Policy Workshop: Life Sciences News Archive

Lab exercise: How a Swiss spinout turned science into cash

Dectris builds its X-ray detector technology into a €30M market niche

Call for looser rules in Horizon 2020

Researchers tell MEPs that audit culture, reimbursement system, and evaluation criteria for eastern countries should be reformed

New project to map Europe’s scientific research infrastructures

A comprehensive database of 900 European research infrastructures will allow scientists to access resources, services and facilities of which they may previously have been unaware

US is still first in science, but China is rising fast as funding stalls elsewhere

American dominance in biomedical research is shrinking, as international collaboration becomes ever more prominent

Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, US and UK top the Global Innovation Index 2017

In the tenth edition of the Index, China becomes the first-ever middle income economy to be ranked in the top 25

Declaration calls for all clinical studies to be registered and the results published

Leading funders of clinical research around the world say they will require grant holders to register trials in advance and to publish data in full, regardless of whether the results are positive or not

Scientists cheer Macron’s victory but must await his plan for R&D

As a former investment banker, Macron understands venture capital and what it takes to promote innovation. He wants to push on with university reform and improve science teaching, but the exact shape of his agenda hangs on parliamentary elections

Senior EU research official to join Merck & Co.

Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, deputy director general for research, in surprise move to US pharma group in June

Genome editing of plants and livestock needs new approach to regulation

Using gene editing in plant and animal breeding does not involve adding foreign DNA and is outside the scope of EU regulations on GMOs. But the EU needs to urgently clarify the status of organisms bred in this way, say Europe’s science academies

UK government must provide clarity on future of chemicals regulation after Brexit

UK chemical industry needs certainty on validity of EU registration under the REACH regulation, say MPs

Pharma R&D heads make plea for early decision on new base for European Medicines Agency

The European Council needs to decide in June where the EMA will relocate after Brexit. If not its “well-oiled” machinery could stall and the safety of medicines be put at risk

World’s first gene therapy to be withdrawn in from market in Europe

After treating only one person with the ground-breaking therapy, uniqure is giving up on Glybera and shifting all its commercial manufacturing to the US

Governments and private donors pledge €756M to treating neglected tropical diseases

As the World Health Organisation released a report showing nearly a billion people each year are getting treatment for NTDs, the pharma industry renews its pledge on drug donations

PRACE’s 14th call drives forward broad range of research

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) has opened up greater access to supercomputer time for researchers around Europe

Give life-saving diagnostic tests greater priority

The UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences calls for the establishment of an international body to advocate for rapid diagnostic tests for existing and emerging diseases

Bidding war for European Medicines Agency intensifies as Article 50 trigger looms

The competition among cities vying to replace London as home of the drug regulator is hotting up. A decision on the new location could be announced before June

Trump slays science budget

Whopping cuts unveiled in budget proposal undermine United States’ leadership in science and technology

US companies call for UK to maintain freedom of movement

They invested £487B in the UK in 2015. Now US multinationals are prepared to relocate operations and staff to stay within the single market. The message to the UK government is clear: a hard Brexit will jeopardise investment

How competitive is your region? Find out in the 2016 Regional Competitiveness Index

The third edition of the Regional Competitiveness Index compares 263 EU regions, providing useful insights for boosting economic and innovation performance.

WHO lists antibiotic priorities as spur for pharma industry and basic research

The WHO’s first-ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” names 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to humans. The list is intended to ensure R&D responds to public health needs

Europe outpaced in race to commercialise gene-editing technologies

Companies working to commercialise the use of Crispr–Cas9 in human therapies are choosing the US over Europe to raise money

Gates to Europe: Prioritise health research for poor countries in the next Framework Programme

Billionaire philanthropist pitches for sustained EU research support in developing world, amidst fears that UK and US governments may dramatically scale back

Science loses an exuberant storyteller

Hans Rosling excelled at presenting fun, accessible data and busting myths on the perceived gap between the industrialised and developing worlds

Commissioner: I would join the march for science

EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas praises scientists for finding their voice. At a time when facts are ignored and experts denigrated, it is great that researchers will show up and tell people how important science is, he tells Science|Business

EU-LIFE: Support innovation with excellence

A European alliance of life-science research centres, EU-LIFE, is arguing for strengthened excellence and enhanced collaborative research across FP9. They call upon the Commission to focus on human capital and the early stages of innovation to provide fuel to the innovation process

Novo Nordisk to bet £115M on Oxford University diabetes centre

Danish pharmaceutical firm says it will invest £115M over the next decade in the latest signal that for now the UK’s advantages in discovery research in life sciences are outweighing concerns about Brexit

Nobel laureate Paul Nurse joins top EU science panel

UK representation restored to EU Scientific Advice Mechanism

Health at a Glance: Chronic disease costs European economy €115B a year

Joint European Commission and OECD study of 36 countries finds big disparities in outcomes and says governments should spend more on public health and prevention to cut premature deaths

Chronocam start-up aims to help machines see like humans

Christoph Posch, co-founder and CTO of Chronocam, discusses with Science|Business’ Daniel Echikson his company’s new sensor technology. Q. Could you explain the...

European Medicines Agency feels Brexit effect

Uncertainty over the future home of the EU’s drug regulator is impacting recruitment and staff motivation, director tells MEPs

Finland expresses interest in bagging European Medicines Agency

Country joins the battle to host the EU's London-based drug agency after Brexit

UK scientists begin to feel the Brexit pinch

Fall in the pound pushes up price of chemical reagents and lab equipment for UK researchers

Genome editing needs urgent scrutiny says UK ethics group

Nuffield Council on Bioethics launches a review of the potential use of powerful editing tools in human reproduction and livestock, warning policymakers about the easy-to-use technology falling into the hands of ‘garage geneticists’

Pharma companies pledge action to fight antimicrobial resistance

New pact by major companies including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and Novartis follows vow by global leaders for greater effort against superbugs

New online report launched on ERC-funded food research

Science|Business-led consortium highlights latest research into diet and nutrition

Karolinska sharply criticised in enquiry into Macchiarini misconduct case

Finger is pointed at former vice chancellors and at a bunker mentality, which meant warnings about stem cell scientist’s competence and scientific rigour went unheeded for too long

UK life sciences sector to unveil its post-Brexit blueprint

After intensive work over the summer, the sector will launch its transition programme tomorrow and present it to the government next week

Antibody discovered by Zurich University spin-out shows positive effect in Alzheimer’s disease

Promising discovery by Neurimmune Therapeutics, published in Nature, supports the further development of the treatment

Switzerland still world’s top innovator, study says

Fifteen of the top 25 innovators in the world are in Europe, including the top three

Commission updates Horizon 2020 work programmes

EU makes open science the new norm and earmarks €11 million for research on migration. Free availability of data is a response to the post-factual age, Carlos Moedas tells the Euroscience conference in Manchester

Paris hosts the Human City as part of the ERC=Science2 communications campaign

Earlier this week, the ERC = Science² project kicked off a series of public engagement events with a 2-day programme (July...

