Scientists and political leaders of South Africa and Sudan have seen the benefits of embracing biotech crops to counter the changing climate and soils quickly losing fertility. "We realized what science and biotech could do for us and threw all our chips in. With this technology we would be able to more than multiply our farm produce," says Hennie Groenewald, executive manager at Biosafety South Africa.
Abbott has exercised an option from 2015 to acquire Cephea Valve Technologies, which is developing a mitral valve replacement technology that can be delivered via a leg vein. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Kyocera has unveiled plans to acquire Renovis Surgical Technologies' major assets in the artificial joint and spinal products space and transfer them to a new, wholly owned company it will establish in California, named Kyocera Medical Technologies. The new business will develop new products using the former Renovis assets and Kyocera's proprietary technologies.
First Light Diagnostics, formerly First Light Biosciences, raised $8.25 million at the closure of an oversubscribed Series A-2 funding round. The company will use the funds to support development of its MultiPath platform for identifying hospital infections, which it plans to market early next year.
A round of financing generated $27 million for laparoscopic surgical device maker Bolder Surgical. The company, formerly known as JustRight Surgical, will use the proceeds to enhance commercial efforts, increase its workforce and develop its product pipeline.
The Pennsylvania Pediatric Medical Device Consortium has been joined by the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and sciVelo in its efforts to provide funding for developers of medical devices designed for children and adolescents. The consortium awarded 16 seed grants to small firms over the past five years and recently had a five-year, $6 million grant renewed by the FDA.
QT Vascular's request to expand a pivotal trial of its Chocolate Touch drug-coated balloon to include the use of atherectomy for lesion preparation has been approved by the FDA. The company also received approval to include a subgroup analysis related to the use of atherectomy.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said HHS Secretary Alex Azar pledged to work with him to lower prescription drug prices. "We are headed for the same goals, but not necessarily the exact same legislation, so I've got to tell you I came out of the meeting feeling hopeful that this is something that we can do on a bipartisan basis," said Cummings, one of a group of lawmakers who recently unveiled sweeping legislation to lower drug prices by permitting drug importation and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
A drug that combines two antibodies protected ferrets and monkeys against the Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire strains of Ebola virus in a single dose, researchers reported in Cell Host & Microbe. The results suggest the drug would continue to offer protection as the virus evolves, says Thomas Geisbert, a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Tuesday plans related to the agency's push to improve oversight of cell and gene therapies considering the 800 active investigational new drug applications and the more than 200 expected each year by 2020. Initiatives include boosting administrative staff with the addition of 50 clinical reviewers and new guidance on regenerative medicine advanced therapy designations, development of products such as gene therapies for hematologic disorders, and development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies.