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New natural RNA function found

December 15, 2014 – 9:00 am | Edit Post

Double-stranded RNA required for mitosis, could be therapy target.

Sorrento Announces Strategic Investment By And Collaboration With Nantworks Founder Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong For The Advancement Of Cancer Immunotherapies

December 15, 2014 – 7:25 am | Edit Post

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE; Sorrento), an oncology company developing new treatments for cancer and associated pain, announced today that it has entered into a binding agreement with NantWorks founder, physician scientist, and biotechnology entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Under the terms of the agreement, NantWorks and Sorrento will establish a global strategic collaboration to jointly develop next generation immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases. NantWorks, through a subsidiary, and Sorrento intend to establish the first joint venture – “The Immunotherapy Antibody JV” – as an independent biotechnology company with $20 million initial joint funding. As part of a strategic investment, Dr. Soon-Shiong’s affiliated entity will acquire a 19.9% equity stake in Sorrento by purchasing common stock priced at $5.80 per share, Sorrento’s closing sale price on Friday, December 12, 2014. In addition, Sorrento granted the purchaser a 3-year warrant to purchase 1,724,138 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $5.80 per share.

The Immunotherapy Antibody JV will focus on accelerating the development of multiple immuno-oncology monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for the treatment of cancer, including but not limited to anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, anti-CTLA4 mAbs, and other immune-check point antibodies as well as antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and bispecific antibodies. The immuno-oncology field has emerged as the one of most exciting and fastest developing pharmaceutical market. Immunomodulatory antibodies help the cancer patient’s own immune system to fight the disease and are being developed for the treatment of a number of solid tumors. They have demonstrated therapeutic potential in difficult-to-treat cancers, such as metastatic melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A recent forecast by Citigroup predicts this market to become the biggest blockbuster drug class in history with potential sales of up to $35 billion a year over the next 10 years.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Dr. Patrick-Soon Shiong and NantWorks. The investment into Sorrento and future formation of the JV with NantWorks further validate our G-MAB antibody technology and underscore Sorrento’s commitment to seeking strategic alliances in bringing its diverse portfolio of fully human monoclonal antibodies, ADCs, and bispecific antibodies into the clinic,” said Dr. Henry Ji, President and CEO of Sorrento. “Our innovative collaboration will unite Sorrento’s capability to develop complex biologics with NantWorks proprietary genomic and personalized medicine technologies. We share NantWorks’ enthusiasm for the potential of our JV to produce a pipeline of immuno-oncology products to address unmet needs of cancer treatment.”

“Combining NantWorks’ cutting edge expertise in genomic and molecular profiling of cancer patients and Sorrento’s industry-leading G-MAB antibody technology, we believe will enable us to develop multiple novel therapies for malignant disorders where there is currently a significant unmet need. Through this partnership, it is our goal to provide relief for millions of people who today have limited treatment options. This will be a model relationship aligned to accelerate development and production of novel cancer immunotherapies. We look forward to working closely with Sorrento’s team,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, CEO and Founder of NantWorks.

About NantWorks

NantWorks, LLC, founded by renowned physician scientist and inventor of the first human nanoparticle chemotherapeutic agent Abraxane®, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is the umbrella organization for the following entities: NantHealth, NantMobile, NantMedia, NantOmics, NantBioScience, NantBioCell, NantPharma, NantCapital and NantCloud. Fact-based and solution-driven, each of NantWorks’ division entities operates at the nexus of innovation and infrastructure.

The core mission of NantWorks is convergence: to develop and deliver a diverse range oftechnologies that accelerates innovation, broaden the scope of scientific discovery, enhancegroundbreaking research, and improve healthcare treatment for those in need. NantWorks is building an integrated fact-based, genomically-informed, personalized approach to the delivery of care and the development of next generation diagnostics and therapeutics.

About Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. 

Sorrento is an oncology company developing new treatments for cancer and associated pain. Sorrento’s most advanced asset Cynviloq™, the next-generation nanoparticle paclitaxel, commenced its registrational trial in March 2014 and is being developed under the abbreviated 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway. Sorrento is also developing RTX, a non-opiate TRPV1 agonist currently in a Phase 1/2 study at the NIH to treat terminal cancer patients suffering from intractable pain. The Company has made significant advances in developing human monoclonal antibodies, complemented by a comprehensive and fully integrated ADC platform that includes proprietary conjugation chemistries, linkers, and toxic payloads. Sorrento’s strategy is to enable a multi-pronged approach to combating cancer with small molecules, mono- and bi-specific therapeutic antibodies, and ADCs.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements include statements about its Cynviloq registrational trial; and the advances made in developing RTX and human monoclonal antibodies, if any; and other matters that are described in Sorrento’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risk factors set forth in those filings. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in this press release except as required by law.  