Wellcome Trust launches new open access platform

Scientists will be encouraged to publish findings ahead of peer review, with papers going online just a week after submission. The research charity hopes other funders will follow its lead

UK to set up independent patient data taskforce

The research charity Wellcome Trust is to host a taskforce formed in response to new recommendations on the use of patient data.

How to buy more health: Part Two - Listen to patient preferences

Putting patients at the centre will extract more value and promote sustainability of Europe’s healthcare systems. A new charter signed last week sets out principles for patient empowerment to achieve this

MedTech firms fear UK could decouple from EU regulatory system

UK industry experts played a leading role in hammering out new medical devices rules signed off the week before Brexit referendum. Now they fear they will be barred from the system

Pharma industry calls for taskforce to agree terms of UK withdrawal from the EU

“A vote for Brexit would be a disaster,” said the UK Life Sciences Minister George Freeman in advance of the referendum. Now the sector must face up to that bleak reality

Explosive package prompts tighter security at EU food safety watchdog

Scientists to unite behind targeted European Food Safety Authority in public letter to EU lawmakers, which will also call for action against a growing mistrust in experts

Strong opposition from all sides to EU proposal for regulating hormone-disrupting chemicals

Commission fails to satisfy anyone as long-awaited “science-based” criteria for harmful chemicals are slammed by industry, environmental and health groups

Scotland appoints a new chief scientific adviser

Sheila Rowan, an award-winning experimental physicist, fills the vacancy after an 18-month gap

Merck opens new digital health accelerator round

Three-month start-up support programme looking for a new crop of companies in Germany and Kenya

Commission to revamp scheme for attracting skilled workers from outside the EU

European Commission acknowledges its Blue Card scheme has underwhelmed, as it sets out new proposals to relax permit rules and ease access

New European Commission health studies planned for 2016 and 2017

Preliminary timetable set for publication of reports on 28 member states’ health systems. The aims is to highlight best practice and provide evidence to inform the modernisation of Europe’s hard-pressed healthcare systems

UK Royal Society says GM crops are safe to eat

New study builds on similar findings by the US National Academy of Sciences, but environmental groups remain unconvinced

How to buy more health

Harvard economist Michael Porter argues that, to improve performance, healthcare systems need to measure not what goes in, but what comes out. A movement to focus more on such ‘patient outcomes’ is gathering speed in Europe

Innovative Medicines Initiative says its early goals being met

A new analysis says EU’s €3.3B pre-competitive drug research programme is delivering highly-rated science, levering in private money and creating new partnerships. But the full socio-economic benefits are yet to come

EU Commission faces call to resign over failure to regulate hormone-disrupting chemicals

A second no-confidence motion laid down by fringe members of the Parliament against the Juncker Commission is certain to fail – but it raises pressure on the executive over long-awaited criteria for risky chemicals

EU Commission takes legal action against Italy over animal testing

Scientists say strict limits on using animals in the lab hurt scientific research

Digital health start-ups are poised to make an impact

A new wave of entrepreneurs aims to bring healthcare into the digital age. Innovations on show at last week’s iMinds conference will assist health and social care professionals, cut costs, make hospitals more efficient and empower patients

Kaunas University spin out wins €1M investment

Lithuanian medical software specialist attracts VC backing, after developing its technology with backing from several EU grants

Human Brain Project opens up its data repositories to new users

EU’s controversial billion-euro initiative invites scientists outside the project to use and test its computing platforms

Despite potential benefits, big data faces resistance in healthcare

Fears big data could affect insurance coverage and be used to track the performance of clinicians are holding back adoption. But big data means better data, according to speakers at a Science|Business conference

Greco-German SME partners working on €4.7 million project to validate biomarker for brain tumours

The four-year Gliomark project aims to develop and commercialise a novel diagnostic for brain cancer. It has been funded by the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

Johnson & Johnson to launch pan-European bioincubator

In a show of faith in European biomedical research, the pharma company is extending its open innovation approach and setting up a bioincubator at its campus in Beerse, Belgium. Start-ups using the facility will have access to expertise, equipment and funding

MEPs call for investment in antibiotic development and restrictions on veterinary use

To fight growing antimicrobial resistance, the use of existing antimicrobial drugs should be restricted, and there should be incentives for new ones should be developed

Karolinska Development company Aprea raises €47M

Largest round by any Karolinska spin-out, and biggest in ten years for a private company in Sweden

Economic return of UK public medical research is between 15-18% a year

A new study find that every pound invested in medical research over the last 30 years generated an equivalent investment from the pharma industry

European Institute of Innovation and Technology to be reformed following audit

Education Commissioner Navracsics sets up expert panel ‘to improve the EIT’ in advance of a special performance audit from the EU’s accounting watchdog

Dutch urge greater Europe-wide action on antimicrobial resistance

Doctors and farmers need to use antibiotics less and more wisely, says Dutch health minister

Vaccine race underway for Zika virus

Following stark warnings from the World Health Organization, the rapid development of a vaccine has become a top priority

Non-profit alliance aims to advance treatments for rare diseases

The BioPontis Alliance hopes its new model for bringing patients’ insights and industry expertise to bear in preclinical research will reduce risk and promote development of rare disease therapies. The Alliance has funding from a Belgian charity for its first project

New EU health plans target jobs, growth and productivity

The Science|Business interview: Top EU health official outlines a push for better performance, crisis management – linked to Juncker economic agenda

Shaping up basic research for translation to market

While the European Research Council exists to fund excellent basic science, its proof of concept grants allow researchers to go one step further and embark on the path to commercialisation. A spinout formed as a result has been named ‘Most Investible Company’

Italian biotech accelerator launched with €6M VC investment

New accelerator will initially work with the tech transfer team of three research institutes to uncover promising new ideas

EU Parliament throws out proposal on national GMO bans

MEPs shoot down Commission’s proposal to leave policy on the import of genetically modified organisms in the hands of EU member states - but Commission says the bill will stay on the table

2015 ACES finalists announced

Four spin-outs from Norway, Sweden and France will go through to final awards competition in Barcelona on 20 November 2015

25 features of the new Horizon 2020 research plans: robot farmers to 5G phones

Final work plans for 2016 and 2017 are out, with ambitions to replace animal testing, resist the rising tide of antimicrobial resistance and deliver faster internet speeds

China receives its first Nobel prize - for malaria drug based on traditional medicine

