A follow-on funding pulled in $151.4 million for Rhythm Pharmaceuticals. The company this year intends to launch a late-stage trial of drug candidate RM-493, or setmelanotide, in patients with obesity related to Alstrom syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome.
Oxitec and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will collaborate to develop a new strain of self-limiting biotech mosquitoes to reduce the transmission of malaria, Zika and other diseases using Oxitec's new second-generation male-selecting mosquito strain technology. The foundation will give $4 million to Oxitec to develop these so-called friendly mosquitoes.
Gevo has agreed to supply renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel to Avfuel. Under the terms of the deal, Gevo will deliver biofuel from its hydrocarbon processing facility in Silsbee, Texas, and will build a larger plant at its Luverne, Minn., production site.
The recent Party At BIO Not Associated with BIO, which featured topless women with sponsors' logos painted on their bodies, was indeed an outrage, but the ongoing lack of gender balance across the biotechnology ecosystem is a much more serious outrage, writes Simone Fishburn, BioCentury editor and Women In Bio board member. "So before your remnants of outrage over the indecency of the PABNAB party die down, channel them toward a daily vigilance of changing the culture," Fishburn writes.
CEO Martine Rothblatt's United Therapeutics is experimenting with cloning and gene editing to develop sources for transplantable organs, has developed a method called ex vivo lung perfusion for preserving donated lungs and is working on a cure based on endothelial stem cells for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Rothblatt says she likes to think big, then figure out a practical way to achieve her goal, commenting, "I always try to convert a moonshot into an earthshot."
The US Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to the University of California, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier covering CRISPR-Cas9 technology for editing guide RNAs 10 to 15 base pairs long. Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley demonstrated that some Cas9 nucleases can cleave RNA targets, and the USPTO also issued a patent last week to UC Berkeley covering CRISPR-Cas9 to edit single-stranded RNA.
Post-mastectomy breast reconstruction using autologous tissue has a significantly higher complication rate than implant-based reconstruction, but it is also associated with a higher satisfaction rate and better sexual well-being, according to two studies published in JAMA Surgery. Complications are more likely in older women, smokers, women who are overweight, women who have bilateral reconstruction, those who undergo radiotherapy during or after reconstruction and those who have had chemotherapy, and delayed reconstruction was associated with a lower complication rate than immediate reconstruction.
Female scientists in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Calgary, Alberta, will describe their research to the public in Soapbox Science events -- a science outreach program founded in the UK in 2011. The initiative raises the visibility of women in science, especially among children, says Emma Finlayson-Trick, a master's candidate in microbiology and immunology at Dalhousie University and a co-organizer of the Halifax event.
A private placement deal involving 1.625% convertible senior notes due 2023 has been reached by Wright Medical with investors and institutional buyers, bringing in $675 million, as well as a deal with holders of its 2% cash convertible senior notes due 2020 to swap existing notes worth about $401 million for newly issued notes worth $460 million. Net proceeds, expected to amount to about $200 million, will be used for general corporate functions, as well as to pay for cash convertible hedge transactions.
Analogic's go-private merger agreement with private equity shop Altaris Capital Partners, valued at $1 billion, has received approval from Analogic's shareholders. The sale is expected to be completed today.