£250m new funding for life sciences

As reported by the EuroBiotechNews,  approximately £250 million of new funding will go into life sciences across the country, a Government minister has announced.

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced that £250M has been allocated for the first phase of several five year strategic investment programmes. This includes 26 strategic science programmes and 14 key national research capabilities, to be delivered by eight of the UK’s world-leading bioscience research institutes and their university partners. The process will be led by Britain’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts told MPs during Commons Business questions on Thursday that the investment was a “commitment” to Britain’s bioscience research base. Willetts also said: “This investment will sustain excellent science at some of the UK’s leading institutes and universities. This will drive growth, support highly skilled jobs and keep the UK at the very forefront of bioscience, with benefits ranging from healthcare to energy and global food security.”

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Votrient gets positive opinion from Euro CHMP

PharmPro reported that GlaxoSmithKline has announced that its Votrient (pazopanib) drug has been issued with a positive opinion by the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

Votrient® (pazopanib) will be used in the  treatment of adult patients with selective subtypes of advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS) who have received prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease or who have progressed within 12 months after (neo) adjuvant therapy.

As part of its assessment, the CHMP reviewed safety and efficacy data from clinical studies, including one randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, multi-centre Phase III study.

This is good news for those who have selective subtypes of advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma.

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GSK acquire Cellzome for £61 million

The Telegraph have reported that GSK  today, announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire Cellzome for £61 million in which they already own a 20pc stake.

Cellzome is the leader in the development and advancement of proteomics technologies. It currently has labs in Cambridge in the UK and Heidelberg in Germany. GSK currently own 19.98 % equity in the company but they will now assume full control of Cellzome. It will become part of GSK’s R&D organisation.

John Baldoni, senior vice-president of Platform & Technology Science at Glaxo, said: “The acquisition of Cellzome adds significantly to our scientific capabilities and capacity to characterise drug targets, and provides the opportunity to further enhance Glaxo’s ability to bring medicines to patients in a more effective manner.”

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Environmental Agency chairman supports gas extraction technique “fracking”

Environmental Agency chairman supports gas extraction technique “fracking”The Telegraph has reported that the Environmental Agency boss has given his support to the controversial technique of gas extraction “Fracking”

The process of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas. Energy companies say the use of fracking will lead to cheaper supplies.

The chairman of the Environment Agency Lord Smith told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he would not stand in the way of fracking in the UK, as long as certain requirements were met, arguing that “it could be part of the answer” to the UK’s energy demands.

He also said “the source of a domestically available gas supply would, of course, be potentially very beneficial for our energy needs. It could provide energy security, which we don’t necessarily have when we import gas from abroad. It could be affordable,”

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NIH works with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly

NIH collaborate with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Eli LillyFierce Biotech reported that The National Institutes of Health today unveiled a collaborative program that will match researchers with a selection of pharmaceutical industry compounds to help scientists explore new treatments for patients.

NIH’s new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has partnered initially with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly. The drug companies will offer up their data and investigators will have a chance to explore new uses, with a set of deal templates in place to help speed the process on 20 programs.

The investigators will have access to failed drugs to see if they can be repurposed for new uses.

Rod MacKenzie, group senior vice president, head of Pfizer PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development said “Pfizer has a rich history of partnering with the academic and public sectors to discover and develop innovative medicines…We believe that participating in this unique program, and making well researched molecules available to NIH’s broad network of researchers, is another important step in advancing a vibrant biomedical ecosystem.”

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Nolato buys British pharmaceutical packaging company Cope Allman Jaycare

Plastics Today reported that Swedish injection molder Nolato has acquired Cope Allman Jaycare, a pharmaceutical packaging company based in the UK

Nolato have bought Cope Allman Jaycare for an initial SEK 179 million (USD $26 million) and a deferred consideration based on earnings up to and including the first quarter of 2014.

Cope Allman Jaycare has a history within pharmaceutical packaging dating back to 1958. The company has 270 employees at its plants in Portsmouth and Newcastle. They have annual sales of around SEK 270 million (USD $39 million), and its customers comprise of a number of international pharmaceutical companies.

Christer Wahlquist, president of Nolato Medical, in a press release said “Nolato already has a strong position in the Scandinavian pharmaceutical packaging market…….This acquisition gives us a local presence in the UK, which is an important part of the global pharmaceutical industry. It also opens doors with a large number of leading international pharmaceutical companies, which are existing customers of Cope Allman Jaycare.”

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