Owlstone Medical and Johnson & Johnson's Actelion Pharmaceuticals have entered a strategic collaboration for development and validation of a breath-based test for early pulmonary hypertension diagnosis. Actelion will fund the program, while Owlstone will perform analysis to determine which samples collected from more than 1,000 patients using its ReCIVA device are linked to the disease for the development of a biomarker signature.
A quarterly report released by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine shows the field of gene therapy is experiencing a boom in clinical activity as evidenced by a 17% increase in the number of trials underway compared with the first quarter of 2018. More companies are developing gene therapies, and two are close to being approved -- Bluebird Bio's Zynteglo, formerly LentiGlobin, to treat beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease, and Novartis subsidiary AveXis' Zolgensma, or AVXS-101, for spinal muscular atrophy.
Kenya is likely to approve the import of biotech foods as the country continues to face food shortages. In the next two months, the Cabinet is expected to give its final decision whether to lift the 2012 ban on biotech foods.
Dongwha Australia, a lumber company, uses a multimillion-dollar boiler in its Bombala mill to generate bioenergy from excess sawdust. "We struggled to find a home for the sawdust, so now it will solve a big problem and reduce our gas costs," says project manager Michael Dyer, who notes the mill generates around 200 tons of sawdust each day.
Switzerland-based Medacta will transfer its US headquarters from Chicago to Franklin, Tenn. The company's plan, which will include a research and development laboratory, will involve a $2.5 million investment over the next five years.
Varian Medical Systems has reached a $283 million agreement with private equity firm TPG Growth to buy Cancer Treatment Services International, which manages a network of oncology treatment facilities under the American Oncology Institute brand in South Asia and India. The companies expect the transaction to be completed in two weeks.
Olympus has agreed to exclusively distribute Meditech Endoscopy's Scope Pro-tech endoscopic tip protector device, a sterile cover intended for protecting the distal tip and bending rubber section of endoscopes during storage or transportation.
Phage therapies, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and new diagnostic methods are beginning to fill the antimicrobials pipeline, but the market for antibiotics doesn't encourage development and commercialization, says Helen Boucher, director of Tufts Medical Center's infectious disease fellowship and heart transplant programs. "Pull incentives" and market-entry rewards might be solutions, Boucher says.