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Symic Bio to Present at Upcoming October Conferences

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Symic Bio, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel matrix regulators, today announced that Rinko Ghosh, President and Chief Business Officer, will present at the following conferences in October:

BioJapan 2017 Conference


Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017


4:30 p.m. JST


Pacific Convention Plaza Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan

2017 BIO Investor Forum


Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017


11 a.m. PDT


Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco

About Symic Bio

Symic Bio is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel matrix regulators, a new category of therapeutics focused on matrix biology. These therapeutics, with potential applications in a wide variety of disease states, are inspired by naturally occurring macromolecules that play key regulatory roles within the extracellular matrix. Symic Bio currently has two clinical candidates: SB-030, which is targeting the prevention of peripheral vascular disease, and SB-061, directed at disease modification and pain management in the treatment of osteoarthritis. In addition, Symic Bio is investigating applications in the areas of fibrosis, oncology and diseases of the central nervous system. For additional information please visit the company’s website at, LinkedIn page at or follow on Twitter at


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Cellecta, Inc. Introduces CRISPRa and CRISPRi Genome-Wide sgRNA Libraries and Mouse Genome-Wide CRISPR Knockout Library to Expand Functional Genomic Screening Portfolio

Launch of new human and mouse genome-wide CRISPR gene activation and inhibition libraries and mouse knockout library will provide greater insights into gene function and accelerate drug target discovery efforts

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Cellecta, Inc. today introduced CRISPRa (for activation) and CRISPRi (for inhibition) genome-wide, human and mouse pooled screening libraries to its extensive portfolio of CRISPR products and services. Cellecta also supplemented its current portfolio of CRISPR gene knockout libraries by adding a Mouse Genome-Wide CRISPR Knockout Library.

These new additions to Cellecta’s CRISPR industry-leading, screening portfolio enables researchers to study enhanced gene activation (CRISPRa) or gene inhibition (CRISPRi) without modifying genomic DNA. The gene-regulating CRISPRa and CRISPRi variations make use of an altered CRISPR protein to enhance or inhibit gene expression, rather than inducing mutational changes in a gene’s coding sequence. Modulating–rather than permanently knocking out–target genes with mutations offers several advantages for different screening appications. For example, it is possible to reverse the knockdown or upregulation effects of CRISPRi and CRISPRa.  Access to these new libraries provide researchers with new tools to identify potential drug targets or biomarkers, and elucidate mechanisms of drug action.

The library designs are based on recent publications from Dr. Jonathan Weissman’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco1. Key features of the new Cellecta CRISPRa and CRISPRi libraries include:

  • Single-module format, with each library expressing some 106,000 sgRNAs (human) and 109,000 sgRNAs (mouse) averaging five sgRNAs per gene promoter region
  • CRISPRa and CRISPRi libraries targeting approximately 19,000 human genes and almost 20,000 mouse genes
  • Approximately 4,000 non-targeting sgRNA controls are included

The new CRISPR Mouse Genome-Wide Knockout Library, based on the canonical CRISPR/Cas9 system, extends knockout screening capability to mouse model systems. The Cellecta CRISPR mouse knockout library targets all mouse protein-coding genes and features:

  • Approximately 80,000 constructs comprise the single-module library
  • Four sgRNAs target functional domains and conserved transcript regions in each of 19,600 mouse genes
  • Complete panel of controls include standard, non-targeting controls

“With the launch of our new genome-wide human and mouse CRISPRa and CRISPRi libraries, many more researchers will now have access to state-of-the-art technology for functional genetic analysis, which can help accelerate their in-house therapeutic discovery efforts. Cellecta is pleased to offer these resources to all scientists seeking novel, effective ways to study gene function and to model disease,” said Paul Diehl, Ph.D., Cellecta chief operating officer.

In addition to a variety of off-the-shelf and custom libraries, constructs and controls, Cellecta is a highly respected provider of end-to-end genetic screening services. A complete product catalog is available online at

1Horbeck, et al., eLife. 2016 Sep 23:5 doi: 10.7554/eLife.19760.

