25.06.2012 - A European authority says Monsanto's roundup-ready soy is safe for man and environment. But there is doubt remaining.
Parma/Munich – For the first time, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) soy. So far, the GM soy "roundup-ready" by US-industry leader Monsanto can only be imported to the EU. The Scientific Opinion published by the EFSA’s GMO panel now paves the way for EU Commissioner John Dalli. The Commission can give Monsanto the green light for cultivating the crop on European soils if the EU member states will not achieve a qualified majority on the issue.
However, there might be a fierce head wind blowing. German anti-GMO association Testbiotech e.V. points out that there's a legal minefield in the way. A study done on behalf of Testbiotech says that an expected admittance might violate EU law. Matter of concern: the EFSA opinion itself. According to the study, the EFSA should have also tested if the residues of pesticides to be used (in this case glyphosate) could have negative effects on human health. Not implementing this concern in the risk assessment could be equivalent to a breach of EU laws. The crop in question is soybean 40-3-2. It carries a gene that makes it tolerant to glyphosate (brand name: Roundup). That is why the soybean is also dubbed "roundup-ready soy". The EFSA opinion clearly regulates the use of this pesticide: "It should result in similar or reduced environmental impacts compared with conventional soybean cultivation." The panel also recommends that case-specific monitoring of (1) changes in weed community diversity; and (2) the evolution of resistance to glyphosate in weeds should be deployed.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.
03.05.2016 Ipsen is strengthening its ties to long-time development partner Oncodesign, a Dijon-based cancer treatment biotech. The French pharma is handing over the pre-clinical pharmacology for its oncology research programmes to Oncodesign.
29.04.2016 Swiss bank Group UBS has raised US$471m (€412m) for the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which was set up to invest in early-stage cancer treatments. The money raised by the fund, nearly half of which comes from investors in Asia, is the largest amount ever raised for such a cancer investment fund.
27.04.2016 More revenue, more jobs, more financing, more R&D expenditure – all signs point towards sustainable growth in the German biotech sector. These are the results of the most recent company survey 2016, published by biotechnologie.de. The report was once again conducted alongside the biotech standards defined by the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).
21.04.2016 An expert panel’s final report on the fatal drug trial earlier this year in France states that the death of one of the participants was most likely caused by the drug’s toxicity and not by any violation of the rules.
21.04.2016 For up to US$685m (€606m), Dutch ArgenX has outlicensed its human antibody programme ARGX-115 to AbbVie. The pre-clinical immuno-oncology candidate targets a protein believed to contribute to immunosuppressive effects of T-cells.
19.04.2016 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics and mAb maker Kymab Ltd have partnered up in yet another immuno-oncology collaboration. The companies plan to discover antibody meds targeting a superfamily of receptors.
15.04.2016 Not every company is put off by the current stock market climate. Swiss biopharma company GeNeuro has gone public at Euronext Paris, raising €33m in the process. Others, meanwhile, have to find different ways to raise money.
13.04.2016 Despite political disturbances, 2015 was a good year for the biotech scene in Switzerland. Net sales increased by 5.1% to CHF5,133m and 400 additional people found jobs in the sector. As usual, the new numbers were presented at the annual Swiss Biotech Day – which set new records as well.