This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Collaboration is a constant theme for biotech companies, from inception to exit: researchers work together to generate novel ideas, young companies work with development and formulation partners, and collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and biotechs are the classic final phase of drug development. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg:

Foundations work together: foundations formed by the families of patients can be the most ardent advocates for getting drugs to market, but that is an expensive process. One solution is for multiple foundations to pitch in to fund the same project. That was the story with CureDuchenne and the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne each awarded grants of $250,000 to Nasdaq-listed AVI BioPharma to advance its drug development program.

Genes and the environment work together: the more we learn about genetics, and the more genomes we sequence, the harder it is to remember that our health is not fully predetermined. Studies in prominent journals recently have shown that for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, genetic markers aren’t as good for predicting risk as some had hoped. Particularly for complex traits and diseases, how you are raised and the choices you make will continue to be at least as important as what you inherit.

Canadians and Americans work together: hard as it may be to remember today, we collaborate all the time with our neighbo(u)rs to the South. This past week saw a great success in that mold when Ception Therapeutics was bought by Cephalon, sending some portion of the money North to Ception investors Lumira Capital. McMaster University also benefitted along the way, having performed some of the clinical work on Ception’s products that piqued Cephalon’s interest.

This coming week should be exciting as well, with the federal budget showing up on Twitter. Keep an eye on the Cross-Border Biotech Blog and @crossborderbio for an analysis of this year’s government-sponsored crop of innovation initiatives.

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