The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Monthly Archives: May 2010

Monday Biotech Deal Review: May 31, 2010

Things are picking up a bit this week, with a few new financings, some collaboration agreements and a deal in the venture capital community that coincided with the CVCA’s annual meeting. Read more of this post

This Week in the Twitterverse

Here’s some reading for the weekend from our Twitter stream on @crossborderbio:

Friday Science Review: May 28, 2010

A Map to Better Beer? The key signaling protein-protein interactions in yeast have been mapped.  Mass spectrometry was used to discover the global network between protein kinases and phosphatases to generate the “kinome” map, which contains 1844 interactions.  Since yeasts are model organisms with similar signaling pathways as in human cells, this information is relevant for human disease research and drug design.  The data set in this study was so large that the research team created software to store and analyze the data (ProHits) and perform statistical analysis (SAINT).  Dr. Mike Tyers (Samuel Luenefeld Research Institute) is the lead author of the project described in Science magazine.  The entire data set is available at the yeastkinome.org resource website.

Shhhh… Improving Gene Silencing: Micro RNAs (miRNA) control gene expression by interfering with specific RNA transcripts and this requires the Argonaute proteins (AGOs) to perform this function.  Researchers isolated the specific key region in AGO and solved the crystal structure of this segment.  From this, they discovered that there are intricate and specific molecular interactions between the miRNA and AGO that can dictate specificity.  As RNA interference techniques are gaining traction in the therapeutic arena, this discovery may lead to modifications to enhance the effectiveness of these therapies.  Dr. Bhushan Nagar led the McGill University research team and published the findings in Nature or check out this video podcast.

E. coli Survival Switch: The AceK protein in some bacteria acts as a switch responding to stressful environmental cues, allowing the bacteria to bypass the energy-producing Krebs cycle and go into a conservation mode.  Bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella can survive in low-nutrient environments such as water.  Therefore, the discovery of how AceK works provides a potential target to prevent bacterial contamination in drinking water by inhibiting the ability of the bacteria to go into survival mode.  Dr. Zongchao Jia and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jimin Zheng at Queen’s University solved the structure of the protein that led to understanding the unique properties of the enzyme in having both phosphorylation and de-phosphorylation activities on the same protein.  This breakthrough is described in the latest edition of Nature.

Little Buggers All Over Us: The Human Microbiome Jumpstart Reference Strains Consortium is trying to catalog all the microbes in the human body.  We are covered by millions and millions of these little critters – as many as 10x more microbes than the number of cells in our body, but they’re not necessarily bad for us.  They actually play important roles in protecting against infection, aid with digestion, developing our immune system and keeping us healthy.  So far, 178 genomes have been sequenced with the goal to sequence around 900 genomes.  The NIH initiated the project and Dr. Michael Surette and his team at the University of Calgary is a major contributor to the study.  The first phase of this initiative is published in Science.

Genomic Modifications in Stem Cells: To further understand stem cells and embryonic development, scientists took a closer look at how the structural organization of genomic DNA (chromatin and histones) plays a role in determining what tissue they become.  They identified and compared specific modifications across the genome that either activates or represses gene expression in different stem cells.  The value of this information is that it suggests differential regulatory mechanisms controlling development and depends on the specific stem cell lineage.  The safety of regenerative medicine lies in these types of studies in basic stem cell biology.  Developmental biologist Dr. Janet Rossant at The Hospital for Sick Children led the study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Also, congratulations to Dr. Rossant as a recent recipient of the 2010 Premier’s Summit Award for Medical Research.

Improving Alzheimer Immunotherapy: Delivering antibodies against amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) directly into the brain is more effective than systemic delivery in reducing amyloid plaques, as demonstrated in a mouse model.  In this novel approach, transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) was applied to improve permeability of the blood brain barrier without the need for high doses of the antibody.  The researchers administered the therapeutic antibody intravenously along with a contrast agent to follow the progress via MRI imaging.  Using this MRI guided FUS method, they could see the contrast agent enter the brain within minutes and amyloid pathology was improved in the mouse model after four days.  Drs. Kullervo Hynynen and Isabelle Aubert at Sunnybrook Research Institute published their study on-line in PLoS One.