About Cellecta:

Cellecta, Inc. is the first commercial provider of a lentiviral-based CRISPR library targeting all 19,000+ human protein-coding genes. Cellecta is an industry leader in RNAi and CRISPR technologies for the discovery and characterization of novel therapeutic targets, and targeted gene profiling for biomarker discovery. Numerous scientific papers have been published citing Cellecta’s functional genomics portfolio offering gene knockout and knockdown screens, custom and genome-wide RNAi and CRISPR libraries, cell engineering, RNAi and CRISPR construct services, and targeted expression profiling and biomarker discovery in disease samples.

Cellecta, Inc. is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Further information about the company and its functional genomic products and services may be found online at

Cellecta, Inc.

Paul Diehl, 650-938-4050


Ruth Mercado, 650-938-4080

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Natera’s Panorama Non-Invasive Prenatal Test Now Available for Screening Twin Pregnancies

First NIPT to Determine Zygosity for Twins as Early as Nine Weeks’ Gestation

SAN CARLOS, Calif., Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Natera (NASDAQ: NTRA), a leader in non-invasive genetic testing and the analysis of circulating cell-free DNA, today announced that the company’s Panorama® non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) is now validated to screen twin pregnancies for zygosity (identical or non-identical/fraternal) and chromosomal abnormalities.

Natera’s Panorama® is the first NIPT that can determine whether twins are monozygotic (identical) or dizygotic (non-identical or fraternal) as early as nine weeks’ gestation.1 Accurately assessing zygosity early in twin pregnancies is important; Panorama identified monozygotic twins with >99% sensitivity and specifi­city in validation studies.1 Monozygotic pregnancies can be at risk for complications that come from monochorionicity (a shared placenta). About 67% of monozygotic pregnancies are monochorionic pregnancies, which are at the highest risk for intrauterine growth restriction, birth defects, and twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)—a complication of disproportionate blood supply resulting in high morbidity and mortality.2-7

Until now, expecting parents and their physicians may have faced unanswered questions in the beginning of a twin pregnancy. Chorionicity can sometimes be difficult to determine, especially as a pregnancy approaches the second trimester. In fact, studies have shown that up to 19% of monochorionic pregnancies are incorrectly classified as dichorionic and may not be managed appropriately.4

“Panorama now fills a significant unmet need for expecting parents and physicians managing twin pregnancies,” said Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Natera. “Enhancing Panorama to include screening for twin pregnancies is an important advancement that can determine zygosity at an early stage and help clinicians identify higher risk for conditions that affect more than 1 in 45 twin pregnancies. This new capability builds on the success of Panorama, the market-leading NIPT for common chromosomal conditions.”

Panorama builds on its history as the only NIPT that can tell the difference between the mother’s and the baby’s DNA, becoming the only NIPT that can now distinguish between each twin’s DNA. This unique technology enables Panorama to determine zygosity and the gender of each twin. It also helps identify risk for more genetic conditions in twin pregnancies than other NIPTs, including monosomy X, sex chromosome trisomies, and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.*

About Natera

Natera is a global leader in cell-free DNA testing. The mission of the company is to transform the diagnosis and management of genetic diseases. Natera operates an ISO 13485-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) in San Carlos, Calif. It offers a host of proprietary genetic testing services to inform physicians who care for pregnant women, researchers in cancer including biopharmaceutical companies, and genetic laboratories through its cloud-based software platform. Follow Natera on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements and are not a representation that Natera’s plans, estimates, or expectations will be achieved. These forward-looking statements represent Natera’s expectations as of the date of this press release, and Natera disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including with respect to our efforts to develop and commercialize new product offerings, our ability to successfully increase demand for and grow revenues for our product offerings, whether the results of clinical studies will support the use of our product offerings, our expectations of the reliability, accuracy and performance of our screening tests, or of the benefits of our screening tests and product offerings to patients, providers and payers. Additional risks and uncertainties are discussed in greater detail in “Risk Factors” in Natera’s recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and in other filings Natera makes with the SEC from time to time. These documents are available at and

*Available for monozygotic twins only


  1. Natera validation data.  Manuscript in preparation
  2. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Clinical guideline: Twin-twin transfusion syndrome, Jan 2013.
  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Practice Bulletin No. 169, Oct 2016.
  4. Blumenfeld et al. J Ultrasound in Med. 2014 Dec;33(12):2187-92.
  5. Oldenburg et al. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2012; 39: 69–74.
  6. Chasen, Chervenak. Twin pregnancy: Prenatal issues. In: UpToDate, Post, CL, DL (Ed), UpToDate, Aug 2017.
  7. Cunningham et al. Williams Obstetrics. 24th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2014.

