Boston Sci reportedly looking to sell snake antivenom business

[Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash]

Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) is exploring selling its snake antivenom products business, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources.

A Boston Sci spokesperson told MassDevice via email that the company has a practice of not commenting on speculation.

Boston Scientific acquired the antivenom business during its $4 billion acquisition of BTG, which closed last year. Its products include CroFab, touted as the only FDA-approved product exclusively derived from U.S. snakes. CroFab to date has treated more than 50,000 people suffering from bits from snakes including rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths/water moccasins.

The BTG acquisition also included devices for vascular and oncology applications, as well as drugs for treating overdoses.

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Mydecine Innovations acquires NeuroPharm

Mydecine Innovations today announced it entered a definitive share exchange agreement to acquire 100% of NeuroPharm.

Mydecine Innovations will acquire all issued and outstanding shares in the capital of NeuroPharm for $6 million, which will be payable in common shares in the capital of the company.

NeuroPharm is currently developing evidence-based medicine of psychedelic based therapies to address mental health conditions that are frequently experienced by veterans and frontline workers. Mental health conditions include PTSD, depression, addiction, anxiety, Panic disorders and migraine and cluster headaches.

“According to recent published data, as many as 20 veterans on average commit suicide per day in the U.S. alone, and, to me, this is a heart-breaking staggering statistic that unfortunately is overlooked by so many. We owe everything to our veterans, EMS and frontline personnel, yet the best solutions for their long-term mental health are curre…

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PerkinElmer expects strong Q2 results from COVID-19 testing

PerkinElmer (NYSE:PKI) said today that it anticipates sales growth of approximately 12% for the second quarter, fueled by demand for COVID-19 tests and related products.

The Waltham, Mass.-based diagnostic and scientific instrument company said demand for its RT-PCR and serology tests, RNA extraction systems and kits and automated liquid handling instrumentation was particularly robust. COVID-19 related solutions contributed approximately $190 million of revenue in the quarter ended July 5, 2020, the company noted.

All is not sunny for PerkinElmer, however. A May report by Reuters said the company is under federal scrutiny for alleged involvement in a scam to bill Medicare for tens of thousands of unnecessary genetic cancer tests. PerkinElmer said at the time that it was unaware of such an investigation.

Shares in PKI were up 4% this morning to $105.52 on the news.

PerkinElmer will release its second quarter 2020 financial results on Tuesday, July…

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Biopharmaceutical companies pledge more than $1 billion to develop new antibiotics

More than 20 biopharmaceutical companies around the world have pledged more than $1 billion toward the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund that launched today.

Pledges include $100 million from Pfizer and $50 million from Boehringer Ingelheim.

An initiative of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the fund’s goal is to bring two to four new antibiotics to market by 2030. The collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, philanthropies, development banks, and multilateral organizations is meant to re-invigorate antibiotic development — which has been lagging amid a rapid rise in antibiotic-resistant infections.

“Unlike COVID-19, [antimicrobial resistance] is a predictable and preventable crisis. We must act together to rebuild the pipeline and ensure that the most promising and innovative antibiotics make it from the lab to patients,” said Thomas Cueni, director general of the IFPMA.

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Remington-Davis launches dedicated COVID-19 research unit in Ohio

[Image courtesy of Google Maps]

Clinical research outfit Remington-Davis recently announced that it has launched a dedicated 3,000 ft2 space in Columbus, Ohio for COVID-19 clinical trials.

The space includes six private overnight rooms, patient lounge, dedicated laboratory, oxygen therapy and more. Participants must be 18 or older with COVID-19 symptoms and have a laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection.

Clinical trials have started for REGN-COV2, Regeneron’s anti-viral antibody cocktail for the treating and preventing COVID-19.

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Plakous lands $1.7m from NIH to develop newborn treatment

Plakous Therapeutics announced that it received more than $1.7 million in a research grant from he Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Phase I-II fast-track small business innovation research (SBIR) grant, worth up to $1.725 million, is slated to help Plakous develop novel therapies for preventing the necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) disease in premature babies. The grant is set to supplement Plakous’ currently open $4 million seed round.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Plakous develops the Protego-PD system to prevent NEC by accelerating intestinal maturation of premature infants. Protego-PD is an orally delivered acellular biotherapeutic developed from post-delivery placentas.

The company’s chief scientific officer Seth Tomblyn will be the principal investigator for the three-year project funded by the grant, according to a news release.