Patent Cliff Will Not Save Biotech: Abbott Buys Indian Generics Company Piramal Healthcare

I often hear how the upcoming loss of patent protection for current blockbusters creates an insatiable demand at pharma companies for new pipeline products from biotechs. Here’s an example from 2007. Here’s one from last week. This is not true. Upcoming loss of patent protection creates a insatiable demand for revenue, but new products are not the only source of new revenue.

Abbott’s $3.7 billion deal for a unit of India’s Piramal Healthcare last week is a perfect case in point. This deal, which follows Abbott’s license of a slew of products from Zydus Cadila, will feed the company’s new “established products division.” Abbott’s purchase of Solvay in February also built its emerging markets revenue, which now accounts for over 20% of the company’s business.

Abbott is far from alone: Sanofi is the biggest generics manufacturer in Latin America, Pfizer also has an established products division, Novartis is diversifying into eyecare and has long sold generics, Merck is into follow-on biologics and GSK tapped South Africa’s Aspen Pharma for emerging markets growth through branded generics. These alternatives look even better as payors worldwide are setting more demanding standards for reimbursement, the placebo effect is mysteriously strong, and personalized medicine makes clinical trials even more expensive.

My bottom line? Emerging markets and generics opportunities create plenty of growth, thank you very much, with a far lower risk profile than most product in-licenses or biotech acquisitions (even the option deals). As big pharma gets more comfortable with “established products” and biosimilars, biotechs are going to have to demonstrate even higher value. Plenty of companies are being built and funded with that in mind; but anyone counting on pharma’s desperation will be disappointed.

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Monday Biotech Deal Review: May 24, 2010

The lead up to the long weekend here in Canada (Victoria Day, in case you’re wondering where we all went) saw only one new financing and two new commercial deals. A few more deals that were launched earlier closed this week, including MethylGene’s SR&ED financing; but stay tuned for an uptick next week as we move fully out of earnings reporting doldrums. In the meantime…

Read more of this post

This Week in the Twitterverse

Here’s some reading for the weekend from our Twitter stream on @crossborderbio:

Friday Science Review: May 21, 2010

A slightly different FSR this week with a spotlight on Global Health, right on the heels of the recent Grand Challenges Canada announcement.  An interesting report in Nature Biotechnology, led by Drs. Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer at the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, mapped the collaborations between health biotech companies in developing countries.  The study is a first for tracking “South-South” partnerships and they offer some interesting insights:

South-South collaborations have become a widely chosen path for health biotech companies:

  • About a quarter (27%), participate in collaborations with another developing country and many (21%) are involved in multiple initiatives.
  • South-North collaborations with developed countries are still more common (53%).
  • The most active countries with the highest percentage of firms engaged in South-South collaborations are Cuba (~75%) and South Africa (~45%), followed by Egypt, Brazil, India, and China.
  • These leading developing countries in health biotech make up the majority of the linkages (see figure below)
  • Many of the collaborations are within their own regions such that they are establishing free trade zones to encourage trade with one another.

South-South Collaboration Network

Some of the motivations for companies in developing to collaborate include:

  • Minimizing risk and cost by sharing the burden with a partner.
  • Expanding their potential markets with an easier or facilitated access to a foreign market.
  • Gaining specific knowledge or skills, particularly since there are many specialized skills and technologies involved in biotech research that may not be available locally.

The nature of the collaborations, however, is mainly end-stage commercialization agreements rather than R&D.

  • Distribution agreements (72%) and marketing activities (34%) account for the majority of the collaborations with only 13% involving R&D and 9% involving clinical trials activities.
  • Innovation based knowledge sharing would likely have greater long-term benefits and future policies should encourage more of these types of collaborations.

To further promote such initiatives, Government organizations and other third parties can, and should, play a larger role to cultivate joint ventures since the majority of the South-South collaborations were initiated by the participating companies themselves.  It is important to realize that  South-South collaborations in the biotech sector are just as valuable as North-South collaborations to sustain a growing culture that addresses global health issues.

Also note that this study follows a pair of Nature Biotechnology publications last year by the same group at MRC – one explores “South-North” health biotech collaborations and the other focuses on Canadian biotech collaborations with developing countries.

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Trends Update — Synthetic Biology: JCVI’s First Synthetic Cell (or, A Goat Walked Into a Lab)

World, meet "Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0", 1.08-Mbps of synthetic life.

