CORAL SPRINGS, Florida, August 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Despite recent market conditions, one of the biggest factors fueling the optimism in biotech's forecast is the recent run of FDA approvals, M&A's, collaborations and life sciences advancements. Active biotechnology & healthcare companies with recent news and developments are Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO), Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM), Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT), Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (NASDAQ: RPTP) and EnteroMedics Inc. (NASDAQ: ETRM).
Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO), a leader in the development and sale of broadly enabling pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample preparation solutions to the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has entered into a two-year collaboration with the Institute of Bioinformatics ("IOB") in Bangalore, India. The IOB is one of the most prestigious not-for-profit scientific research centers in India, and one of the more highly regarded proteomic research organizations worldwide. The IOB staff, which includes dozens of scientists with advanced degrees, have published several hundred scientific papers over the past decade, many with a strong focus in the areas of proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics. The Founder and Director of the IOB is Akhilesh Pandey M.D., Ph.D. Currently, Dr. Pandey is a Professor at the Institute of Genetic Medicine and the Departments of Biological Chemistry, Oncology, and Pathology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Pandey has received numerous prestigious honors and awards during his career, including, most recently, the Era of Hope Scholar Award by the United States Department of Defense. This award is "intended for exceptionally talented, early-career scientists who have demonstrated that they are the best and the brightest in their field(s) through extraordinary creativity, vision, and productivity, and who have shown a strong potential for leadership in the breast cancer community as well as a vision for the eradication of breast cancer."
Read the full PBIO Press Release at http://www.financialnewsmedia.com/profiles/pbio.html
Dr. Pandey commented: "The preparation of samples for analysis is a crucial step in all research studies worldwide aimed at finding biomarkers for the detection, control, prevention, and/or cure of human diseases and disorders. The IOB has modern, well-equipped facilities; however, we are well aware that the quality of results from our state-of-the-art instruments depends to a great extent on the quality and uniformity of the preparation of the samples being analyzed. Consequently, we are always searching for better, higher quality sample preparation methods that can help us process a diverse set of samples ranging from tissue biopsies to bacterial extracts. This is how we met our colleagues at PBI, learned about the power of their PCT platform, and subsequently purchased our first PCT instrument."
Mr. Richard T. Schumacher, President and CEO of PBI, said: "We are honored to work with such a worldwide respected scientist as Dr. Pandey. We are further honored to collaborate with Dr. Gowda and his colleagues at the IOB. We believe there are as many as 500,000 researchers around the world working with biological samples, many of whom use the same kinds of instruments (e.g., mass spectrometers, DNA sequencers, HPLCs, etc.) as those used by scientists at the IOB. These researchers are potential future users of the PCT platform. We believe the results generated at the IOB will help show the clear advantages offered by the PCT platform when this powerful, patented technology is used in the search for biomarkers. We believe that such data, coming from a research institute with the worldwide reputation of the IOB, could have the profound effect of helping to change the PCT platform from a "want to have" to a "have to have" sample preparation system for biological research laboratories, in India and around the world." PBIO closed up over 4% yesterday at $0.23 ahead of today's news release.
In other biotech/healthcare progress, collaborations and happenings: Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM), a life sciences company committed to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products and services, announced that it has entered into a clinical research collaboration with the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Under this collaboration, Moores Cancer Center will explore the utility of Sequenom's new liquid biopsy assay to comprehensively profile circulating cell-free tumor DNA in blood to enable serial monitoring and assist with therapy selection in cancer patients. This technology has the potential to overcome the challenges and limitations associated with current methods such as imaging and invasive biopsies.
Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT), a developer of innovative RNA-targeted therapeutics, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed the New Drug Application (NDA) for eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) amenable to exon 51 skipping. Approximately 13% of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy are estimated to have a mutation addressable by Eteplirsen/exon 51 skipping. The FDA has completed its filing review and has determined that our application is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date for a decision on the application is February 26, 2015. The FDA has granted eteplirsen Priority Review status, which is designated to drugs that offer benefit over existing therapies, or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists.
Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (NASDAQ: RPTP) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Tripex Pharmaceuticals to acquire Quinsair, the first inhaled fluoroquinolone approved for the management of chronic pulmonary infections due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in adults with cystic fibrosis, expanding its portfolio of rare disease therapies. Quinsair received marketing authorization by the European Commission and Health Canada in March 2015 and June 2015, respectively. Quinsair, a twice-a-day treatment, contains levofloxacin, a proven antimicrobial active against a wide range of gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Raptor plans to launch Quinsair in Europe and Canada in the first half of 2016, and to discuss the path to potential approval in the same indication in the U.S with the FDA in 2016.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors (the "Board") of EnteroMedics Inc. (NASDAQ: ETRM) (the "Company") held on August 20, 2015, Mark B. Knudson, Ph.D., the Company's Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") and President, informed the Board that he intended to retire from the offices of CEO and President as of December 31, 2015. After his retirement, Dr. Knudson will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board. Additionally, the Board may consider engaging Dr. Knudson for post-retirement consulting services on an hourly basis, if needed.
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