Investor Relations
Mike Brophy, CFO, Natera, Inc., 650-249-9091 x 1471,

Barbara Sullivan, Sullivan & Associates, 714-374-6174,

This test was developed by Natera, Inc. a laboratory certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).  This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Although FDA does not currently clear or approve laboratory-developed tests in the U.S., certification of the laboratory is required under CLIA to ensure the quality and validity of the tests.

© 2017 Natera, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

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Rigel Provides Update on FDA Review of Fostamatinib for ITP

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:RIGL) today announced that during the company’s mid-cycle meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the FDA indicated that, at this point, it is not planning to hold an Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) meeting to discuss the New Drug Application (NDA) for fostamatinib in patients with chronic or persistent immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).  Additionally, the FDA indicated that it anticipates meeting the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date for the application review, which is April 17, 2018. In an earlier communication, the FDA had conditionally approved the proprietary name TavalisseTM.

“Since we submitted our NDA this spring, we have worked collaboratively with the FDA to answer routine questions as they arise,” said Anne-Marie Duliege, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Rigel. “Our positive interactions with the FDA, including their customary biomedical monitoring (BIMO) inspections at our facilities and clinical sites, are in-line with our expectations and have progressed well. We will continue to work closely with the agency and remain committed to bringing fostamatinib to patients with ITP who are in need of new treatment options.”   

About ITP
In patients with ITP, the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s own blood platelets, which play an active role in blood clotting and healing.  Common symptoms of ITP are excessive bruising and bleeding.  People suffering with chronic ITP may live with increased risk of severe bleeding events that can result in serious medical complication, or even death.  Currently approved therapies for ITP include steroids, blood platelet production boosters (TPO-RAs) and splenectomy. However, not all patients derive a benefit from existing therapies. As a result, there remains a significant medical need for additional treatment options for patients with ITP.

About Rigel (
Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering, developing and providing novel small molecule drugs that significantly improve the lives of patients with immune and hematological disorders, cancer and rare diseases. Rigel’s pioneering research focuses on signaling pathways that are critical to disease mechanisms. The company’s current clinical programs include clinical trials of fostamatinib, an oral spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, in a number of indications. Rigel has submitted and the FDA has accepted for review, an NDA for fostamatinib in patients with chronic or persistent immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). In addition, Rigel has product candidates in development with partners BerGenBio AS, Daiichi Sankyo and Aclaris Therapeutics.

Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the FDA’s indication that it is not planning to hold an ODAC meeting to discuss the NDA for fostamatinib in patients with chronic or persistent ITP, the timing of the FDA’s application review of our NDA submission and Rigel’s belief that fostamatinib may be an attractive alternative for patients with ITP.  Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as “planned,” “will,” “may,” “expect,” “hope” and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Rigel’s current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, the FDA may later decide to hold an ODAC meeting; delays in the FDA’s review of the submitted NDA by the PDUFA action date; the FDA may interpret Rigel’s findings differently, which could result in the FDA not approving any submitted NDA; the availability of resources to develop Rigel’s product candidates; Rigel’s need for additional capital in the future to sufficiently fund Rigel’s operations and research; the uncertain timing of completion of and the success of clinical studies; market competition, risks associated with and Rigel’s dependence on Rigel’s corporate partnerships; as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Rigel’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017. Rigel does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein.