Today’s issue of Science contains an article by scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute, who have synthesized a Mycoplasma genome from scratch and transplanted it to a recipient cell. Those recipients have since reproduced using entirely the synthetic DNA.

In the quest to create novel organisms from scratch, Mycoplasma have been the tools of choice. Their small genomes suggest that they stick to the minimum genetic requirements for life (though they may contain unexpected complexity). Still, a megabase is a lot of DNA to assemble, so the JCVI gang uses a cool trick that combines long synthesized oligonucleotides by alternating between yeast and bacterial hosts to stitch the oligos into longer and longer segments. The host cells are controlled by, and exhibit the distinct characteristics of, the synthetic genome.

Venter, noting that the strain they made is a Mycoplasma that exists only in goats, is happy to illustrate the containment features:

"Unless a goat walks into the laboratory, or somebody walks out of our laboratory and injects a goat, we’re probably pretty good."

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Monday Biotech Deal Review: May 17, 2010

Lots of quarterly earnings announcements this week means a dip in deal activity. Still plenty of interesting stuff, though, including a new partnership and new listing plans for Tekmira. Meanwhile, for Medicago it’s graduation day, with a $10m present standby deal from Mom and Dad Yorkville Advisors on offer as it takes its symbol to the TSX big board from the venture exchange.

Read more of this post

This Week in the Twitterverse

Here’s some reading for the weekend from our Twitter stream on @crossborderbio:

Friday Science Review: May 14, 2010

A Cure for Brain Cancer: An aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma may be cured using the small molecule dichloracetate (DCA), a cheap and safe generic compound.  The drug works by altering the metabolism of the cancer cells, which is an emerging concept that exploits the different (higher) energy demand of cancer cells.  DCA’s target in the cells is the metabolic enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase II and it also promotes cell death in glioblastoma cancer cells and cancer stem cells.  In an 18-month study, some of the five patients’ tumours either regressed in size or did not grow any more.  Drs. Kenn Petruk and Evangelos Michelakis at the University of Alberta describe their study showing efficacy of DCA in humans for the first time in the journal Science Translational Medicine.  It is interesting to note that these and future studies are funded by government grants and private donations since the pharmaceutical industry is not interested in a compound that is readily available and without intellectual property protection (ie. no $cha-ching$).

Embryonic Cells Can Stop Viruses: Embryonic cells have a natural defence mechanism to limit the ability of viruses to express their genes and thereby prevent infection and further spread of the virus.  Researchers also determined that the different layers of cells in the developing embryo have different capacities to silence viral activation.  This “graphical abstract” published in Cell Stem Cell shows the outer layer of extraembryonic endoderm stem cells as the first line of defence with the strongest abilities to extinguish viral gene expression.  Several proteins including chromatin remodelling and repressor complex proteins were also identified to play key roles in this process.  The study was lead by Dr. Mellissa Mann at the University of Western Ontario.

If Only Mice Could Talk: This one is a bit strange.  It looks like mice express pain through facial expressions similar to the way humans do.  McGill University researchers developed the Mouse Grimace Scale to aid scientists working with lab animals to better ‘communicate’ with the animals.  Not only will this help to minimize and manage the stress that is inflicted on the animals but they can read the facial responses to determine whether a drug treatment is working or as an indicator of negative side effects.  Check out the study by Dr. Jeffrey Mogil in the issue of Nature Methods.

Pathogens Are Our Friends: Diphtheria Toxin (DT) is a potent cytotoxin that kills the cells that it binds to.  The DT385 is a recombinant version that is truncated and can be targeted to cancer cells to be used as a therapeutic agent.  In the present study, 15 of the18 human cancer lines tested were inhibited by DT385 as a result of increased apoptosis and decreased protein synthesis.  Dr. David Waisman at Dalhousie University published his study online in PLoS One.  Using pathogen proteins as therapeutic agents is not a new concept.  Oncolytics Biotech’s REOLYSIN® is derived from the Reovirus and Advaxis, Inc. exploits the Listeria bacterium to activate the immune system in an immunotherapy approach.

Studying Herpes Infection: Dr. Karen Mossman (McMaster University) investigated Herpes Simplex Virus-1 infection and how a viral protein, ICP0, is localized properly in the cell to block Interferon Regulatory Factor 3 (IRF3), the cell’s innate antiviral mechanism.  The study is described in PLoS One journal.