The chemistry prize is awarded for research that uncovered how cells fix DNA damage; physics for demonstrating neutrinos have mass, and the medicine prize for the discovery of drugs against parasitic diseases

First patient treated with new human embryonic stem cell treatment

The London Project to Cure Blindness reported completion of the first procedure to implant a patch seeded with retinal cells derived from an embryo. The treatment is for macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss

Europe’s leading life sciences clusters light the way in healthcare innovation

A new Science|Business analysis puts the spotlight on the most innovative clusters in Europe, uncovering what it takes to translate research from bench to bedside and highlighting the crucial need for policy support, innovation pull, and access to finance

AstraZeneca embraces crowdsourcing in cancer R&D

UK pharma company jumps on the open access R&D bandwagon, offering access to data on over 50 of its drugs, with the aim of inspiring new combination therapies for cancer

Life science start-ups turning to crowdfunding

A new report shows 42 companies raised almost €23M through crowdfunding in Europe in the past five years. Founders say it is a good means of raising quick cash, but not a replacement for angels or VCs

Scientists await details of reform of the controversial Human Brain Project

One year on, the new board overseeing the €1B project is yet to present revised strategic goals

Human gene editing work should continue say major UK research funders

Research bodies say they will continue to fund the controversial technique but call for a debate to discuss potential applications

Google life sciences teams up with Sanofi to improve diabetes care

Internet giant’s latest foray into medical research will see it develop more accurate ways to track blood sugar levels

Scotland’s ban on GM crops a threat to the country’s science, say researchers

Leading research bodies are asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the Scottish government’s announcement of a ban on GM cultivation. The decision has no basis in scientific fact and is anti-science in Scotland, they say

Innovative Medicines Initiative says its research matches the best

An analysis of journal papers indicates IMI’s research has a high impact, but the partnership’s former head Michel Goldman says bibliometrics do not properly reflect the interests of participants. New metrics are needed to assess interdisciplinary projects

UK builds its capacity in cell and gene therapy manufacturing

Facilities are in place for early stage clinical trials but most are based in universities or hospitals, and commercial scale manufacturing is yet to come on-stream

Oxford University spin-off Oxitec acquired for $160M

Oxitec’s technology for combatting dengue fever by releasing sterile mosquitoes into the wild will be applied to other insect-borne diseases by new owner Intrexon

UK marks 40th anniversary of invention of monoclonal antibodies

The first paper describing this now world-leading class of therapeutics was published in August 1985. Since then, the UK Medical Research Council has received more than £580M in royalties

Dutch universities square off with Elsevier

With open access talks failing to break new ground, the Netherlands’ university association calls for researchers to consider giving up their posts with Elsevier journals

Irish national Pierre Meulien appointed to run Innovative Medicines Initiative

The current head of Genome Canada will take over as executive director of the world’s largest pharmaceuticals public-private partnership in September

Europe’s biotech companies unite to fight antimicrobial resistance

The BEAM Alliance – Biotechs from Europe innovating in Antimicrobial Resistance - brings together 37 companies from ten countries to accelerate progress in dealing with drug-resistant infections

Pharma industry hits out at Horizon 2020 cut

Europe’s pharma industry says the €2.2B cut to Horizon 2020 is misguided, while scientists and MEPs declare themselves happy, for the most part, that the cut is less than the €2.7B originally proposed

Poland making moves to lift barriers to investing in drug discovery

Shortcomings in the framework for clinical trials, little knowledge of intellectual property law and an awkward relationship between scientists and technology transfer offices are holding back science-industry collaboration, but work is in hand to change things

Reprieve for under fire EU pharma partnership after Parliament vote

Europe’s €3B Innovation Medicines Initiative faced scrutiny over pharma companies’ contributions to the programme in the European Parliament this week – and passed the test.

Success rate in Bio-Based industries Joint Technology Initiative is 25-50%

Early figures suggest the EU academic/industrial programme is popular both in Europe and the US

European gene therapy pioneer lands $2B-plus partnership deal

uniqure NV, the Dutch company which won the first approval for a gene therapy, is taking its technology into the mainstream in a collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop treatments for heart diseases

New initiatives launched with €365M to tackle major global health problems

A £195M fund to address antimicrobial resistance and a $100M VC fund to spur drug discovery in dementia, both announced by the UK government this week, aim to build international coalitions to deal with these threats

Europe’s €1B Human Brain Project needs urgent reform, report says

Neuroscientists say their claims that the hugely divisive project was being taken over by computer scientists have been validated

Incentives help biotech SMEs to greater success in drug approvals

Better use of support mechanisms put in place by the European Medicines Agency has increased the success rate of SMEs applying for approval of new medicines

Call to set up international fund to tackle drug-resistant superbugs

International R&D funding bodies should contribute to a single fund to develop new antibiotics, says an independent commission established by UK government to draw up a global plan to deal with antimicrobial resistance

Upstarts go after food industry’s lunch

Bigger firms are looking over their shoulders at a new generation of start-up food companies

Abuse of medical data should carry prison sentences, says UK’s leading medical ethics body

New study calls for more public involvement in the design of big data medical research projects such as DNA databanks and epidemiological studies based on healthcare records, allowing research to continue whilst protecting individual privacy

And now for another smash hit…

CERN is getting ready to switch on its massive underground collider again. The Higgs boson, the standout discovery of the last few years, is in the bag, so what are physicists looking for now?

And the winners are … EIT picks Roche and Helmholtz groups to start new KICs

Innovation clusters in life sciences and raw materials set to start in 2015, following year-long bidding competition

Corporate R&D spending in Europe slows, Commission says

In 2013, the growth rate of private R&D investment in Europe fell to 2.9 per cent, due to falling corporate profits and a weak pharma and tech sector

Call for reform of European Medicines Agency as head is ousted

A European Court of Justice ruling invalidates Guido Rasi’s appointment as head of the EMA, opening the way for further questions on the governance of the agency

Eastern Europe needs more cochlear implants, says technology pioneer

EU policymakers say they’re ready to listen up and help increase awareness – but better data on prevalence of hearing impairments must come first

EU hospitals report medicine shortages

The European Medicines Agency should play a greater role in monitoring shortfalls, a new study suggests

New European consortium to tackle antibiotic resistance

Drive-AB has €9.4M to develop new business models to promote industry investment in antibiotics and prevent their inappropriate use

ACES Life Sciences winner InSphero adds a new dimension to toxicity testing of drugs

InSphero’s breakthrough in generating 3D cell models of human organs at scale for use in toxicity screens attracted potential customers to invest in proving the technology. Now all the top ten pharma companies are users

A 12-point prescription for Europe’s healthcare biotech sector

Biologic drugs deliver health and wealth. But it is a long, fraught path from lab to bedside. Science|Business brought together research, business and policymakers to draft a risk-reduction plan for the new Parliament and Commission

EU puts up almost €25 million for Ebola research

Funding to be spent on clinical trials in Africa and assessing safety of experimental vaccine candidates. EMA to speed reviews.

