AveXis, a Novartis unit, unveiled updated data from its late-stage trial assessing its gene therapy candidate Zolgensma, or onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi, as a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy type 1. Data, which indicated the drug resulted in sustained benefit among participants in this patient group, were presented during the European Neurology Society Congress.
Bluebird Bio recently reported updated results from its Phase II/III trial evaluating its Lenti-D gene therapy that the company will use to support the treatment's potential fast-track approval during a presentation made at the congress of the European Paediatric Neurology Society. The investigational gene therapy is indicated as a treatment for cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy.
Themis Biosciences of Austria gained a little over $44 million from a Series D funding round to finance its late-stage trial evaluating its vaccine for chikungunya infections. The international trial will be conducted in the US and Europe and is slated to be launched in the coming months.
University of Cambridge investigators in the UK discovered that the tomato's Rider retrotransposons, also referred to as jumping genes, may prove useful in crop breeding to boost drought resistance not only in tomatoes but in crops where the jumping genes are also active, such as beetroot, quinoa and rapeseed, according to findings published in the journal PLOS Genetics. Global warming's extreme effects are damaging crops globally, and improving crop resilience is key to combating the challenges caused by climate change.
A Series E funding round raised $290 million for Ginkgo Bioworks, with the additional capital to support continued development of its cell programming platform. Gingko's synthetic biology technology is being used to create compounds from fermented yeast to be applied in the manufacture of products such as cosmetics, food ingredients, flavors, and fragrances.
President Donald Trump is expected to meet with oil-state senators over the share of ethanol in the US fuel supply. Trump's visit last week with Midwestern senators raised the hopes of farmers and lawmakers that the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2020 would be increased by over 2 billion gallons from the current target proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency for next year.
Senate lawmakers have directed the CMS to boost Medicare reimbursement for non-opioid devices, a move the medical device industry also supports. In April, AdvaMed sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, asking the agency to increase payments for non-opioid devices.
BioStream has agreed to distribute IsoPlexis' IsoCode and IsoLight single-cell protein analysis products in Japan. The products provide highly multiplexed protein measurements at the single-cell level for use in development and biomarker discovery.
Novigenix has secured BioLizard's collaboration in developing an artificial intelligence-based algorithm to help transition its Colox immuno-transcriptomic RT-PCR early cancer detection platform onto the new LITOseek system.