Grand Challenges Canada to Mobilize $225 Million Over 5 Years For Global Health

A new nonprofit organization called Grand Challenges Canada has been formed to deploy the Canadian government’s $225 million Development Innovation Fund. In a fabulous marriage of theory and practice, Grand Challenges will be run by Peter Singer, who is also the Director of the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health. It also draws on an impressive international scientific advisory board.

The program will identify and launch five “grand challenges” over a 5-year period. The first is

“to create a new class of point-of-care (POC) diagnostics that will be easy to use, low cost, multiplexed and able to assess disease stage and provide information on prognosis.”

Information on the RFP, policies and forms to apply for funding are here, and the deadline for this round of applications is July 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST.

Grand Challenges Canada is independent, but is being run in partnership with International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Monday Biotech Deal Review: May 10, 2010

Some people were on the move this week — not only did Sanofi Canada announce 70 R&D job cuts, but BioMS took on a new banker and Labopharm, CardioComm and GeneNews all get new faces. Despite the fact that it seemed half of the country’s companies and deal-makers were at BIO in Chicago this week, there was still a fair amount of positive deal activity including numerous private placements, commercial agreements and a bit of M&Eh.

Read more of this post

This Week in the Twitterverse

Here’s some reading for the weekend from our Twitter stream on @crossborderbio:

  • RT @PharmProEditor: Intellipharmaceutics plans Effexor generic http://bit.ly/aKNOMp
  • RT @CVCACanada: VC deals: Montreal based Enerkem announces funding from Alberta Energy http://bit.ly/aznzgC
  • BELLUS Health ends NC-503 diabetes development program following Phase II results http://viigo.im/3q8b
  • Aeterna Zentaris Receives Orphan-Drug Designation from the FDA for AEZS-108 in Ovarian Cancer http://viigo.im/3q7M 
  • RT @tdmckee: A paper from my lab is online in Nature, and today’s Toronto Star! http://bit.ly/9lwRSa << Awesome! Congrats!
  • RT @nvca LP Panel: there is optimism for venture equal to late 1990s
  • SickKids is building a $400 million, 21-storey, 750,000 square foot Research & Learning Tower at Bay & Elm http://viigo.im/3psl
  • Sanofi-aventis Canada announces 70 jobs cut by July, criticizes Canadian IP and access to medicines policies. http://viigo.im/3prD
  • RT @FierceBiotech: Live from BIO 2010: Hamburg discusses advancing regulatory science. http://is.gd/bVgWp
  • RT @jensmccabe USAToday joins hospital stats game – see hospitals death/readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia at health.usatoday.com 
  • RT @SternIR Burrill: 09 best yr ever for biotech capital raise – just when Burrill etal were declaring biotech dead of capital starvation. #bio2010
  • BioMS is changing its name to MedWell Capital and hiring ex-Desjardins banker Nitin Kaushal as EVP/MD http://bit.ly/a8uNNp
  • RT @CVCACanada: From out of the ashes – blog by @davidcrow on Canadian VC rebirth http://bit.ly/9daSeQ via @startupnorth 
  • E&Y: 7 of 9 deals over $1B involved non-US buyers #bio2010
  • New Post: Biotech Trends Update: Non-Dilutive Financing and Fundraising by Partnering with Nonprofits http://ow.ly/17fTXj
  • RT @FierceBiotech: E&Y: In 2009, 14 percent of biotech companies closed their doors. Far less than the 25% to 33% expected..
  • Report on the Non-Dilutive Financing and Fundraising by Partnering with Nonprofits panel at #BIO2010 http://ow.ly/1GuqA
  • RT @curlygh RT @BIOConvention: Our nation faces growing racial disconnect between those that seek care & those that provide it. -Surgeon Gen
  • Latest data on biotech jobs and state initiatives from BIO and Battelle session at BIO 2010 http://ow.ly/17fGuN
  • Note to #bio2010 peeps from warmer climes: not too late to mutate. Mammoth hemoglobin released O2 equally at all temps! http://bit.ly/c36ggv