EU health directorate to retain oversight of medicines

MEPs, consumer and patient groups claim victory in broad lobbying effort

Train doctors for the big data future of healthcare, say science futurologists

To realise the potential - and prevent the misuse - of digitised healthcare information, statistics and programming need to feature in medical training. And better security must be put in place to ensure patient privacy

Row erupts over Juncker’s proposal to shift oversight of pharma

Pharma industry denies it lobbied for medicines to move from health to enterprise directorate

Scientists use E.coli to generate renewable propane

Bacteria have been genetically engineered to produce propane. Now there is a challenge to scale-up the process

Harnessing biotechnology for a more sustainable economy

Taking a page out of nature’s handbook, Novozymes deploys enzymes to help (re) create a bio-based society

Tale of two biotech stars

The CEOs of Ablynx and uniQure, at a Science|Business event, tell their growth stories – and what Europe needs to do if there are to be more companies like theirs bringing new medicines to market

European Commission dismisses challenge to embryonic stem cell research

In blocking the Citizen’s Initiative calling for an end to funding, the Commission has renewed its support for embryonic stem cell funding

Poland looks to spur translation of its medical research

While it has a high reputation for the quality of its basic medical research, Poland lacks the means to translate this into the clinic. International collaboration is needed to help build this infrastructure

Raiding the underwater medicine cabinet: the EU’s €9.5M venture into the sea

As resistance to traditional antibiotics reaches crisis levels, scientists are poised to forage in hard-to-reach sea trenches for new antimicrobials and novel compounds that could provide the basis of new drugs

Drug approvals show SMEs and academia are the source of most innovation

Productivity in the pharma industry is up, but the origins of more than half of new drugs lies outside corporate labs.

IMI Launches €12.2 million Flu Vaccines Call

Five year programme to develop improved tests for evaluating vaccines

MEPs vote for stricter rules on medical devices

Faulty hip and breast implant scandals prompt stricter monitoring and certification for new devices

The EU–US Free Trade Agreement: what it might mean for healthcare

The Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) currently under negotiation could have major effects on healthcare systems, according to speakers at the European Health Forum held in Bad Hofgastein, Austria.

Re-inventing the test tube: Sphere Fluidics pioneers new approach to analysing cell samples

ACES Life Science Award winner and Cambridge spin-out wields biochips and water droplets that act as miniature test tubes to speed drug discovery

Kellogg’s food science lab opens at Leuven facility

Following the 2011 establishment of a chair in cereal science at KU Leuven, the US cereals and snacks giant is putting down R&D roots at the Leuven Bio-Incubator.

ACES alumni show entrepreneurial savvy

In the five years since it was established, 60 start-ups have made the final of the Science|Business Academic Enterprise Awards. The progress of these alumni throws a spotlight on the effort and dedication needed to make a commercial success of a university spin-out

Right treatment to the right patient at the right time – the EU unveils €3.4B drug discovery collaboration

Personalised medicine, unmet medical need and faster translation of basic research will be the focus of the second stage of the Innovative Medicines Initiative

Commission unveils plans for €9B of Horizon 2020 budget

In advance of final agreement on the €70B Horizon 2020 R&D programme, the Commission announced 5 public/private partnerships will get €6.5B, pulling in a further €9.9B from industry. Total investment in these and 5 other projects unveiled yesterday will be €22B

Call to create stronger mechanisms and structures for translational medicine

Europe needs a better framework for translating biological research into new drugs and treatments. It’s essential to collaborate and share best practice said experts at a workshop on advancing translational medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw

Entrepreneurship awards scooped by Danish, Swiss, French and UK spin-outs

The winners of the 5th annual Academic Enterprise Awards have been announced at a conference that brought together Europe's innovation leaders to discuss the importance of research, innovation and entrepreneurship

Call to redouble efforts to end gender imbalance in research

After ten years of policy initiatives - and despite female graduates outnumbering males – the EU is far from gender equality in R&D. "This is regretful for women researchers and bad for Europe," says Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn

Leaders in academic tech transfer form new global innovation alliance

Six of the world’s most prestigious public drug discovery organisations are joining forces in a bid to improve the conversion rate of basic research into much-needed new therapies

Outlook brightens for regenerative medicine

Following a positive ruling on patents and a decision to maintain funding for embryonic stem cell research in Horizon 2020, things are looking up for regenerative medicine. Now further support is needed to deliver on the therapeutic potential, experts say in a Science|Business Webinar

Plotting the shifts in Europe’s innovation ecosystem

Academics, SMEs and large companies are doing much more research in partnership. Science|Business looks back at some of the highlights of the move to open innovation in 2012, and the policy initiatives that are supporting this

European cell therapy pioneer makes further advance

This week TiGenix reported positive safety data for its stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. The news highlights the potential of regenerative medicine as Science|Business publishes a special report examining how Europe can build on its leading position in this fast-paced field of research

Regenerate the future: human embryonic stem cell research is crucial to deliver health and growth

Experts say cutting embryonic stem cell funding in Horizon 2020 will threaten progress Europe is making in developing safe, effective and well-regulated cell therapies - and in creating an economically important regenerative medicine sector

Experts debate: What Europe must do to maintain its lead in regenerative medicine

Europe currently leads the world in therapeutic applications of regenerative medicine. It has seen companies spin out from universities and approved products reaching the market. Science|Business brought together experts to discuss how to build on these foundations

The view from the US: Stem cell therapy steps up a gear with first approval and improved political climate

Positive clinical data, increases in federal funding and the first regulatory approval of a manufactured stem cell product mean momentum is building in the US. With the re-election of President Obama, this is likely to continue

View from Europe: Delivering on the vision of regenerative medicine and stem cells

The EU must continue to support human embryonic stem cell research to maintain its lead in regenerative medicine. The upcoming Irish Presidency needs to recognise the importance of this research and resist calls for a ban on funding in Horizon 2020

Talking to the experts: Why the EU should support human embryonic stem cell research in Horizon 2020

As part of the Science|Business Special Report on stem cell research, experts give their opinion on the much debated topic

Personalised heart care: Worth the investment

One stumbling block to personalised medicine is the upfront investment. Research for Science|Business is published in a peer-reviewed journal quantifying potential savings from a tailored programme of exercise, diagnostics and telemonitoring for heart care.

