05.07.2012 - Under its FP7 programme, the EU will fund a project with the aim to develop a new blood apheresis device for in vivo trapping of circulating tumour cells (CTC).
The consortium of eleven companies, universities, and research institutes is coordinated by Leon Terstappen, Professor of Medical Cell Biophysics at the University of Twente (MIRA Institute, Netherlands). CTCs detach from a primary tumour and circulate in the bloodstream. They play a crucial role in spreading tumour tissue around a patient’s body. Currently only a small quantity of CTCs can be isolated from blood sample volumes of 7.5 mL for genetic and immune phenotyping to assess the sensitivity of tumour cells towards certain therapeutics. The development project totals EUR9m, of which EUR6m are provided by the EU grant. The German specialist Leukocare will develop an extracorporeal blood apheresis column to filter the patient’s whole blood stream under the roof of the programme. This in vivo trapping will increase the sensitivity of cell counting by about 500-fold. Leukocare will receive a EUR 810,000 contribution from the grant over a period of two years to fund its developmental research.
12.05.2015 US pharma is coming to European biotech to fill their pipeline. Pfizer is paying €77.5m for an option on Dutch AM-Pharma, while Juno Therapeutics acquired German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for around €72m.
26.05.2015 The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea has joined the Dutch MEB in its stance on the interchangeability of biosimilars. The Fimea now sees physician-driven switching of biologics as unproblematic.
20.05.2015 The Scottish Government has announced it will double the amount of funds for rare diseases. The New Medicines Fund that was created last year for this purpose will be increased to £80m (€112m).
30.04.2015 The European Parliament has given the go-ahead on a new law limiting the use of harmful crop-based biofuel in the transport sector. The decision marks a breakthrough in the EU’s approach to biofuels.
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