LCT receives ethics approval for Phase IIb Parkinson’s trial

Living Cell Technologies has received approval from the Northern A Health and Disability Ethics Committee for the Phase IIb clinical trial of NTCELL® for Parkinson’s disease. The New Zealand Minister of Health authorised the application to conduct the trial on 12 November 2015.

The Phase IIb trial follows the successful Phase I/IIa trial, which showed excellent safety data and clinically and statistically significant efficacy data in patients with Parkinson’s disease one year after NTCELL treatment.

The Phase IIb trial aims to confirm the most effective dose of NTCELL, define any placebo component of the response and further identify the initial target Parkinson’s disease patient sub group. The company plans to initiate the trial on 24 February 2016.

If the trial is successful the company will apply for provisional consent and launch NTCELL as the first disease modifying treatment for Parkinson’s disease in 2017.

 

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New Insights on Safety Studies of GM organisms

Feeding studies of GM food/feed have been studied in detail by an EU-funded project called GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence (GRACE). The project team used GM maize event MON 810 in a 90-day and one-year feeding study. The team did not find any indication that a routine performance of 90-day feeding studies with whole food/feed would provide additional information on the safety on MON810 when compared to the compositional comparison of the GM variety.

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GM Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus in Brazil

Intrexon Corporation, through its subsidiary Oxitec, and the Piracicaba City Hall have agreed to extend the ‘Friendly Aedes aegypti Project’ in Piracicaba, Brazil following strong results for controlling the Ae. aegypti mosquito population, the primary vector for dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus outbreaks around the world. Zika, a rapidly spreading virus, emerged in Brazil in 2015 and is linked to a sudden increase in birth defects (microcephaly). The number of children born with microcephaly in Brazil has now risen to more than 3,500.

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Totara tree extract now big business

Kiwi companies making products, including toothpaste, that contain an extract from totara trees are riding a wave of global demand for natural healthcare.

Wairarapa-based Mende Biotech has spent around 17 years and $3 million developing a process to extract the antimicrobial chemical compound found in totara trees that makes the wood resistant to rotting.

The company supplies the commodity, which sells for around $1,350 a kilogram, as an ingredient in products ranging from toothpaste to anti-acne cream.

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Call for posters for the International Biotechnology Symposium 2016

The International Biotechnology Symposium 2016 (IBS 2016) scientific program committee is inviting abstract submissions, to present a poster during the conference in Melbourne in October 2016.

IBS has been held in locations around the world since 1960 and is the most representative biotechnology event at the global level. More than 1,000 participants congregate at each symposium from academia and industry, to explore the advances and frontiers of science and applied biotechnologies.

IBS intends to present and promote the relevant contribution that chemistry provides to the development of biotechnological research and industry and program will present the most advanced issues in biotechnology, green chemistry and its related fields, which will be discussed by a selected group of international speakers and lecturers.

The abstract submission portal is now open and accepting abstracts until Friday 6 May 2016. Successful abstracts will be displayed in the conference venue during IBS 2016.

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Argenta set to kick-off operations at its first US manufacturing facility

21 December, 2015 – Argenta, the New Zealand company dedicated to the development and manufacture of products for the health of animals, will commence operations at its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on 4 January, 2016.

Acquired in July 2015, the facility will be the third Argenta business operating out of the USA, but the company’s first US manufacturing site.

“The facility is world-class and the advanced manufacturing technologies we’ve acquired means the facility produces some of the most high-tech products available in animal health today,” says Doug Cleverly, Argenta managing director and co-founder.

“The Fort Dodge community has shown a great interest in what we are doing there and we are thrilled to have been so warmly welcomed to the area,” Cleverly adds.

Named AML Riverside, the 13,500 square metre facility is twice the size of Argenta’s South Auckland base and will complement its current New Zealand operations, as well as supporting its growth in the US.

Founded in South Auckland in 2006, Argenta currently has around 300 staff in New Zealand and the US, and exports animal health products and services to more than 40 countries. The engine behind Argenta’s growth and expansion is research and innovation: Since its beginning in 2006, the company has launched 45 new products for clients, some of which are now successful global brands.

The official opening of its AML Riverside will be celebrated at an event in Iowa on 4 January, attended by Cleverly, Argenta staff and Iowan VIPS. It will include a formal presentation and flag-raising ceremony.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Doug Cleverly

Managing Director and Founder

Phone: +64 9 250 3100

www.argentaglobal.com

About Argenta

Argenta provides formulations research and development, analytical methods development, and pilot- and commercial scale manufacturing of animal health products. Founded in August 2006, Argenta is the leading provider of new product development and manufacturing services to the international animal health industry. In 2008, Argenta acquired New Jersey based clinical contract research provider, AlcheraBio, and in 2011 it opened a drug product research laboratory in Lawrence, Kansas City in 2011. argentaglobal.com

Call for posters for the International Biotechnology Symposium 2016

The International Biotechnology Symposium 2016 (IBS 2016) scientific program committee is inviting abstract submissions, to present a poster during the conference in Melbourne in October 2016.

IBS has been held in locations around the world since 1960 and is the most representative biotechnology event at the global level. More than 1,000 participants congregate at each symposium from academia and industry, to explore the advances and frontiers of science and applied biotechnologies.

IBS intends to present and promote the relevant contribution that chemistry provides to the development of biotechnological research and industry and program will present the most advanced issues in biotechnology, green chemistry and its related fields, which will be discussed by a selected group of international speakers and lecturers.

The abstract submission portal is now open and accepting abstracts until Friday 6 May 2016. Successful abstracts will be displayed in the conference venue during IBS 2016.

Anyone submitting an abstract must be intending to register for the IBS 2016 conference. All authors whose abstracts have been accepted are responsible for all costs including registration, travel, accommodation, any costs associated with preparation and presentation of the abstract and poster, or any other costs associated with attendance at the event. Once you have been notified if your abstract is successful you will have three weeks to complete registration.

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Genetically Engineered Salmon Approved for Consumption

Federal regulators on Thursday approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, making it the first genetically altered animal to be cleared for American supermarkets and dinner tables.

The approval by the Food and Drug Administration caps a long struggle for AquaBounty Technologies, a small company that first approached the F.D.A. about approval in the 1990s. The agency made its initial determination that the fish would be safe to eat and for the environment more than five years ago.

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Success in the Marsden Funding round

Plant & Food Research is involved in four projects funded in this year’s Marsden Funding round, the most successful Marsden round for the Institute.

Plant & Food Research will lead three projects – tracing the evolution of smell, building an electronic nose, and understanding flower colour in snapdragons – and will also be involved in a project with Victoria University of Wellington to understand salt tolerance in plants.

The development of diverse and sensitive olfactory sensors was a major step in sensory biology evolution, triggered by the evolutionary steps that saw animals leave the water and start to populate the land. Professor Richard Newcomb will lead a project to understand the origins of the olfactory receptor genes in insects, one of the most diverse and sensitive olfactory systems in the animal kingdom. By generating maps of the olfactory genes identified in a number of species, the team will be able to determine the evolutionary pathway of these genes from their origins in ancient insects. This research will also allow the team to test the hypotheses that the evolution of these receptors coincided with the origin of flight which required new systems for finding mates, detecting prey and avoiding predators.

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Global Agricultural Biotechnology Market to Expand at 9.50% CAGR till 2019, Driven by Increasing Demand for Biofuels

According to a new market study published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), titled “Agricultural Biotechnology Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019”, the global agricultural biotechnology market was worth US$15,300 million in 2012 and is expected to be worth US$28,694.1 million by 2019, expanding at a 9.5% CAGR from 2013 to 2019.

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