Friday Science Review: May 7, 2010

Amazing!  Three Nature papers this week…

Cracking the Code: The human body is much more complex than the 20,000 or so genes that are encoded in our DNA.  This multiplicity of genetic messages is enhanced by alternative gene splicing, a process where different segments of DNA exons are spliced together to create a different gene message.  It is possible to create hundreds of new messages from a single gene.  The so called “splicing code” or rules that determines how and where a particular part of a gene is spliced with another segment was deciphered by researchers at the University of Toronto.  They can now accurately predict how genetic messages are rearranged on a large scale.  Hundreds of different RNA features are taken into account including certain factors in specific tissues to give rise to tissue specific expression.  This is an amazing discovery by Drs. Brendan Frey and Benjamin Blencowe that garnered the cover story in this week’s Nature journal.

Stem Cells on Hormones: The ovarian hormone, progesterone, stimulates breast stem cells as its levels peak during the natural reproductive cycle.  Researchers observed up to a 14-fold expansion of breast stem cells at peak progesterone levels in a mouse model.  This is the first evidence of a direct link between hormones and breast stem cells.  Since cancers are thought to initiate from stem cells, if there are other oncogenic factors pushing the system this may be a critical point that ultimately drives the start of a cancer.  There are implications of this study to further understanding how reproductive history is a strong risk factor for breast cancer and may lead to therapeutic intervention.  The research team at Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network was led by Dr. Rama Khokha and describes their work in Nature.

Reversing HER2 Breast Cancer: Through genomic studies of HER2 positive breast cancer, it was noted that the 14-3-3sigma gene was frequently missing.  After several years of hard work focusing on this gene, researchers have demonstrated that the 14-3-3sigma gene does indeed play a specific role in the development and function of breast epithelial tissue.  In the absence of 14-3-3sigma, the normally organized and polarized sheets of epithelial cells clump together and lose polarity.  It is this loss of organization without 14-3-3sigma that likely contributes to breast cancer progression.  From a therapeutic standpoint, the reintroduction of 14-3-3sigma into HER2 positive breast cancer cells resulted in the restoration of cell polarity and opens a window for further studies as a pathway to target.  Dr. William Muller (my former mentor) and his team at McGill University describe their research in the early edition of Genes and Development.

Bionic Muscle: Artificial proteins were assembled together in a fashion that mimics the molecular spring structure of a muscle protein called Titin, which is a very large protein that gives muscle tissue its unique properties of strength, extensibility and resilience.  This is why muscle has superior elasticity.  The biomaterial looks like a string of beads and although it exhibits only some of the mechanical characteristics of muscle tissue, its structure can be adjusted to provide specific properties of different types of muscle.  There are obvious future applications of this technology in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.  Drs. Hongbin Li and John Gosline at the University of British Columbia present their work in this week’s Nature journal.

BIO 2010 Summarized In Song

To the tune of “It’s a Small World“…

It’s a world of swag
A world of beers
It’s a world of sessions
And a world of careers
There’s so much that we share
That the Fail Whale’s not rare

It’s a small world after all

There is just one room
Where the keynote’s done
BIO’s counter-programming
Reporters shunned
Though the press corp’s outside
Twitter can’t be denied

It’s a small world after all… [Chorus]

BIO Panel on Comparative Effectiveness Research Notes “Silver Lining” of Personalized Medicine

Speakers Daniel Todd, from EMD Serono, and Steve LaPierre, from Boston Scientific, were led by Foley Hoag lawyer Jayson Slotnik in a discussion of the final CER legislation and predictions about implementation. The overall tone was skeptical — the panel noted the potential for CER data to ultimately contribute to CMS coverage decisions, and worried about the cost of prospective randomized trials and about potential impacts on the FDA approval process.

They were, however, optimistic about the role of personalized medicine in the CER implementation. Steve LaPierre expects it to be helpful, and Daniel Todd advocates using the reference to molecular and genetic subtypes in the legislation to push for personalized analysis if a product is selected for a CER study. He calls personalized medicine a silver lining.

The panel also noted positive structural aspects, including helpful governance provisions in the CER legislation. Specifically, they were impressed with the public reporting and audit provisions and the availability of comment periods to allow private sector input.

In looking at how CER will shake out, the panel expected progressive adaptation of the program over the next 3-7 years.

