Biotechnology, supplier reliability and export expansion are key factors in strengthening the U.S. wheat industry, said Michael Edgar, chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates, the sector's export market development association. The USW is collaborating with the National Association of Wheat Growers to boost industry support for the adoption of biotech wheat.
Roche Holding and Cellular Dynamics International are expanding their research and development agreement for using heart cells derived from stem cells in testing drugs for toxicity. "We view this as the next logical step in providing Roche with high-quality [induced pluripotent stem cell]-derived human cardiomyocytes in sufficient volumes for their drug toxicity and development needs, thereby helping to bring safe and effective medicines to patients faster," said Robert Palay, CEO of Cellular Dynamics.
Medtronic has invested $2.5 million in NanoCor Therapeutics to help it develop and bring to market its gene therapy for congestive heart failure. NanoCor also will raise additional financing for the treatment, which uses a gene to improve the heart's blood-pumping ability.
Stem cells called Isl1 that are found in developing hearts of human embryos can turn into any of the three major forms of cardiac tissue, scientists at Harvard University discovered. They say the stem cells, which are located in a "hot spot" where congenital heart defects develop, might help treat damaged hearts and shed new light on fatal birth defects.
Sepracor said SEP-225289, its depression drug candidate, did not reduce symptoms of depression in a midstage trial and showed side effects that were inconsistent with earlier studies. The biotech firm also announced that two pediatric studies of its sleep drug Lunesta were put on "clinical hold" because of questions from the FDA about nonclinical data.