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.
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.
Ethanol trade groups, including the Renewable Fuels Association, argued that misleading claims about biofuels by its critics will not help ease the global energy crisis. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this week claimed that continued support to biofuel production could drive up food prices.