Breakthrough for Europe as EMA gives the nod to the first gene therapy

At the fourth time of asking, the European Medicines Agency is recommending approval of Glybera, opening up a new era in the treatment of rare diseases, and unlocking the wider potential of gene therapy

Science Business personalised medicine research published in scientific journal

Original research looking at the barriers to deployment of personalised healthcare conducted in a collaboration managed by Science|Business have now been published in a peer-review journal

ACES winner shows how magnetic particles can fight cancer

In one of the first clinical applications of magnetic nanoparticles to reach the market, Endomagnetics has developed a technology that offers a safer, cheaper way to detect whether breast tumours have spread

The growing pool of Science Business ACES winners are bringing breakthroughs to market

Past winners of Academic Enterprise Awards are making progress in the commercialisation of their research

ACES profile: Clariton’s hand scanner tackles hospital-induced infections

The winner of the Science|Business Academic Enterprise (ACES) award for entrepreneurs under age 30 – presented at the Royal Academy of Science in Brussels in February – deploys ultra violet reflective powder and a scanner to determine just how clean are a pair of washed hands.

Seven entrepreneurial start-ups from across Europe recognised in double awards ceremony

The EIT launches its first awards – ACES enters its fourth year. Start-ups from the UK and Germany lead the list of winners, which also includes Spanish and Hungarian companies.

National funding bodies kick-off joint research in Alzheimer’s

25 countries have agreed to back a single European research plan in neurodegenerative diseases. This is a defining moment for coordinated research says the Commissioner

Is 2012 the tipping point for personalised healthcare?

The $1,000 genome has arrived, providing the spur for personalised healthcare to move from theory to practice. Some existing examples of best practice and roadmaps for the future are pointing the way

Innovation in an age of austerity

Personalised healthcare promises long-term value. But how can Europe justify the upfront costs at a time of massive cuts in public spending?

New study finds ICT investments could cut healthcare costs for key ailments by more than 35%

A new study finds that investment in computer, communications and diagnostics technologies could drastically cut the long-term care costs for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, through better use of patient screening and adherence to treatment.

Is pharma R&D earning its investment?

They are some of the largest spenders on research. But now, as pharmaceutical companies look to external collaboration and in-licensed products to fuel innovation, the internal R&D operation is having to justify the return on investment for the first time

UK companies lead finalists for European spin-out awards

Entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom gained the most nominations at this year’s Academic Enterprise Awards. Three UK spin-outs are among the top 12 chosen to go through to final awards in Brussels on 21 February, 2012.

Commission lures pharma industry back into antibiotics

The promise of accelerated approvals and higher pricing has persuaded pharmaceutical companies to break the deadlock in antibiotic R&D

Are Lead Markets going anywhere?

Spurred by the seminal report of Esko Aho, in 2007 the EU set about trying to use its massive public sector spending power to create a coordinated demand for new products. A report on the Lead Market Initiative considers the progress of the policy to date

Finland’s VTT joins forces with biotech research centre in California

VTT will contribute knowhow to new Center for Bioengineering which opened in Berkeley, California this week

European Court of Justice rules against embryonic stem cell patents

The ruling will hit investment by industry in the development of cell therapies and means European research will be commercialised elsewhere

EU sets out ten-year agenda for ageing research

The FUTUREAGE road map describes how the EU will tackle its grand challenge of Europe's ageing population over the next 10 years.

Research and innovation put at heart of CAP reforms

The Commission wants to double the amount of R&D carried out under the Common Agricultural Policy to €4.5 billion, and make farming knowledge-based

Medical researchers launch campaign to influence MEPs on new clinical trials rules

Sixteen of Europe’s top medical research bodies state their case for urgent reform of clinical trials regulations as they begin to prepare the ground for the parliamentary debate on rule changes, expected next year

Ireland’s national bioprocessing centre seals $500K deal with GE Healthcare

The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training is to collaborate with GE Healthcare to develop new antibody testing technologies

Smaller, faster trials can improve cancer treatments

The advent of personalised medicine means cancer survival over the long term could be improved by running smaller, faster trials with less stringent evidence criteria, the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Sweden heard this week

Roche seals its first open innovation agreement in Europe

Uppsala BIO cluster is to become the ninth member of the Swiss pharma’s global network for early-stage research

Fraunhofer opens Centre for Systems Biotechnology in Chile

This is the German research organisation’s first centre in South America

GE launches new $100M open innovation project in cancer

GE Healthcare launched an open call to oncology researchers and healthcare specialists, seeking ideas to improve the detection and treatment of breast cancer, as it committed to spend $1 billion on cancer R&D in the next five years

Summer of biotech deals

Deals take a notoriously long time to close in biotech. Maybe that’s why so many came to fruition in August

UK research charities call for better infrastructure for medical research

With plans for a new UK research and innovation strategy on the drawing board, the influential charity, Cancer Research UK, is leading a call for the government to build an “ideal environment” for research.

Boost for plan to set up pan-European infrastructure for life science data

Five countries have joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in pledge to create the ELIXIR system for storing public life science information

Call for more research spending as new report shows mental disorders now Europe’s biggest health problem

With 165 million people a year suffering mental illness, a substantial increase in basic and clinical research funding is needed to support prevention and improve treatment

Experts urge US, EU to work together in healthcare technologies

Biosimilars, e-health among areas targeted for collaboration in Science|Business panel in Washington

US venture funding rises while Europe’s falls

Quarterly venture capital investment in the US hit a three-year high in the second quarter of this year, in stark contrast to record low deals in Europe in the first half of 2011

Pharma industry opens consultation on plan to tackle non-communicable diseases

A six week online consultation has opened on the implementation of a framework for action for the prevention and control of chronic diseases

New science grants aim to drive Ireland’s economic development

The Irish government has announced a €15 million investment in research projects to boost innovation

Attitudes to DNA patents are holding back personalised medicine

Public sector genetic testing laboratories in Europe are ignoring intellectual property rights and deterring investment in the biomarkers that underpin personalised medicine

New service launches for outsourcing scientific experiments

The next frontier in outsourcing opens up as university scientists contract online for laboratories to carry out their experiments

EU adds €12M to epidemic research after German E.coli outbreak

The European Commission has put in an additional €12 million from Framework Programme 7 to increase Europe’s capacity for tackling epidemics

Call for comments on GM animal guidelines

The European Food Safety Authority has opened a public consultation on its proposals for regulating food from genetically modified animals

Massachusetts biotech cluster still planting seeds

It may be top of the pile, but Massachusetts is facing stiff competition from other US states eager to attract foreign partners to their biotech clusters. Now it is piecing together new deals with European partners in an effort to stay on top.

