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.

Tech Review

06.03.2012

The Philogen group is a specialist for therapies against cancer. Unlike other private companies, the Swiss-Italian firm has developed a rich pipeline of antibodies consisting of five different molecules being tested in 15...

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Clinical Trial

02.03.2012

Sweden’s Karo Bio AB has been hit hard by toxicity issues with its lead compound eprotirome. The anti-cholesterol drug – which was in Phase III clinical development – proved unsafe in a long-term animal tests. The drug lead to...

Clinical Trial

01.03.2012

Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals Inc. reported on 22 February that its lead candidate drug proved successful in a clinical trial involving 12 patients who suffer from hemophilia B. The results were presented at the 5th Annual EAHAD...

Politics / Law

24.02.2012

London – The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will publish information about all drugs under review, beginning on March 1. On a monthly basis the company will issue a list disclosing the international non-proprietary name and...

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