BioFunding

Pan-European stem cell project

09.03.2012

In mid-February, scientists and entrepreneurs from nine EU countries met at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona to launch the 4DCellFate project. Positioned within the FP7 Programme, the consortium will receive €12m from the European Commission over the next five years. The key question the project will be trying to solve is how stem-cell reprogramming and differentiation is regulated at the epi­genetic level. In the spotlight are the polycomb repressive complex (PRC) and the nucleosome remodelling and histone deacetylase (NuRD) complexes, including the question of how they govern embryonic stem-cell differentiation in states of health and disease. The research is aimed at finding better ways of generating ethically unproblematic iPS cells, as well as opening up new pathways for directing the fate of stem cells into different specific tissue types. Headed by the CRG, the joint venture includes academic institutions from Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Also on board are GlaxoSmith­Kline plc (UK) and three small biotechnology companies: Horizon Discovery Ltd. (UK), Cellartis AB (Sweden) and CLC bio (Denmark). Using its proprietary virally-mediated gene­engineering technology, Horizon is in charge of generating cell lines with labelled versions of epigenetic target proteins. Cellartis will provide human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and is also involved in large-scale proteomic analyses. CLC bio will build the bio­informatics framework, while pharma giant GSK will assess the potential of translating fundamental scientific findings into new drugs.

Politics / Law

23.03.2012

Brussels/Strasbourg – Health claims are set to be drastically limited in the EU. On Wednesday 21 March the Environment Committee of the European Parliament confirmed a proposal of the European Commission to prohibit 1,600 health...

Politics / Law

15.03.2012

Parma/Stockholm – Foodborne bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are becoming more and more resistant to antimicrobial drugs, according to a joint report published by the European food watchdog EFSA and the European...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

Brussels – The EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) will establish the European Lead Factory, an EU-wide public-private partnership aiming to facilitate drug discovery efforts. The Lead Factory will comprise a...

Editorial

07.03.2012

T    he societal and economic challenges facing Europe and the world are complex and interconnected. The Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, which was adopted by the...

Tech Review

07.03.2012

Intellectual Property (IP) is without question one of the most vital aspects of any bio­tech venture, a key and undisputed factor for success. However, most bio­tech companies are still incapable of unlocking the value of their...

Clinical Trial

07.03.2012

Schlieren – Swiss Cytos Biotechnology Ltd. has been authorised to restructure a convertible bond by Canton of Zurich authorities. The company does not have enough cash to pay it back. Negotiations with bond holders failed in a...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Munich – German 4SC AG jumped 39% to €2.05/share after oncology drug candidate resminostat met the primary endpoint of at least a 20% progression-free survival rate in a Phase II trial to treat patients with hepatocellular...

Editorial

06.03.2012

The start of 2012 witnessed the tides turning in favour of small and mid-cap names in the European Life Sciences sector. Major global biotechnology indices like the NBI, BTK, and BIOTK are up over 15% year to date. The pace of...

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

London – The European Medicines Agency (EMA) calls it “the biggest change to the legal framework since the establishment of the Agency in 1995.” This year, the EU drug regulators are preparing new so-called pharmacovigilance...

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