Archive for March, 2015

Medical breakthroughs on the horizon with £32m boost for UK research

Posted on March 27th, 2015 by Valorem Life Sciences

New treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies are set to benefit from an investment of £32 million through the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) – a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Innovate UK.

This MRC and Innovate UK funding will be further boosted by over £8 million of investment leveraged from industry bringing the total investment for this round to £40 million.
This seventh round of the BMC, which is now in its third year, will support 38 awards in universities and companies across the UK, from Aberdeen to Somerset, that have the potential to transform the lives of patients with a range of conditions. This includes 20 MRC Confidence in Concept awards to universities to support a portfolio of early stage translational projects.

BMC grants are available to UK academics and small to medium-sized businesses seeking to take their research from discovery through to commercialisation to deliver patient benefit. Any UK small or medium-sized business or academic undertaking research and development has been able to apply to the BMC on a rolling basis, with applications assessed by independent experts.

This latest round of awards brings the number of BMC awards to 293 (168 funded by Innovate UK – formerly the Technology Strategy Board – and 125 funded by the MRC). Since 2011, when it was set up, there has been a total investment of £350 million split equally between the MRC, Innovate UK and leveraged funding from industry.

Source: Pharmiweb

BMS signs $975m deal with Bavarian Nordic

Posted on March 4th, 2015 by Valorem Life Sciences

Bristol-Myers Squibb has bought itself the chance of snapping up rights to Bavarian Nordic’s experimental prostate cancer immunotherapy Prostvac in a deal that could net the latter more up to $975 million.

The US drug giant is paying the Danish biotech an initial $60 million for the option to license rights to the drug – a prostate-specific antigen-targeting cancer immunotherapy being developed for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer – and then further upfront and milestone payments up to $915 million if it decides to proceed.

BMS has been given an undisclosed time-frame to exercise its option following completion of the ongoing Phase III trial of Prostvac, with results reportedly expected late 2016, early 2017, according to media reports.

The company is planning a further combination study of Prostvac and its checkpoint inhibitor Yervoy (ipilimumab) on the back of promising early-stage results, and is also considering other immunotherapies that might be paired with Bavarian Nordic’s drug in exploratory trials.

Source: Pharma Times