Genentech builds new office in Oregon after trimming HQ staff; Researchers laud ketamine as a replacement for opioids

→ Two months after slashing 223 staffers from its headquarters in South San Francisco, Genentech says it will open up a new unit in Portland, OR, that will focus on patient access to the company’s products and be closely integrated with the main campus. The office, which has received a $500,000 grant from the state conditional upon hiring and wage targets, is expected to employ 300 people.

→ A new study out of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis concluded that ketamine could be just as effective as opioids in treating pain. The drug, known in party circles as Special K, is also used as a horse tranquilizer. Doctors have been pressed to reduce the use of opioids, though, which have spurred an epidemic of abuse.

AstraZeneca and Merck say that their PARP inhibitor Lynparza has won an orphan drug designation for pancreatic cancer. Researchers are currently studying the drug as a maintenance therapy for pancreatic cancer.

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