Drug Development, Protocols

Protocols: Editas recruits a Bristol-Myers vet as CSO; Eli Lilly gets a dubious honor for Alzheimer’s drug; Voyager in the spotlight

Cambridge, MA-based gene editing stalwart Editas has recruited a Bristol-Myers vet for the CSO’s job. Charles Albright moves in after a stint as VP of genetically defined diseases and genomics at Bristol-Myers.

Eli Lilly got a fast track designation for its BACE drug for Alzheimer’s, AZD3293. The designation, though, signifies little of anything significant. Fast track designations come fast and easy in this branch of R&D, while research projects for Alzheimer’s are long, arduous and expensive. They are also usually unsuccessful. Lilly got this drug from AstraZeneca, after its own BACE drug was torpedoed by toxicity issues.

MIT Technology Review explores Voyager Therapeutics’ gene therapy for Parkinson’s. “They do well at first but then respond very erratically to L-Dopa,” says Krystof Bankiewicz, the University of California scientist who came up with the gene-therapy plan and is a cofounder of Voyager. “This trial is to restore the enzyme and allow them to be awakened, or ‘on,’ for a longer period of time.”

Cambridge, MA-based Sample6, which focuses on food safety, raised $12.7 million in its Series C. “I was a total newbie coming to the food space from engineering,” says co-founder and CEO Michael Koeris, tells Forbes. “But you learn quickly that everybody who makes food cares extremely deeply about making it safe, clean, affordable, nutritious. It’s hard to keep food cheap. You’ve got to keep it safe. The volumes are huge.”

The EMA has formally accepted Puma Biotechnology’s application for neratinib.

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