On July 29 2010 SynCo Bio Partners and Versartis extended their collaboration following the recent initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with monthly dosing of VRS-859. The extension comes less than 12 months since the parties entered into a strategic partnership to manufacture Versartis’ lead product VRS-859 (exenatide-XTEN).
Under the extended agreement, SynCo will scale-up a second manufacturing process on behalf of Versartis, this time in preparation for the GMP manufacture of VRS-317, a once monthly form of human growth hormone for the treatment of children and adults with growth hormone deficiency. As with the VRS-859 program, SynCo will also provide fill and finish services for the manufacture, testing and release of formulated Drug Product vials. SynCo completed process development and optimization, scale-up and GMP manufacture of VRS-859 for Phase 1 clinical studies earlier this year.
On July 29 2010 Isis Pharmaceuticals received a $5 million milestone payment from GlaxoSmithKline related to the designation as a development candidate of a drug to treat an undisclosed rare and serious disease. Isis will develop the drug to Phase 2 proof-of-concept, at which time GSK has the option to license it.
On July 29 2010 Icagen Inc is to receive $3 million milestone payment from Pfizer for the initiation of a clinical trial in their collaboration involving a sodium channel program for pain and related disorders. The two companies have initiated a clinical study in healthy volunteers of several collaboration compounds in order to assist in the selection of compounds for further clinical development. Pfizer has funded all aspects of the collaboration, including research and preclinical development efforts at Icagen, and has exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize products that result from the collaboration.
On July 29 2010 Quest Software Inc entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Surgient Inc gaining access to Suigent’s cloud platform that enables organizations to deploy and manage secure cloud infrastructures to gain business agility and reduce costs. With the Surgient Automation Platform, organizations can create robust and secure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds that may be shared across the organization.
On July 29 2010 Aptuit Inc and Siena Biotech S.p.A. began a strategic partnership in which Siena Biotech will take a minority stake in Aptuit’s Italian operations in Verona, Italy, and Aptuit will become a provider of choice for Siena Biotech’s development pipeline. Under the agreement Aptuit and Siena Biotech will work collaboratively on the development of Siena Biotech’s pipeline of compounds, focused in three key therapeutic areas, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and oncology. Financial terms were not disclosed.
On July 29 2010 Dako and Omnyx entered into a three-year agreement to develop clinical algorithms for digital pathology. The aim is to support pathologists in generating more accurate, objective and reproducible diagnostic results.
Under the agreement, Dako will utilize its expertise in staining and image analysis to develop image analysis algorithms, which will be incorporated into the Omnyx digital pathology platform as part of Omnyx’s overall strategy of providing pathologists with a comprehensive digital work environment. The algorithms developed under the agreement will be specifically optimized for Dako’s breast cancer panel of immunohistochemical and in-situ hybridization tests.
On July 29 2010 Charles River Laboratories International Inc and WuXi PharmaTech mutually agreed to terminate their acquisition agreement whereby Charles River would acquire WuXi PharmaTech.
The decisions to terminate the deal follows opposition for the deal primarily from large stakeholders in Charles River like JANA Partners LLC, Relational Investors, and Neuberger Berman, as well as from other investors and proxy advisory firm Proxy advisory firm RiskMetrics.
On July 27 2010 Japan’s No. 1 Web portal Yahoo Japan indicated that it will use Google (GOOG) technology to run its search engine and search ad delivery system. Under the agreement the bulk of Internet searches done in Japan will use Google’s search engine. Yahoo (YHOO) had dropped its own search service and adopted technology from rival Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing search engine. In Japan, Yahoo and Google accounted for over 80% of total searches.
No specific date has been set for the switch to take place. This is not the first time that Yahoo Japan is using Google services. Between April 2001 and May 2004 Yahoo Japan used the Google search engine to power its search results. Under the official terms of agreement, Yahoo Japan users will be served both paid and algorithmic search results generated by Google technology on the backend. This is similar to the Yahoo-Bing deal.
On July 28 2010 Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc and its partner Athersys Inc announced positive results from their phase I clinical trial of MultiStem(R), an allogeneic cell therapy product, administered to individuals following acute myocardial infarction, more commonly referred to as a heart attack. The study results, which represent at least four months of post-treatment patient data, demonstrate that MultiStem was well tolerated at all dose levels and also suggest improvement in heart function in treated patients.
Athersys and Angiotech will continue to evaluate the phase I results and intend to begin planning for a subsequent clinical study, which they anticipate will start in 2011.
On July 27 2010 Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Inc (NVD), a division of Novartis AG, signed a supply and option agreement with Dynavax for Dynavax’s Universal Influenza Vaccine. NVD is also obligated to provide commercial supplies of its vaccine once clinical proof-of-concept has been established. A clinical study to demonstrate proof-of-concept data is planned for 2011. Dynavax and NVD are based in the US.