Business in Brief
The latest corporate news – in earth and outer space
Phoebe Harkin | | Quick Read
- Taking imaging to new heights, Heidelberg Engineering’s latest multimodal imaging platform has been successfully installed at the International Space Station. It is hoped the SPECTRALIS OCT2 Module will aid understanding of the impact that long space flights have on the eye. In a press release, David Brown, retina specialist on the NASA SANS Research and Clinical Advisory Panel, said, “The module will enable imaging of these deeper layers of the choroid and optic nerve throughout the space flight and upon the astronauts’ return to Earth’s gravity. Discovering the underlying mechanism of SANS will be mission critical to develop countermeasures necessary for planned spaceflights to Mars and beyond.”
- Roche has commenced a $4.8 billion offer for outstanding shares of gene therapy giant, Spark Therapeutics, Inc. – placing stocks at $114.50 per share. Stocks in the gene therapy space have skyrocketed since the deal was announced, with REGENXBIO shares leaping 16 percent from $46.53 to $54.01 a share.
- Biogen has agreed to acquire clinical-stage gene therapy company, Nightstar Therapeutics, for $800 million. The move will catapult Nightstar – a specialist company focused on adeno-associated virus treatments for inherited retinal disorders – into the global ophthalmology market.
- VSY Biotechnology BV and Carl Zeiss Meditec AG have jointly announced that they have resolved their legal and patent disputes surrounding the Tri-ED 611. The companies agreed not to disclose the terms of the settlement.
- Sightsavers has launched an ambitious appeal – to eliminate trachoma by 2025. Any donations made to ‘The End is in Sight’ campaign within the next three months will be doubled by the UK government’s Aid Match program. “It costs just 15p to treat a person infected with trachoma, […] yet across Tanzania, some of the country’s most vulnerable people are still living with this preventable disease,” said International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt.
- Clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, Oyster Point Pharma, has raised $93 million to support novel treatments for dry eye. The funds will be used to advance a Phase III clinical development program that treats the disease by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
- The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has teamed up with Santen Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to produce an interactive ‘eye test' to raise awareness of glaucoma. Commenting on the initiative, CEO of the IGA, Karen Osborn, says: “ By reaching people via their social channels in a visually impactful way, we hope to create a lasting impression of what glaucoma sight loss looks like, so they can be aware of early symptoms among older relatives and can encourage regular eye checks to pick up the condition early.”
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