Daniel Todd emphasized the importance of picking a first recommendation to establish credibility. The controversy this year about breast cancer screening recommendations shows the loss of credibility that can come from a debatable result, so they expect CER to ramp up over time.

He also predicted that dissemination of CER results through social media may drive bottom-up adoption of findings, and that defensive medicine may also contribute to adoption.

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Biotech Trends Update: Non-Dilutive Financing and Fundraising by Partnering with Nonprofits

As noted in the lead up to BIO, several of the conference sessions touch on industry trends we’ve been following here on the blog. One of these was today’s session entitled “A New Kind of Non-Dilutive Financing and Fundraising: Partnering With Not-for-Profits,” which we’ve been following as commercialization by non-profit foundations. Our coverage of that trend started off focusing on the financial advantages to companies of finding a commercialization-minded nonprofit partner, but recently we’ve also noted the strategic advantages of these collaborations.

At today’s panel discussion, Genzyme’s Jim Geraghty added to the list of strategic advantages of nonprofit collaborations, echoing Avila’s CEO Katrine Bosely who recently acknowledged the value of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s network of clinician and patient relationships. Geraghty added:

  • access to scientific data that may have benefits to other company programs; and
  • relationships with governments and other clinical gatekeepers.

Most interestingly, Geraghty noted the contribution that nonprofit collaborations can make to employee goodwill and morale in an environment where pursuit of profit can run contrary to the norms that attracted employees to the field of biotechnology in the first place.

The panel also drove home the enormous role the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has played in changing the way nonprofits think of their roles in health. Gina Rabinovich from the Foundation was unwavering in stating their commitment not to publications or conference output, but to measurable health outcomes like reducing infant mortality. Kudos.

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Battelle-BIO Data on Biotech Investment and Jobs

I just came from a breakfast meeting between Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation and the Governor of Victoria, Australia. Everyone agreed on the importance of quantitative assessment of the biotech industry, and everyone agreed that finding and measuring (and communicating) success is difficult.

So I was glad to be able to head straight for the Battelle-BIO session presenting data gathered by Battelle, BIO and PMP Public Affairs Consulting tracking “the development of the U.S. bioscience industry on a state and metropolitan area basis .. since 2004.” Much of the data in this year’s report ends at 2008, so it predates the worst of the recession and much of the recent pharma M&A (and associated synergies R&D job cuts). Still, there is some interesting hard data on jobs, investment and best practices to add to this blog’s collection of biotech statistics. Notably:

  • The only job growth 2001-2007 has been in “Research, Testing & Medical Labs,” which Battelle says includes CRO and startup jobs. Jobs have been flat at best in Ag, Drug/Pharma, and Med Device. Reflects increased pharma outsourcing.
  • This data shows a high multiplier, with 5.8 other jobs created per new bioscience job.
  • 27 states have grown at least 1,000 jobs since 2001.

What are the policy initiatives that stand out?

  • 38 states have R&D tax credits, with 7 of these being refundable programs and 4 allowing transfer of credits.
  • 20 states offer tax credits to investors in angel and/or early-stage VC funds.
  • 13 states have fund-of-funds programs, 10 states have made direct LP investments and 14 states have made direct investments in bioscience companies.

Here’s a link to the full report: http://www.bio.org/battelle2010

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Monday Biotech Deal Review: May 3, 2010

I guess the excitement of BIO was driving deals this week. To the delight of the economic development folks, government was in on the action — Ontario announced a BIP investment and announced a whole new strategy, and OICR funded three equity deals. The private sector was also out in force, with four new licensing deals (including some interesting structures) and more securities than the week might otherwise … warrant. Keep reading after the jump…

PubMed Central Canada Opens for Business: Free Online Access to Life Sciences Journals

The PubMed Central Canada project (noted here last July) is now open for business at http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/ This collaboration — between the NRC’s Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine — “aims to provide a freely accessible, Canada-based archive of biomedical and health research findings.”

It also allows CIHR-funded researchers to comply with the Institute’s Policy on Access to Research Outputs, which requires grantees to make their peer-reviewed publications freely accessible online within six months of publication. There’s a login-based manuscript submission system, but since I’m not CIHR funded, I can’t check it out. If you are, and you do, let us know how it works.

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This Week in the Twitterverse

Here’s some reading for the weekend from our Twitter stream on @crossborderbio:

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