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WR Grace & Co.

www.grace.com

Latest From WR Grace & Co.

Corruption Laws Take Front Seat In Asian Deal Making Decisions And Expansion Plans

Multinational firms in Asia need to consider building independent in-house compliance teams to guard against mistakes in handling corruption cases, compliance and risk management, experts advise.

BioPharmaceutical Asia Pacific

Chiron/PowderJect: US Snaps Up Europe's Best

Chiron's acquisition of PowderJect is the most recent sign that the vaccines industry is coming of age, taking the field's only two mid-sized players up among the top-ranking Big Pharma. This deal was largely about infrastructure. But it suggests any European biotech with a valuable asset--be it product or distribution network--is an attractive takeover target for US firms.
BioPharmaceutical Europe

Liver Assist Devices: Proof of Life

Apart from transplantation, until very recently, there have been no life-saving therapies available for liver failure. Now, one first-generation liver assist device is on the market and others are progressing through both biologic and device clinical trials. Companies with liver assist devices sort into two main groups: companies with dialysis and ultrafiltration systems that improve upon kidney dialysis and fall squarely on the device side of the divide for regulatory purposes, and those that incorporate living cells in a device-biologic combination, which require drug-like approvals. Regardless of the approval process, all companies need compelling efficacy data to convince clinicians and payers of the benefits of a brand new therapy. But the large numbers of variables and unknowns concerning liver function and liver disease have posed considerable obstacles to designing prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials-a problem highlighted by Circe Biomedical's halting of its large Phase II/III clinical trial for lack of efficacy. There is no question that there is a tremendous need for liver support. What is tantalizing for both companies and investors in this area is that they feel liver assist devices do work-the liver can recover, physiological functions improve, patients with a prognosis of death have survived. But they just haven't been able to prove it yet, not in terms of the only endpoint that really counts at this early stage in the field, improvements in 30-day survival rates.
Medical Device Clinical Trials

Selected Start-Ups (05/00)

In Vivo summarizes the technologies of several recently founded companies: Avantium B.V., a joint venture of GSE Systems, Shell International Chemical, SmithKline Beecham, WR Grace & Co. and three Dutch universities, will employ high-speed experimentation and simulation technologies to speed product development in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Framingham Genomic Medicine will assemble, analyze and expand data from the Framingham Heart Study and make it available to pharmaceutical companies to aid in their drug discovery and development efforts. Ireland's HiberGen Ltd. will use SNaPIT, its proprietary SNP genotyping platform, to identify "disease genes" and conduct pharmacogenomic analysis in the development of individualized therapeutics and diagnostics. iMEDD Inc. will create therapeutic microdevices for delivering drugs directly to the part of the body where they are needed. Using a genomic based drug discovery platform licensed from Brown University, Nemogen Inc. will create pharmaceuticals for enhancing memory and learning. PointDX Inc. is developing integrated imaging analysis and reporting software which it claims will produce faster, cheaper, more accurate radiology reports than the current dictation or future voice recognition processes allow.
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