November 2013

Life sciences


U.S. FDA approves Quebec-made bird flu vaccine for stockpile use only

The U.S. government has for the first time approved an adjuvanted vaccine to protect against H5N1 bird flu. The vaccine was made by Quebec City-based ID Biomedical, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The approval was announced by the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates vaccines in the United States. The vaccine will not be available commercially; it will be placed in the U.S. government’s emergency stockpile.


Human skin wound dressings to treat cutaneous ulcers

Researchers from Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine and CHU de Québec have shown that it is possible to treat venous ulcers unresponsive to conventional treatment with wound dressings made from human skin grown in vitro. A study published recently in the journal Advances in Skin and Wound Care demonstrates how this approach was successfully used to treat venous lower-extremity ulcers in patients who had been chronically suffering from such wounds.


GenePOC, Molecular Platform selected by the Canadian food diagnostics industry for the rapid detection of E. coli from beef at food processing facilities.

Genome Alberta is pleased to announce on behalf of our funding partners the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Genome Canada, Genome Quebec, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs, the results of our collective funding competition for the rapid detection of pathogenic E.coli. Each of the two successful applications will receive $500,000 in new funding. The successful projects will leverage this investment with additional funding to bring the total investment to $1.6 million over the 18 month life of the projects


Medicago announces agreement to be acquired by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma in a transaction valued at $357M

Medicago announces that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation whereby MTPC will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Medicago, other than the Shares currently held by Philip Morris Investments B.V.  


Creation of the Québec City Health Alliance

The first work meeting of Alliance santé Québec (Québec City Health Alliance) took place on October 1st, at Domaine Cataraqui in Qubec City. This new entity brings together key players from the greater Quebec City region working in in research and innovation in various health-related fields. Acting as as a forum for discussion and action, the group’s primary objective is to increase and optimize research efforts for the health of individuals and populations.


Construction of the C-LAVIE Complex in Québec City - Héma-Québec takes on cell production

Héma-Québec, Québec City and the Government of Québec announce the construction of the C∙LAVIE complex, a cell production facility representing an investment of $21.5Mthat will be built in the Michelet innovation space within the territory of Québec City. The new building, with an area of 3,716 square metres, will provide a controlled environment (white rooms) that complies with good manufacturing practises (GMP), a pre-requisite for regulatory product approval. For the first few years, it will primarily be used to manufacture standardized cell and tissue products for clinical studies. Eventually, it will also ensure large-scale production of approved cellular medications.


Data from a new study on DiagnoCure’s GCC assay show positive results for predicting risk of colon cancer recurrence

DiagnoCure reports that results of a new study were presented on Sunday, June 2, during the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting held in Chicago, Illinois. The abstract of the presentation, by Dr. Daniel J. Sargent, Professor of Biostatistics and Oncology at Mayo Clinic, and colleagues, is now available on the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s website,


Aeterna Zentaris: Encouraging Final Data for Phase 1 Portion of Ongoing Phase 1/2 Trial with Zoptarelin Doxorubicin

Aeterna Zentaris announces that final data for the Phase 1 portion of the ongoing Phase 1/2 trial with its lead oncology compound, zoptarelin doxorubicin (AEZS-108), demonstrated the compound's promising anti-tumor activity in heavily pre treated men with castration- and taxane-resistant prostate cancer. Results were presented earlier today by lead investigator, Jacek Pinski, MD, PhD, of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, during a poster session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's ("ASCO") Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


Medicago is First in the World to Report Positive Interim Results for its H7N9 Pre-Clinical Trial

Medicago reports positive interim results from a preclinical trial for an H7N9 Avian Influenza VLP vaccine candidate ("H7 vaccine"). The data show that three micrograms of the H7 vaccine administered with and without adjuvant induced high antibody titers after one dose.


TSO33 to evaluate strategic alternatives in parallel with US regulatory approval process

TSO3 announces that while it is pursuing the US regulatory approval for the STERIZONE® 125L+ Sterilizer and continuing commercial negotiations on a non-exclusive basis, TSO3 has initiated a process to assess the range of strategic alternatives available to the Company, as a means to maximize shareholder value once regulatory clearance has been achieved. The purpose of this process is to evaluate the options available to the Company, by assessing the interest for the products, technology and development opportunities that TSO3 provides. TSO3 may ultimately determine that its current business plan is the best means to enhance shareholder value.


Medicago successfully produces plant-based Rotavirus VLP vaccine candidate

Medicago announces the successful production of a Rotavirus VLP vaccine candidate comprising all four structural antigens of rotavirus (VP2, VP4, VP6 and VP7) using Medicago's plant-based manufacturing platform. Medicago also announced today that an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) that broadly covers plant-produced Rotavirus VLPs has been filed.


Aeterna Zentaris: First Patient Dosed for Phase 3 Registration Trial in Endometrial Cancer with Zoptarelin Doxorubicin (AEZS-108)

Aeterna Zentaris announces that the first patient has been recruited and dosed for the Phase 3 ZoptEC (Zoptarelin doxorubicin in Endometrial Cancer) trial in women with endometrial cancer resistant to platinum/taxane-based chemotherapy.


Aeterna Zentaris Completes Successful Transfer of Cetrotide® Manufacturing Rights to Merck KGaA

Aeterna Zentaris announces the successful completion of its previously announced agreements with various partners and licensees with respect to the manufacturing rights and obligations for its Cetrotide® product. The principal outcome of such agreements is the transfer of manufacturing rights and the grant of a manufacturing license for Cetrotide® to a subsidiary of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, in all jurisdictions. Under the terms of these agreements, Aeterna Zentaris will receive a one-time payment of €2.5 million, or approximately $3.3 million. Cetrotide® (cetrorelix acetate for injection) is used to regulate hormone responses in women undergoing infertility treatment. Merck Serono currently markets Cetrotide®worldwide.


Atrium Innovations Acquires 70% of Mucos Pharma CZ, Distributor of Wobenzym® Products in Central and Eastern Europe

Atrium Innovations announces that it has acquired 70% of the outstanding shares of Mucos Pharma CZ s.r.o. , the exclusive distributor of Wobenzym® products in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the past few years, the solidly established Mucos CZ has successfully distributed Wobenzym® products primarily in Russia, Czech Republic and Slovakia. This controlling interest in Mucos CZ reflects the strategic importance of Central and Eastern European markets to Atrium in reference to Wobenzym’s potential and the potential for future cross-selling opportunities particularly in Russia.


Aeterna Zentaris Submits New Drug Application to FDA for Macimorelin Acetate (AEZS-130) for Evaluation of AGHD

Aeterna Zentaris announces that it has submitted a New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its ghrelin agonist, macimorelin acetate (AEZS-130). Phase 3 data have demonstrated that the compound has the potential to become the first orally-approved product that induces growth hormone release to evaluate adult growth hormone deficiency, with accuracy comparable to available intravenous and intramuscular testing procedures.