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.
28.11.2014 The first gene therapy for a rare genetic condition — UniQure's Glybera — is on its way to the European market. But there is a hefty price tag: Chiesi, responsible for the marketing of the orphan drug, is asking for a record price of €1.1m per patient.
25.11.2014 The European biotech IPO slump has finally come to an end. A brand new industry report shows that compared to previous years, the number of biotech IPOs more than doubled in 2014, with London and Paris exchanges leading the pack.
19.11.2014 It’s not every day that a company is pushed into the top ten of its sector, but that day has come for Actavis. Christmas came early for the new pharma giant after completing a US$66bn (€53bn) takeover battle for the Botox manufacturer Allergan.
18.11.2014 Merck KGaA and US rival Pfizer have signed a immuno-oncology alliance worth billions: Merck will share the development and commercialisation of its cancer antibody with its US partner – for €2.3bn.
14.11.2014 Cosily coinciding with World Diabetes Day on 14th November, French biopharma Les Laboratories Servier has struck a US$1bn deal with US pharma Intarcia Therapeutics for the exclusive rights to Intarcia’s unprecedented therapy for type 2 diabetes.
12.11.2014 Glitz and glamour are not words often used to describe science and mathematics. But once a year, celebrities from the science and showbiz world come together at the Breakthough Prizes, a glitzy television bash that honours scientists for their achievements. French life scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier was among this year’s winners.
04.11.2014 Galecto Biotech has entered an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the acquisition of the company and its lead drug, providing the Swedish company with the potential of reaching over US$400m.