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Company News: 365 Energy Installs First Coulomb ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations for Ireland’s Electric Supply Board

European Market Expansion of 365 Energy Gains Further Momentum

365 Energy has announced the installation of the first Coulomb ChargePoint® Networked Charging Stations in Dublin, Ireland. The charging stations were provided to Ireland’s Electric Supply Board (ESB) and recently went live in the Dublin city centre. The installation of these charging stations is only the beginning of Ireland’s nationwide e-mobility infrastructure initiative. The ESB is planning to install charging stations in homes, on-street and along motor-ways throughout Ireland so that electric cars can be powered at a wide range of accessible venues.

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Company News: SuppreMol Initiates Phase Ib/IIa Clinical Trial With Its Lead Candidate SM101

SuppreMol GmbH, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced the initiation of a Phase Ib/IIa clinical trial with its lead product SM101 in Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) in Europe. For further details on the trial and the compound, please see the complete press release.

In a Phase Ia trial in 48 healthy volunteers started in April 2009, no SM101-associated adverse reactions have been observed. Detailed results of this study will be published soon.

Food for Thought: Personalized Medicine – Testing Prospective Parents?

Personalized medicine is regarded as the next big thing in healthcare, but so far business models to make money in this field are limited. One example is Hamburg-based Indivumed which specializes on the support of pharma companies and research institutions with cancer biospecimens and related data and services generated under highly standardized conditions. Another one, argues Steve Dickman of CBTadvisors in his recent Boston Biotech Watch blog, might be genetic counseling for prospective parents.
Steve judges potential success of businesses in the personalized medicine space according to four criteria, asking whether the concept is 1) actionable, 2) cost-effective, 3) based on validated science, and 4) clinically meaningful.
Going through this list he comes to the conclusion that the business model of California-based Counsyl looks promising. For $698 per couple the company is offering prospective parents a one-price panel of SNP-based tests for more than 100 genetic diseases so that a couple can learn whether its offspring is at risk for these conditions.
So while it is easy to tick the boxes on 2, 3, and 4, the questions is actionability: what are the options for treatment, preventive action, or behavior?
This is the field we predict will be hotly debated, at least in Europe. Once a risk is detected, the options on the table  are: refrain from conceiving a child and opt for adoption, or choose abortion in case the child is affected by the condition the risk was predicted for, or go for in vitro fertilization followed by preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
While many may not like the idea because it evokes memories of eugenics, reality shows that many people do want to know what their genes and their options are. Anyone dare to place a ban on it?

Company News: MediGene Signs Commercialization Agreement for Veregen / ProBioGen Is Granted New Divisional Patent on Duck Cell Line

MediGene AG has signed a license and supply agreement with Meditrina Pharmaceuticals for the supply and commercialization of Veregen® in Greece and Cyprus. Meditrina will promote and distribute Veregen® for the treatment of genital warts in both territories. Upon the achievement of specific milestones, MediGene will be entitled to successive payments totaling up to 900 thousand euros, and will receive the first milestone payment upon the initiation of the approval procedure in Greece. In addition, MediGene will supply Meditrina with finished product and will receive double-digit royalties on net sales. MediGene believes that Greece is the sixth largest potential European market for Veregen® sales volume.

MediGene has already entered into marketing partnerships for Veregen® with Nycomed, Inc. for the USA, Solvay (acquired by Abbott on February 15, 2010) for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Juste S.A.Q.F for Spain and Portugal and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. for Israel. For further information, please click here.

Also today, ProBioGen has announced that it has been granted a divisional patent on its prorietary AGE1 cell line.
The patent covers the production of Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) in duck cell lines. As these cells are free from endogenous particle-associated retrovirus activity, they are superior to current production substrates derived from chicken. The discovery has wide implications for the industrial production of one of the most promising recombinant vaccine vectors against infectious disease challenges such as HIV and malaria. Read more here.

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