Archive by category | Business

Pharma industry moves towards greater openness

The pharmaceutical industry has signalled its willingness to open up the vast reservoirs of research data held by its companies this week. But campaigners and researchers pushing for more access to clinical trial data say the moves are little and late.  Read more

Monsanto drops bid to have GM crops approved in Europe

Biotech giant Monsanto is abandoning attempts to get more genetically modified crops onto the European market. The company’s move follows the high profile retreat from Europe by another GM biotech firm, BASF, in 2012.  Read more

Management row threatens to blow Sahara solar dream

Plans to supply Europe with electricity generated in North Africa suffered another blow this week when the DESERTEC Foundation, set up in 2009 to promote the idea, pulled out of the industrial consortium which is trying to advance the €400 billion project.  Read more

French biotech sector shows lively signs in bad economy

PARIS – Despite the continuing economic crisis, the balance between start-ups and failures in the French life-science sector bounced back last year to the 2010 level, after tilting sharply in 2011. The number of new firms created in 2012 rose from 24 to 35 in 2011, and the number of closures fell from 25 to 14.  Read more

First-in-class cancer drug approved to fight melanoma

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first cancer drug to inhibit a protein – called MEK – that acts in a pathway that fuels tumour growth. The drug, called Mekinist (trametinib), was approved on 29 May for use in advanced melanomas with specific mutations. Other MEK-targeting drugs are being studied in a wide range of tumours, including lung and thyroid cancers.  Read more

European science advisers deem another pesticide to be a risk to bees

The European Commission has confirmed that it will heavily restrict the use of three pesticides linked to problems with bee health — just as another chemical has come under scrutiny following scientific assessment.  Read more