DFG announces 8 new research units with €19.2M funding

The German Research Foundation also plans to extend its network of clinical research facilities

Patients take control of innovation

Despite industry’s endless lip service to driving innovation for the benefit of patients, many diseases go untreated. Now, sick of being passive recipients, patients are taking control and shaping innovation to their real needs

EU launches biggest-ever R&D funding package as €7B goes up for grabs

Mega-funding package puts a stronger focus on innovation and SMEs, and on tackling big problems like climate change, and energy and food security

IMI moves to quell intellectual property rows as it launches €105M call

The Innovative Medicines Initiative has set out guidelines on how collaborative partners should approach the thorny issue of IP rights, in time for its fourth call

EU-US plans for joint funding of rare diseases research unveiled to industry

A new transatlantic alliance showcased its ambition to develop diagnostics for 8,000 rare diseases and double the number of registered Orphan drugs for rare conditions by 2020, at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) meeting in Washington

ACES Finalist BiancaMed is acquired by US sleep specialist

University College Dublin spin-out is bought in a cash deal. The price was not disclosed

Spain, Portugal and Czech Republic make strides in biotech

The Third Annual Worldview Bio-Innovation Scorecard report, published by Scientific American, points to progress in Europe

Paris hospitals earned €17M from technology transfer in 2010

Intellectual property generated by 37 hospitals brought in revenues of €17 million and formed the basis of five start-ups

Number of new drugs hits ten-year low in 2010, as R&D spending fell to $68B

The pharma industry spent less on drug R&D last year than at any time in the last three years and there was a fall in the number of drugs getting approval, and of products in early-stage trials

European Medicines Agency (EMA) turns down a second gene therapy product

The EMA says Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics’ Glybera for treating a serious enzyme deficiency, is not ready for approval

EuropaBio appoints new chairman

Stephan Tanda, a director of DSM, the Dutch life sciences company, has been appointed to head the pan-European industry body

Karolinska to set out 10-year plan for commercialising R&D, after raising €63M

Karolinska Institutet is making major efforts to enhance its technology transfer and commercialisation system, and is currently working on a long-term strategy for innovation and research

Pharma industry agrees collaboration to tackle non-communicable disease

The pharmaceutical sector launched a Framework for Action to tackle non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases that are posing a threat to public health, and public and private finances worldwide.

EU’S Innovative Medicines Initiative to collaborate with FDA’s Critical Path

US/European move to put more weight behind moves to improve drug development processes and increase’s R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry

German scientists open access to E. coli gene database for use in drug discovery

Following the deadly outbreak of E. coli infections in Germany, scientists in Saarbruecken are providing free access to the pathogen’s genetic regulation data, to spur research into new antibiotics

Germany to fund €7.5M international rice project

The Helmholtz is to lead a major investigation into the sustainable development of rice ecosystems in Southeast Asia involving 22 research institutions

Ireland opens €57million national bioprocessing centre

The new National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) has been officially opened to support the development of Ireland’s biopharmaceutical sector

UK puts £5.8M into six industry-academic projects to make tumour profiling mainstream

Six new collaborative projects have been funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board to advance personalised medicine in cancer and lay foundations for national adoption

PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative brings GlaxoSmithKline and Dutch biotech Crucell into collaboration

The partners will work on the development of a second-generation malaria vaccine, combining two existing vaccines to improve immune responses

ACES Winner: Psynova Neurotech delivers the first blood test for the objective diagnosis of schizophrenia

Accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of mental illness is a huge unmet medical need. Sabine Bahn was presented with an ACES award at a ceremony at ETH Zurich in February, in recognition of her work in developing blood tests

UK Medical Research Council spin-out Heptares in $188M deal with AstraZeneca

Heptares seals a third collaboration to apply its technology for stabilising drug targets to discover treatments for cardiovascular, central nervous system and inflammatory diseases

Two Franco-German labs set up with €2.25M for joint research

Germany’s Helmholtz Association and France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) are to create two joint research laboratories in France

Joint programming kicks off €14M call as it starts to deliver coordinated research funded from national R&D budgets

The first concrete results of joint programming initiatives, set up three years ago to coordinate national research activities in Europe to tackle big problems like neurodegenerative diseases and climate change, are starting to be seen

Heart specialists call for single EU system to approve medical devices

The 68,000 members of the European Society of Cardiology want a single, co-ordinated and rigorous system to oversee the evaluation of medical devices

US investment in the Human Genome Project has delivered $796 B for the economy

The $3.8 billion the US put into the international effort to sequence the first human genome has delivered $796 billion back to the economy and created 310,000 jobs, says a new study

AstraZeneca and Glaxo to invest £10M in joint university research centre

Manchester University is to host the “pre-competitive” centre, specialising in inflammatory diseases

Dundee University to lead £200K UK-wide collaboration in drug discovery

The Drug Discovery Unit at Dundee is to spearhead the development of a national network to allow researchers to work together in fragment-based drug design

EU Task Force on eHealth meets for the first time

ICT has the technology and applications on hand to improve the efficiency of Europe’s healthcare systems. An EU task force charged with speeding these capabilities through to the bedside gets down to work this week

Caisse des Depots to invest in sanofi’s Biocitech science park

Sanofi secures investment for the construction of new labs to promote development of its former Romainville site as a science park

ACES profile: Dybuster develops software to treat dyslexia

The winner of the Science|Business Academic Enterprise award in ICT – presented at ETH Zurich in February - has applied mathematical modelling to help dyslexics overcome the inability to match the sound of a word to the letters that spell it

Call for new, improved funding mechanisms for EU’s healthy ageing project

The EU’s proposal for a research project on Active and Healthy Ageing has struck a chord, with over 500 responses to the public consultation on what shape it should take and how it should be funded

London universities take on running of Glaxo’s £47M medical imaging centre

As GlaxoSmithKline backs off, the UK Medical Research Council and three universities take on responsibility for centre

New moves to pull down barriers to electronic healthcare systems

The Commission is making a renewed push to increase the use of information technology in healthcare and wants views on how to do this

Next EU R&D Programme must have reformed grant system, says healthcare sector

A more flexible grant system will generate more innovation and create more value than the current Framework Programme 7’s €6.1B health research budget

Cloning row blocks agreement on novel foods

Disagreement on allowing products from the offspring of cloned animals onto the market in Europe has left plans to update all regulations on novel foods in tatters

French biotech celebrates a vintage year in 2010

With a strong pipeline of drugs in development, a good flow of venture capital investment and seven IPOs, 2010 was an “exceptional” year, says France Biotech

India to spread its method of barring patents based on traditional knowledge

The Indian government and the World International Property Organisation will work together to prevent biopiracy and help countries protect herbal remedies, plant lore and other traditions

EU register of clinical trials now on open access online

For the first time the general public will have access to information on all trials running in Europe

Ageing database is first to get new EU legal status

A multinational database on ageing is first to become a European Research Infrastructure Consortium, a new legal status that will be an important building block of the European Research Area

Protein structure theory unfolding

It’s central to much of modern drug discovery that a protein’s structure determines its function. Now that paradigm is breaking down, with the discovery of disordered proteins that have many different functions

£10M to develop large-scale demonstrator of telehealth in Scotland

A four year project will set up a demonstration of telehealth in action, showing how it can improve care whilst prompting the development of new markets

Products derived from embryonic stem cells are not patentable

Therapies based on human embryonic stem cells should not be granted patents, according to the latest opinion from the Court of Justice of the European Union. If confirmed, this will have a major impact on stem cell research in Europe and on the European life sciences industry as a whole

UK to invest £775M in translational health research

The UK government announced what it says is the largest ever funding package for translational medicine of up to £775 million over 5 years.

