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Biotech Briefing: Progenity Raises $125 Million for Precision Diagnostics

October 31, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 454 Biotech, Biotech Briefing, Blog

Biotech Briefing: New TSRI App Provides Genetic Risk Score for Heart Disease

Plus: Two major bills affecting life sciences were signed into California law

Reports + Research

TSRI Launches App to Provide Genetic Risk Info for Heart Disease

The MyGeneRank app uses an individual’s genetic data from 23andMe to provide an “estimated genetic risk score” for coronary artery disease. Within the app, the user can adjust behavioral risk factors to see the influence of lifestyle habits on their overall risk. Researchers are interested in using surveys and Apple HealthKit data to determine if this info helped influence lifestyle modifications and statin use.


Impact Biomedicines Closes $90 Million Financing  

After positive Phase 2 data, Impact Biomedicines closed a $90 million structured financing with Oberland Capital to “advance the development, global supply chain build out, and future commercialization of fedratinib.” The drug is a small molecule JAK2 kinase inhibitor that is being developed initially for the treatment of myelofibrosis (MF) and polycythemia vera (PV).


Poseida Therapeutics Awarded $19.8 Million CIRM Grant

The grant will support clinical development of P-BCMA-101, a CAR-T immunotherapy currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial as a treatment for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.

Here’s also an interview with recently-elected CIRM President and CEO Maria Millan.


Two Major Bills Affecting Life Sciences Signed into California Law

Both bills (SB 17 and AB 265) are aimed at drug pricing. The California Life Sciences Association has provided information on both bills and next steps as guidance on implementation.


Going Viral: Vaccines and Viruses in the News This Week

UCSD reports research could help develop a treatment for patients infected with the Zika virus.

Synthetic Genomics signs two separate collaborations to develop next generation vaccines for animal (livestock) health with Ceva Sante Animale and next generation vaccine and therapeutics for human and animal health with Arcturus Therapeutics.

TSRI researchers explain why growing the influenza vaccine in chicken eggs may make the vaccine less effective. The researchers are studying other vaccine production methods to investigate how to replace the egg-based system.


Read + Listen

POW! Podcast of the Week

Oliver Sacks was one of my favorite authors. If you don’t know of him, watch Awakenings (Robin Williams did a very accurate portrayal of him), and then listen to this podcast from Radiolab: Oliver Sacks: A Journey From Where to Where.

BOW! Book of the Week

And read this book by Dr. Sacks: Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood. One of my favorite passages is seeing, through his eyes, the evolution of the periodic table into its final from.



It’s Happening Here

November 2-3
Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum will take place in downtown San Diego.

November 14
Join Cantor Fitzgerald and Banyan Biomarkers for an inside look at raising capital with an investment bank. The lunchtime event is called Fast Forward: A Startup’s Guide to Investment Banks.

November 15
Save the date for a first look at the 2018 California Life Sciences Industry Report.

November 16
Biocom Annual “Celebration of Life” Dinner
will take place November 16. The James Bond-inspired event, “Dare to be Extraordinary,” will feature Scott Hamilton and Karolyn Smith as the dinner speakers.


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