Contact: Raul Rodriguez
Phone: 650.624.1302

Media Contact: Jessica Daitch
Phone: 917.816.6712


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Spartan Race Partners With Neurohacker Collective To Change Minds, Literally

NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — This past weekend, NBC Sports headed to Lake Tahoe to cover the 2017 Spartan World Championship Spartan Race. Spartan Race is America’s most popular endurance race series, taking racers through a grueling 16 miles of mud pits, rope climbs, and army crawls under barbed wire. NBC live hosted a podcast on Sunday with members of Neurohacker Collective, a San Diego startup specializing in neurotechnology. Spartan Race champion Ben Greenfield was part of the panel, including NFL stars, fitness pros, and neuroscientists. They discussed the keys to mental toughness in athletics and success in general, including mental enhancement products like those made by Neurohacker Collective. Whether it’s mental performance supplements, mind enhancing headwear, or meditation techniques, millennial athletes are becoming more advanced in their approach to mental toughness.

This article walks readers through Spartan Race series, and the story of Ben Greenfield, who is already a promoter of Qualia, the Neurohacker Collective’s mental performance supplement. It also talks about the larger movement Neurohacker Collective is part of called biohacking, a popular movement with millennials that involves healthier ways to optimize physical and mental performance, instead of the dark chapters of sports’ past like steroids and blood-doping. Ben Greenfield has a Master’s degree in Biomechanics, so he represents an athlete at the top of the sports world right now, and a biohacking expert with a following in the millions.

Take the reader on a journey with one of Spartan Race series’ top stars, and the movement of biohacking the body and neurohacking the mind to bring in a healthier future for sports science.

To publish this article, please contact Darrell Grable of Neurohacker Collective to receive it for review at 724-825-3989 or


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Biostage to Present at the 2017 Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa

– Presentation with live video webcast Thursday, October 5th at 4:45PM PDT –

HOLLISTON, Mass., Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Biostage Inc., (Nasdaq: BSTG), (“Biostage” or the “Company”), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants to treat congenital defects, cancers and other life-threatening conditions of the esophagus, bronchus and trachea, announced today that Saverio La Francesca, MD, President and Chief Medical Officer of Biostage, will present at the 2017 Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa on Thursday, October 5th at 4:45PM PDT in La Jolla, CA. Members of the executive management team will also participate in one-on-one meetings during the conference.

Dr. La Francesca will provide a medical and scientific review as well as outline the Company’s expected upcoming near-term corporate, clinical and regulatory milestones that will enable Biostage’s transition to a clinical-stage company.

A live video webcast of the presentation will be available on the Events page of the Investors section of the Company’s website (

About the Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa
Organized by ARM and the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego, the Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa is a three-day conference featuring three distinct parts, the program’s two-day Partnering Forum, a Public Forum lecture and a full-day Scientific Symposium. The event’s Partnering Forum on October 4-5, features more than 70 dedicated company presentations in addition to 90 panelists and featured speakers.

Please visit for full information including registration. Complimentary attendance at this event is available for credentialed investors and members of the media only. Investors should contact Laura Parsons at and interested media should contact Lyndsey Scull at

About Biostage
Biostage is a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants based on the Company’s Cellframe™ technology which combines a proprietary biocompatible scaffold with a patient’s own stem cells to create Cellspan organ implants. Cellspan implants are being developed to treat life-threatening conditions of the esophagus, bronchus or trachea with the hope of dramatically improving the treatment paradigm for patients. Based on its preclinical data, Biostage has selected life-threatening conditions of the esophagus as the initial clinical application of its technology.

For more information, please visit and connect with the Company on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements:
Some of the statements in this press release are “forward-looking” and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These “forward-looking” statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the private placement, any rights offerings, development expectations and regulatory approval of any of our products, including those utilizing our Cellframe technology, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency or otherwise, which closings, offerings, expectations or approvals may not be achieved or obtained on a timely basis or at all; or success with respect to any collaborations, clinical trials and other development and commercialization efforts of our products, including those utilizing our Cellframe technology, which such success may not be achieved or obtained on a timely basis or at all. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from the statements set forth in this press release, including, among other things, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our products and our ability to complete the private placement on a timely basis or at all; plus other factors described under the heading “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 or described in our other public filings. Our results may also be affected by factors of which we are not currently aware. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Biostage expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to such statements to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any changes in the events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Investor Relations Contacts:  

Tom McNaughton                      

Chief Financial Officer                 


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