“This …

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Sherlock, Binx to develop first CRISPR-based POC test for COVID-19

Sherlock Biosciences and Binx Health recently signed a strategic partnership to develop a point-of-care diagnostic test for COVID-19 that uses CRISPR technology.

Through the collaboration, Binx’s IO diagnostic platform will be combined with the Sherlock CRISPR technology to develop a test that is simple to use. The test is designed to provide rapid and accurate results in one visit in a number of clinical settings.

“We are pleased to partner with Sherlock Biosciences to help bridge a gap in COVID-19 testing—the need for highly accurate point-of-care diagnostic testing in CLIA-waived and near-patient settings,” Binx Health CEO Jeff Luber said in a news release. “In April of this year, Binx health made history with the first 30-minute, FDA-cleared molecular diagnostic instrument for chlamydia and gonorrhea in both men and women that for the first time delivers same-visit diagnoses. Our proprietary platform will now leverage Sherlock’s CRIS…

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Want to reopen your pharma lab amid COVID-19? Consider these strategies first

Here are a few real estate and facility management strategies to help you get your pharma R&D lab up and running amid the COVID-19 pandemic, courtesy of commercial real estate outfit JLL.

Roger Humphrey, JLL

[Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash]

COVID-19 has unleashed a logistical conundrum for pharmaceutical leaders: How do you keep momentum in therapeutics development, when, like all workplaces, most labs have had to either restrict use or close altogether? The answer lies, at least in part, in what companies do now to prepare for a safe, effective reopening.

It won’t be easy, given the pandemic’s colossal impact. Every company will have its own best path to reopening, based on variances in local regulations and capital flow. But there are four key real estate and facility management strategies that can support leaders through this crisis:

1. Harness the power of data to supp…
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BD launches COVID-19 antigen test that can produce results in 15 minutes

Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) announced today that it’s received an FDA emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 antigen test, which the company will start shipping this week.

BD plans to ramp-up manufacturing capacity to 2 million tests per week by the end of September, with 10 million tests produced by the end of September. The tests run on BD’s highly portable Veritor instruments; the company already has about 25,000 Veritor instruments installed at healthcare providers and pharmacies across the U.S.

The assay can produce results in 15 minutes, with 84% sensitivity (ability to exclude false positives) and 100% specificity (ability to exclude false negatives).

“This will be a game-changer for frontline health care workers and their patients to be able to access a quick diagnostic test for COVID-19, offering results in real-time at convenient locations like retail pharmacies, urgent care centers and doctors’ offices,” sai…

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Novartis, Alexion charged with FPCA violations


Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:ALXN) were charged with violations of the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that the pharmaceutical companies both committed violations and both agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle the charges. Novartis settled to pay over $112 million and Alexion agreed to pay more than $21 million.

Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, with its local subsidiaries or affiliates, or former subsidiary Alcon, was found to have engaged in schemes to make improper payments or to provide benefits to public and private healthcare providers in South Korea, Vietnam and Greece in exchange for prescribing or using Novartis or Alcon products.

The SEC says the schemes took place between 2012 and 2016 and were known among certain managers of the subsidiaries or affiliates. According t…

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RTI Surgical posts losses ahead of potential OEM business sale

RTI Surgical (NSDQ:RTIX) shares dipped today on first-quarter results that fell short of the consensus forecast.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company posted losses of -$17.9 million, or -24¢ per share, on sales of $73.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, for a 91% bottom-line slide on sales growth of 5.3%.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, losses per share were also -24¢, 23¢ behind Wall Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $75.3 million.

“I am very proud of the actions taken by our entire organization over the last several months as we have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time managing through the pending sale of the OEM business and a number of other headwinds,” RTI Surgical president & CEO Camille Farhat said in a news release. “The integrity, dedication, and talent of our people have enabled us to come out on the other side of this unique period in time ready to take advantage of the opportunities that…

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Forest Devices partners with Alberta Health Services

Forest Devices announced that it entered into a partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to improve healthcare delivery for stroke patients.

Pittsburgh-based Forest Devices and Calgary, Alberta-based AHS aim to evaluate, implement and scale technologies that can improve patient outcomes and health system economics in Alberta throughout the five-year collaboration, according to a news release.

Forest Devices develops the AlphaStroke stroke diagnostic platform to support prehospital health care providers in identifying strokes in the field so they can make the best triage decisions for patients. The company won the 2019 MedTech Innovator global competition in September and was included in Medical Design & Outsourcing’s list of 20 medtech startups you need to know.

Through the Prehospital Stroke Diagnostics Project, created by AHS in 2019, a team assessed 14 technologies and ultimately determined that AlphaStroke was the most viable solution…

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