Georgia bio company names new CEO
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 10:29 AM

An Athens, Ga., bio company has named a new CEO. 

ArunA Bio, founded by a University of Georgia professor more than 12 years ago, is developing a type of cell-free biologics called exosomes for the treatment of central nervous system and neurodegenerative disorders.

Mark Sirgo takes over as chief executive from Steve Stice, co-founder and chief scientific officer of ArunA Bio. Sirgo has more than 35 years of pharmaceutical experience, including serving as president and CEO of BioDelivery Sciences International (Nasdaq: BDSI), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the central nervous system and pain. At BDSI, Sirgo raised nearly $600 million to support the development, FDA approval and commercial launch of three products utilizing the company’s proprietary drug delivery technology. 

Stice directs the company’s clinical and research operations. He is also UGA DW Brooks Distinguished Professor and Director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center, and he holds a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar endowed chair.

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Deal: BioIQ to locate headquarters in Cobb County
Monday, January 14, 2019 10:18 AM

Health IT company to create 500 jobs, invest more than $5 million

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that BioIQ, a health IT company, will create 500 jobs and invest more than $5 million in Cobb County through the location of its new headquarters. New jobs will include positions in technology, sales and operations.

“BioIQ has significant reach across the nation and has proven itself to be a leader in health care innovation,” said Deal. “By locating its headquarters in Cobb County, BioIQ will join Georgia’s thriving technology innovation sector and enjoy the benefits of our deep talent pool. I am confident BioIQ will find quick and lasting success with the help of Georgia’s low-tax, top-ranked business climate. We are proud to welcome BioIQ to the No. 1 state for business and we look forward to the growth of this partnership in the years to come. 

BioIQ simplifies health testing and immunization programs for health plans, employers and government organizations, and empowers people to take action to improve their health. BioIQ’s platform provides a single-source solution to drive health plan quality, cost savings and value-based care initiatives. The platform configures and connects national laboratories, diagnostics companies, digital health solutions and other stakeholders through underlying engagement, analytics and interoperability technology.

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Diversity in Clinical Trials: Preparing Physicians to Make a Difference
Wednesday, January 09, 2019 10:19 AM

The U.S. has become increasingly diverse, yet that diversity is not reflected in the clinical trials that play a key role in which new medicines are approved and, ultimately, prescribed to the general public. Because of this underrepresentation, much of what we know about new medicines—including their effectiveness and potential side effects—might not apply to nearly one-third of Americans.

Black or African Americans represent 13.4 percent of the U.S. population but only 5 percent of clinical trial participants. Hispanics or Latinos represent 18.1 percent of the U.S. population but only 1 percent of clinical trial participants.

How can we increase minority participation? Studies show that a good place to start is with physicians who serve minority patients, especially if those physicians also are minorities.

That’s why Morehouse School of Medicine has partnered with Clinical Research Pathways on its new program, Training Minority Clinical Teams: Getting New Quality Medicines to All Americans. The program recognizes that minority physicians can reduce barriers to participation in clinical trials—provided obstacles are removed from the physicians’ paths as well.

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GeoVax and Enesi Pharma to Collaborate on Development of Multiple Vaccines Administered by ImplaVax(R), a Novel Needle-Free Vaccine Delivery Platform
Wednesday, January 02, 2019 09:57 AM

Atlanta, GA - (NewMediaWire) - January 02, 2019 - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, and Enesi Pharma, an innovative pharmaceutical company developing unique injectable solid-dose drug-device vaccine products, announced today a collaboration to develop solid-dose needle-free vaccine formulations utilizing GeoVax’s novel MVA-VLP vaccine platform in combination with Enesi’s ImplaVax® device and formulation technology.  The collaboration is expected to include development of thermostable solid-dose needle-free vaccines for a variety of infectious diseases and evaluation of the potential to generate improved vaccine responses with simplified administration and reduced storage and distribution costs.

GeoVax’s vaccine technology is based on its patented Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) Virus-Like Particle (VLP) platform, which generates noninfectious VLPs in the individual being vaccinated. This technology mimics a natural viral infection, triggering the body to produce a robust and durable immune response (the way that vaccines protect against diseases), typically with only a single dose required for desired protection.  As a result, the GeoVax vaccines provide the opportunity to deliver a more efficient, lower cost, highly effective vaccine. 

Enesi’s proprietary ImplaVax® solid-dose formulation and needle-free device technology comprises three main components: a single precision-engineered solid-dose Universal Vaccine Implant (UVI) containing the vaccine construct, a separate single-use disposable unit dose cassette pre-loaded with a single solid UVI and a reusable handheld spring-powered actuator. The benefits include assured consistency with dosing, better product stability and ease of use as well as the potential to minimize vaccination pain and stress, and to eliminate needle disposal and needle stick injuries.  

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The right way to address prescription drug costs
Friday, December 21, 2018 12:50 PM

ith a new Democratic majority in the House pledging to address the rising cost of health care — including prescription drugs — a fundamental question arises: Will lawmakers focus on the real issues that can drain a family’s finances, or simply adopt extreme policies that fail to take on the underlying problems in our health care system?

As policy professionals from different sides of the aisle, we believe there is a right way to address these issues and a wrong way. The right way will reduce out-of-pocket costs for Americans, improve access to new medicines, and allow the United States to remain the global leader in medical innovation. The wrong way leads to price controls, weakened intellectual property protections, and restricted access to medicines, not to mention stifling innovation and doing little to make drugs more affordable.

Judging from the current state of the drug-pricing debate, we are concerned that policymakers will adopt the wrong approach.

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