Health ministers from EU member states called for action to “enhance access to innovative medicines” following a Council meeting on June 21, when they agreed to continue work on improving health policy coordination across the bloc. Health must be “kept as a priority” by the new European Commission that is shortly due to start a five-year term, following the June EU elections, ministers said, setting out the key areas where they want the incoming commission to concentrate its efforts.

UK experts offer new guidelines for stem cell-based embryo models

U.K scientists and ethicists have drawn up a code of practice for research in stem cell-derived embryo models, filling a governance gap that has opened up as these organoids have become more sophisticated and increasingly resemble their natural counterparts. “Synthetic” embryos now have the ability to organize into complex structures that approximate aspects of early human development, such as a beating heart, complex neural structures capable of signaling, sensory perception and limb-like structures.

Genexine, EPD Biotherapeutics to merge for new protein degraders

Seoul, South Korea-based Genexine Co. Ltd. plans to merge with privately held EPD Biotherapeutics Co. Ltd. by October 2024 to build a pipeline of novel targeted protein degradation therapeutics with EPD Bio’s BioPROTAC platform technology. “Through this merger, Genexine has secured key talent with innovative technology that can lead the global market and at the same time added innovative new drugs based on BioPROTAC technology,” Genexine CEO Sungjune Hong said. A board of directors meeting June 26 greenlighted Genexine’s small-scale merger with EPD Bio, which led to official contract signing July 1.

First half of 2024 sees biopharma financings nearing full-year 2023 total

Biopharma financings reached $70.09 billion in the first half of 2024, a 129% increase from the $30.57 billion raised in the first half of 2023. At more than $70 billion, this year's financings are already approaching the full-year total for 2023, which was $70.97 billion. June saw $7.57 billion in total financings, a decrease from $9.15 billion in May. The current monthly average of $11.68 billion represents a 97.5% increase from the 2023 monthly average of $5.91 billion.

Engineered plasma cells produce effective bispecific antibodies against leukemia

Scientists at the University of Washington have engineered human plasma B cells modified to express long-lasting bispecific antibodies that could be used to treat leukemia without requiring continuous dosing. “We are trying to engineer plasma cells to make as a stable source for biologic drugs,” Richard James, senior author of the study, principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and associate professor at the University of Washington, told BioWorld.

Holiday notice

BioWorld's offices were closed in observance of Independence Day in the U.S. No issue was published Thursday, July 4.

Also in the news

Apollomics, Aptamer, Astrazeneca, Betterlife, Eleva, Eli Lilly, Endopure, Full-Life Technologies, GB Sciences, Gyre, Intelgenx, Ipsen, Maat, NH Theraguix, Pentixapharm, Regeneron, Scilex, Semnur