 

SOURCE Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

Organovo Celebrates a Positive 2014 Reception of its exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue Product

December 15, 2014 – 6:05 am | Edit Post

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Organovo Holdings, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ONVO) (“Organovo”), a three-dimensional biology company focused on delivering breakthrough 3D bioprinting technology,  today celebrated continued positive reception by the industry and collaborators of its exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue.  The product, which was made widely available in full commercial release on November 18, has been recognized as groundbreaking in the field, resulting in several awards for innovation.

Most recently, on December 4, Organovo’s exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue was selected by a panel of industry judges as a CONNECT 2014 Most Innovative Product.  CONNECT is a San Diego innovation organization, with membership from over 120 firms and universities, that catalyzes the creation of innovative technology and life sciences products in San Diego.  The exVive3DTM Human Liver was selected as the winner from a highly innovative set of competitive research tools and diagnostic products.

Also this month, the exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue was selected by a separate panel of judges from industry and academia as one of the Top 10 Innovations of 2014 by The Scientist magazine, a widely read and well respected news outlet for life science researchers.

Earlier this year Organovo’s liver tissue was also named a Silver award winner in the life science space at the 2014 Edison Awards and the Company was named a 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.

“Organovo’s first-in-class tissue has been very well received by the scientific community,” commented Organovo Chief Executive Officer Keith Murphy.  “Our current data provides ample evidence for customers to engage in our commercial research services, and we have been honored by a number of awards acknowledging the innovative nature of our product.  We look forward to continuing to expand the impact and uptake of the exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue, along with extending our offering with other equally innovative tissue types.”

About Organovo Holdings, Inc.

Organovo designs and creates functional, three-dimensional human tissues for use in medical research and therapeutic applications. The Company develops 3D human disease models through internal development and in collaboration with pharmaceutical and academic partners. Organovo’s 3D human tissues have the potential to accelerate the drug discovery process, enabling treatments to be developed faster and at lower cost. The company recently launched its initial product of the planned exVive3DTM portfolio offering, a 3D Human Liver Tissue for use in Toxicology and other preclinical drug testing. Additional products, including a 3D Kidney Model, are in development with anticipated release for use in the latter half of calendar year 2016. The company also actively conducts early research on specific tissues for therapeutic use in direct surgical applications. In addition to numerous scientific publications, the Company’s technology has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Economist, and numerous others. Organovo is changing the shape of medical research and practice. Learn more at www.organovo.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s ability to develop, market and sell products based on its technology; the expected benefits and efficacy of the Company’s products and technology; the market acceptance of the Company’s products; and the Company’s business, research, product development, regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and strategies. These and other factors are identified and described in more detail in our filings with the SEC, including our annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on June 10, 2014 and its report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 7, 2014, as well as our other filings with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SOURCE Organovo Holdings, Inc.

Aptose Biosciences Announces Appointment of Dr. Erich Platzer to Board of Directors

December 15, 2014 – 6:00 am | Edit Post

Adds Commercial Expertise to Board

SAN DIEGO and TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Aptose Biosciences Inc.
(NASDAQ: APTO, TSX: APS), a clinical-stage company developing new
therapeutics and molecular diagnostics that target the underlying
mechanisms of cancer, today announced the appointment of Dr. Erich M.
Platzer, oncology industry veteran and venture investor, to the Board
of Directors.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Platzer to Aptose’s Board of Directors.
He brings considerable product development, clinical trial management,
licensing and commercialization expertise from his career in the
pharmaceutical industry.” said William G. Rice, Ph.D., Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Officer. “Dr. Platzer also has a rich
background in oncology and hematology from both the clinical and
business perspectives. At a time in which we are advancing our lead
anti-cancer program APTO-253 through clinical development, Aptose is
truly fortunate to benefit from his involvement and counsel at the
Board level.”