European Commission and EMBL renew cooperation

The European Commission and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have formalised their intention to maintain and further develop their cooperation.

Eureka meeting in Israel agrees to fund €33 M of new projects

Europe's Eureka research programme will invest €33 million to fund 25 new collaborative R&D projects. The agreement was announced at a meeting in Eilat, under Israel's chairmanship of Eureka.

DFG puts in €19.3M fund nine new research units

DFG has agreed to set up nine new research units in topics ranging from engineering to social sciences. Five of the new groups will be involved in international projects.

French stimulus money starts to flow into labs

A total of 52 new research labs and research programmes have been selected to share an investment of Euros 340 million, in the first step of a public research funding bonanza that will pour in Euro 22 billion raised on the bond markets to create an elite cadre of universities in France

UK government says it will fund its share of pan-European biosciences infrastructure

The UK will contribute funding to the pan-European biosciences infrastructure head-quartered in Cambridge, in order to help provide open access for use in academic and industrial research.

EU € 3.4M crop research programme gets underway at Kiel University

Ad EU-wide effort to increase agricultural productivity on a global scale will focus on increasing the productivity of grains and the biomass of grasses.

Europe’s academic innovators recognised in ACES awards

Academic entrepreneurs from Switzerland, Finland, the United Kingdom and Israel were recognised in the third annual ACES awards, held in Zurich on 3 February and awarded by the Science|Business Innovation Board.

EIT announces awards for entrepreneurs

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology – the EIT, set up by the European Union to encourage innovation – is to launch an awards programme for young entrepreneurs next year, in partnership with Science|Business. The move is part of a push to change attitudes to entrepreneurship in Europe, and was announced today (3 February) by EIT Board member Daria Tataj at the ACES Academic Enterprise conference, held at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca, join UK GBP 5.6 M project on gene testing for personalised medicines

Two major pharmaceutical companies are teaming up with the Cancer Research UK charity in a tumour genetics project

First international project in genetics of Alzheimer’s is launched

Four leading research groups are combining forces to find genetic links to Alzheimer’s disease.

UCL spin out sold to Amgen in $1 billion deal

University College London cancer vaccines spin-out BioVex has been bought by US biotech company Amgen in deal worth up to $1 billion.

Drugs not approved for children still being used to treat them

Off-label and unauthorised drugs are still being prescribed, according to a European survey on use of medicines for children.

Feed the world with science

More R&D investment is needed to increase the world's food supplies, concludes a UK Government Office for Science report.

European Parliament calls for more research and funding for Alzheimer’s

More recognition of Alzheimer’s disease and more research funding is needed, says the European Parliament.

28 cancer bodies join forces in €12M cross-border research project

In an move to streamline cross border cancer research, Europe's leading cancer organisations will be collaborating in the EU funded EurocanPlatform project.

Finland begins to build its arm of pan-European biomedical infrastructures

Construction of the Finish part of the pan-European biomedical research infrastructures has begun, funded by a national programme.

Global R&D funding agencies commit to enhancing access to health research data

Major research funding bodies intend to share more health research data, according to a joint statement.

Call for action to develop Europe’s marine biotech industry

A new report calls for greater collaboration between industry and academia to make Europe a global leader in the €2.8 billion global marine biotechnology industry.

Genomics-inspired methods for plant breeding are not patentable says EPO

The EPO rules that producing plants by sexually crossing whole plant genomes is not patentable.

Large infrastructure bioimaging project enters preparatory phase

The EU’s Euro-BioImaging project has begun its 3-year preparation phase. The project aims to give scientists throughout Europe access to state-of-the-art imaging facilities.

EU Orphan drugs regulation hailed as a success

A review of the decade-old Orphan Medicinal Products Regulation shows that research has been boosted and more drugs are available to treat rare diseases.

Commission invites ideas for healthy ageing project

As Research ministers welcome the healthy ageing project, the Commission invites ideas for its European Innovation Partnership.

Gates Foundation gives another $50M for mosquito insecticides

The Innovative Vector Control Consortium has been given a second grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the development of new insecticides.

Fujitsu looks to maximise the performance of next-generation supercomputers

As supercomputing moves into the petascale, Fujitsu has launched a global collaboration to develop a mathematical library to support the next generation of supercomputers.

1000 Genomes Project publishes comprehensive map of human genetic variation

The 1000 Genomes Project has published a map estimated to contain approximately 95 per cent of the genetic variation of any person on Earth.

Final stage of mouse genetics project gets underway with €12M EU grant

The final stage of an international project to discover the function of every gene in the mouse genome has got underway, while moves are in hand to open up the findings of the project.

New Barcelona biomedical research centre funded by philanthropic donation

A new €60 million biomedical research centre opened in Barcelona earlier this month, after a €15 million philanthropic donation got the project off the ground.

€200K to promote collaboration between engineers and biotech in BioRegio cluster

BioRegio STERN Management has won the second competition for strengthening regional clusters in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Fraunhofer to open its first South American research centre in Chile

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is to set up a biotechnology laboratory in Chile, its first research centre in South America, following an agreement with the Chilean government.

Call for long-term view on funding of biology research databases

The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of databases, but there are no long-term plans for maintaining them, or providing access, say researchers.

UK to set up £50M personalised medicine programme

The UK Technology Strategy Board has set up the Stratified Medicines Innovation Platform to oversee an investment of over £50 million in personalised medicine.

New German-Japanese collaboration in neurosciences

DFG, The German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, and the Japan Science and Technology Agency have agreed to collaborate on computational neuroscience.

Functional foods are validated as Nestlé dives into food-to-pharma research

Nestlé is to develop so-called ‘functional foods’, which are designed to prevent and treat diseases including obesity and diabetes, but are not registered as pharmaceuticals.

1,000th structure of a disease-related protein is revealed

The Structural Genomics Consortium has announced the publication of its 1000th structure, of a protein known as JmjD2C.

Tübingen spin-out Immatics raises €53.8M for cancer vaccines

Rich men and public venture funds are behind one of German biotech’s largest rounds of the decade.

