Industry Briefs March 2015

Precision Medicine Initiative Set to Go

Industry-Briefs-Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama

A new biomedical research initiative, the Precision Medicine Initiative recently announced by President Obama, will aim to develop new drugs and treatments for diseases based on genetic data collected on one million Americans. The project launched with a $215 million investment and is expected to pioneer a new model of patient-powered research that promises to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients. The goal is to find more personalized approaches to treatments and cures.

President Obama said in a statement, “The Precision Medicine Initiative gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen.”

Skipta Collaborates with Mansa Capital

Skipta, the leading provider of online specialty and disease state medical HCP communications, received a $2.5 million Series A funding from healthcare-focused private equity firm, Mansa Capital. In efforts to improve its services, Skipta will use funds to accelerate network development, increase community membership and expand the company’s executive team. As a part of the transaction, Mansa Capital Partner James Renna will join the Skipta Board of Directors.

Skipta Founder & CEO, Dr. Theodore Search said in a statement, “We are excited to collaborate with Mansa Capital. They are an ideal partner to fuel Skipta’s mission to empower HCPs to be more effective, efficient and successful through shared values of integrity and collaboration.”

Boston Scientific to Pay $600 Million to J&J

Johnson & Johnson sued Boston Scientific for $7 billion in damages after losing an initial deal to buy heart-device maker Guidant. The legal dispute dates back to 2004, when Johnson & Johnson agreed to acquire Guidant for $25.4 billion. Because Boston Scientific made a public offer of $27 billion to the medical device company, according to the WSJ, Johnson & Johnson did not close the deal. Boston Scientific agreed to pay $600 million to Johnson & Johnson to settle the long-running lawsuit. Under the settlement, Johnson & Johnson will dismiss the suit and Boston Scientific will not charge Johnson & Johnson with patent violations involving a family of products.

Valeant Buys Dendreon for $495 Million

Dendreon, the maker of the Provenge prostate cancer treatment that filed for bankruptcy in November of 2014, was recently purchased by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, says the WSJ, for $495 million. The deal closed in February, and allowed Valeant to pick up an experimental treatment called D-3263. The company initially retained Dendreon employees but since has released 77 employees.

AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort Respules Patent Ruled Invalid

The U.S. District Court recently ruled Britain-based AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort Respules patent invalid in the U.S. As a long-term corticosteroid treatment for asthma and asthma prevention, the treatment is indicated for children and adults. The court ruled that the generic versions of the product do not infringe a second patent on the asthma therapy, according to Bloomberg. “AstraZeneca strongly disagrees with the court’s decision and is considering next steps, including an appeal,” Paul Hudson, president of the company’s U.S. unit, said in a statement. The decision is limited to the U.S. only.

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