Dr. Platzer is a board certified physician in internal medicine,
hematology and medical oncology. Previously, Dr. Platzer was business
director of oncology, global strategic marketing and therapeutic area
head of oncology at Roche, Basel, where he also served as medical
director in oncology and global development project leader. Dr. Platzer
is a director of Swiss Business Angel Groups, StartAngels and BioBAC
and has served as a pharmaceutical industry expert on the board of
directors of multiple biotech companies. Dr. Platzer co-founded and
currently serves as an investment advisor to HBM Partners AG, a global
leader in healthcare investing. At HBM, he focuses on private equity
and venture capital investments in start-up companies, specifically in
the areas of oncology, inflammatory diseases and CNS. He is the author
of more than 35 scientific papers. Dr. Platzer graduated from the
Medical School and the Institute of Clinical Immunology and
Rheumatology of the University of Erlangen in 1979, where he later also
received the “Dr. med. habil.” (M.D.,Ph.D.). He holds a “Vordiplom”
(B.Sc.) in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Regensburg,
Germany.

Aptose also announced that Brian Underdown, Ph.D., has resigned his seat
on the Aptose Board of Directors. Dr. Underdown is a Managing Director
of Lumira Capital, Investment Management, one of Canada’s leading
venture capital firms with offices in both Canada and the United
States.  “Dr. Underdown has faithfully represented Lumira’s interest in
Aptose, and he always served Aptose in a thoughtful and constructive
manner,” said Dr. Rice. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would
also like to thank Dr. Underdown for his contributions to Aptose and
the Board.”

About Aptose

Aptose Biosciences is a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed
to discovering and developing personalized therapies addressing unmet
medical needs in oncology. Aptose is advancing new therapeutics focused
on novel cellular targets on the leading edge of cancer research,
coupled with companion diagnostics to identify the optimal patient
population for our products. The Company’s small molecule cancer
therapeutics pipeline includes products designed to provide enhanced
efficacy with existing anti-cancer therapies and regimens without
overlapping toxicities. Aptose Biosciences Inc. is listed on NASDAQ
under the symbol APTO and on the TSX under the symbol APS.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Such statements include,
but are not limited to, statements relating to Aptose’s plans,
objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements including
words such as “continue”, “expect”, “intend”, “will”, “should”,
“would”, “may”, and other similar expressions. Such statements reflect
our current views with respect to future events and are subject to
risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of
estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us are
inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive,
political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors
could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be
materially different from any future results, performance or
achievements described in this press release. Such expressed or implied
factors include, among others: changes in our stock price; our ability
to meet listing requirements; our ability to obtain the capital
required for research and operations; the inherent risks in early stage
drug development including demonstrating efficacy; development
time/cost and the regulatory approval process; the progress of our
clinical trials; our ability to find and enter into agreements with
potential partners; our ability to attract and retain key personnel;
changing market conditions; stock market volatility; and other risks
detailed from time-to-time in our ongoing quarterly filings, annual
information forms, annual reports and annual filings with Canadian
securities regulators and the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission.

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or
should the assumptions set out in the section entitled “Risk Factors”
in our filings with Canadian securities regulators and the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission underlying those
forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary
materially from those described herein. These forward-looking
statements are made as of the date of this press release and we do not
intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these
forward-looking statements, except as required by law. We cannot assure
you that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results
and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in
such statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking
statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly
investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking
statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.

SOURCE Aptose Biosciences Inc.

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/12/15/20141215_C9167_DOC_EN_43302.pdf

Scripps Florida Scientists Win Grant to Uncover Ways to Erase Toxic PTSD Memories

December 15, 2014 – 1:00 am | Edit Post

The project, led Associate Professor Courtney Miller, will seek to understand how the brain actually stores these toxic memories with the hope of revealing new drug targets.

Researchers Determine Structure of a Molecular Complex Critical for Joining Cells Together

December 15, 2014 – 1:00 am | Edit Post

Work from the Izard lab sheds light on why cells don’t simply fall apart.

Solving a Long-Standing Mystery, Team Identifies Key Protein Sensor for Touch

December 15, 2014 – 1:00 am | Edit Post

The discovery from the Patapoutian lab will enable scientists to test the relationship between touch and pain.

TSRI Scientists Lead New Age of Electron Microscopy

December 15, 2014 – 1:00 am | Edit Post

The craziest sci-fi dreams rarely come true—that is, unless you’re in the field of electron microscopy.

Isis Pharma edges to another record high

December 14, 2014 – 5:40 pm | Edit Post

Isis shares nudge to another record high.

Isis Pharma edges to another record high

December 14, 2014 – 5:40 pm | Edit Post

Isis shares nudge to another record high.