Freiburg University launches €3M FP7 project on digital printing of single cells

The Department of Microsystems Engineering at Freiburg University has kicked off an ambitious project to enable the handling, culture and analysis of live cells.

EMA and FDA agree to maintain collaboration indefinitely

The European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have extended the confidentiality arrangements under which they share information.

Multiple sclerosis charity to use online game in search for cures

The Myelin Repair Foundation is to host an online game to promote broad and deep conversations among those seeking new and better treatments for multiple sclerosis.

Anglo-Chinese collaborators launch the largest-ever epigenetics project

King’s College London is joining forces with the Beijing Genomics Institute in a £20 million research programme to study epigenetic differences between twins.

TPP lands first drug development deal with Edinburgh University

The drug development start-up TPP Global Development has agreed its first deal, in which it will collaborate with Edinburgh University to carry out preclinical development.

Aberdeen University launches new centre to speed drug development

This month sees the opening of the new Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics at Aberdeen University, which will provide specialist skills for applying and commercialising medical research.

New model for corporate venture investments

Philips has invested in Dutch VC Gilde’s new healthcare fund, in what the companies say is a unique cooperation.

Guidelines to regulate consumer gene tests internationally drawn up by UK body

The UK’s Human Genetic Commission has drawn up a set of principles for consumer gene testing that it hopes can form the basis of an international code of practice.

UK to set up new clinical trials agency

As it takes an axe to quangos from education to health, the UK government is laying plans for a new single body to supervise clinical trials.

UK claims it has the formula for breeding biotech entrepreneurs

A scheme run for the past 15 years to give life science PhD students more commercial awareness has been successful, says an independent review.

Wellcome Trust sets up £45M scheme with India’s Department of Biotechnology

A partnership has been forged between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Biotechnology in India to support the development of new healthcare products in India.

Cancer Research UK sets up its own manufacturing unit

The research charity Cancer Research UK has set up its own £18 million manufacturing unit to make biopharmaceuticals for use in clinical trials.

Biobanking on Europe

New research shows Europe needs harmonised rules and a different approach to funding to get the most from its investment in biobanks.

Court of Justice ruling restricts scope of biotech patents

Europe’s Court of Justice has delivered its first-ever judgment on the extent of protection of biotech patents under the EU Biotechnology Directive.

UK’s leading biomedical tech transfer bodies joining forces

Two of the UK’s leading medical research funders are pooling resources in an attempt to bridge the gap between the research they fund and commercialisable technology.

SV Life Science raises over $523M for 5th venture capital fund

SV Life Sciences has announced the final closing of its newest fund, SV Life Sciences Fund V, at over $523 million, well exceeding its target of $400 million.

AstraZeneca opens its compound library to Medicines for Malaria

AstraZeneca and the Medicines for Malaria Venture have announced a collaboration to identify novel candidate drugs for the treatment of malaria.

Patenting holding back stem cell research in Europe

A lack of clarity over the patentability of therapies developed from stem cells is holding back European research in the field, according to a new report.

1000 Genomes Project releases data from pilot projects

An international public-private consortium, set up to build the most detailed map of human genetic variation to date, has announced the completion of three pilot projects.

MRI research at risk from EC directive

The European Science Foundation has hit out at an EU directive on exposure levels for staff working with magnetic resonance imaging, saying it puts research at risk.

Pfizer to focus on rare diseases research

In the biggest sign yet that the era of blockbuster drug is drawing to a close, Pfizer this week announced the creation of a new research unit focused on rare diseases.

Aberdeen opens new marine biodiscovery lab

Aberdeen University has opened a new £1.6 million centre for Marine Biodiscovery, to specialise in drug discovery based on compounds found in marine organisms.

Motor Neurone charity funds research in induced pluripotent stem cells

The UK’s Motor Neurone Disease Association is funding its first stem cell research programme to develop models of the disease.

Japan’s RIKEN institute launches international synthetic genome competition

RIKEN, the Japanese research institute, has launched a contest to design a DNA sequence to give Arabidopsis Thaliana the ability to absorb and detoxify formaldehyde.

Changes made to speed up European patents could harm biotech says survey

Recent changes designed to speed up the application process at the European Patent Office have not gone down well with pharma and biotech.

Induced pluripotent stem cells may not be good disease models after all

A study funded under the ESTOOLS research programme has found that induced pluripotent stem cells may not provide such important disease models as first hoped.

Dundee University to lead €12M cancer biomarker study

Dundee University is to lead a €12 million research project aiming to find early indicators of certain types of cancer and to promote the development of new drugs.

Glaxo’s patent pool for tropical diseases gathers momentum

MIT and South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency are to join the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Global economic downturn could change life sciences say executives

The cost-cutting provoked by the global economic downturn is likely to have a long-term impact on the life sciences industries, says a new report.

UK supercluster joins forces with Californian counterpart

The Golden Triangle Partnership, representing networking organisations in Cambridge, London and Oxford, has announced the signing of an agreement with BIOCOM.

Europe’s Extremely Large Telescope to be sited in Chile

The 42 metre European Extremely Large Telescope, which will be the world’s biggest telescope, is to be located on Armazones in Chile.

Eating the elephant

Personalised healthcare is a complex concept. It will be best to chew on a mouthful at a time, while keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

New technologies could cut medical errors says Karolinska survey

Personalised medicine offers a way to prevent adverse reactions to drugs and avoid unnecessary treatments, but barriers are standing in the way.

Research Commissioner launches new health care initiatives

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, has called for fresh ideas from parliament, and the public and private sectors.

Norway plans new national biotech research initiative

The Research Council and the R&D community in Norway are planning a new biotechnology research initiative for 2011.

Personalised medicine is coming of age in the US

A week before Science|Business brings together experts from Europe to discuss personalised medicine here, we look at what’s happening in the US.

Tales of Two Sectors 1: French biotech thrives on public support

France’s small biopharmaceutical and life science companies have been weakened by the financial crisis and had to face a drastic drop in investment in 2009.

ExonHit gets Innovative Company status from French innovation agency OSEO

French innovation-focused mutual funds can make tax-efficient equity investments in ExonHit Therapeutics for renewable 3-year periods.

VCs ponder the right business model for personalising healthcare

There is still uncertainty among investors about the commercial promise of the emerging field of personalised medicine.

German launch of the EU’s FASILIS scientific facility sharing scheme

The EU’s Facility Sharing in Life Sciences project will give small and medium sized companies access to public laboratories and scientific research facilities.

Aureus Pharma joins France’s €118.2 million BioIntelligence programme

Knowledge management specialist Aureus Pharma is to take part in the BioIntelligence R&D programme, part-funded by the French government.