Supportive care consisted primarily of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.
A new report in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases offers guidance on post-exposure prophylaxis of Ebola virus infection. The review describes six Ebola countermeasures as well as scenarios that warrant prophylaxis.