The Grocery Manufacturers Association donated $5 million to support a campaign to defeat Washington state's Initiative 522, which would require special labeling for biotech foods. Opponents of the bill have now raised around $17.1 million, with the association as the top donor.
Sanofi Pasteur initiated a late-stage trial to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of its experimental Clostridium difficile vaccine in patients 50 and older who anticipate a hospital stay or who have had at least two admissions and received systemic antibiotics in the previous 12 months. The trial will include about 15,000 adults and be carried out at 200 sites in 17 countries.
Amgen reportedly increased its bid to acquire Onyx Pharmaceuticals from $120 to $130 per share. If successful, Amgen will get the rights to Onyx's blood cancer drug Kyprolis, which is expected to generate sales of $2.4 billion by 2019, according to estimates by analysts. Onyx and Amgen did not comment on the reported new bid.
A cellulosic project in Kinross, Mich., planned by Mascoma and J.M. Longyear suffered a setback after Valero Energy said it was pulling out of the venture. The project had received a $20 million federal research and development grant, at least $33 million of an $80 million federal grant for construction and $20 million more from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
A Series C funding round has brought in $20 million for Vaxart, a San Francisco-based developer of oral flu vaccines. Vaxart is developing vaccines for H1N1 seasonal influenza, H5N1 avian influenza and H7N9 avian influenza.