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to keep going for a few more months while it attempts to win FDA approval for pixantrone, its experimental drug for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
—The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said it has eliminated 83 jobs, or about 3 percent of its workforce, to offset a drop in charitable giving that provides an important lift to its budget. The center said its grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the primary source of its funds, remains stable.
—Seattle biotech old-timers may remember that Paul Allen’s Vulcan was an important early backer of Dendreon. Allen got out of the biotech investing game a couple years ago, but he scored a payday this week when one of his portfolio companies, Brisbane, CA-based BiPar Sciences, agreed to be acquired by Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis. The deal could be worth as much as $500 million if BiPar can reach certain milestones in development of its cancer drugs.
—I caught up with Matt O’Donnell, the Dean of the University of Washington’s College of Engineering, and quizzed him about who he considers the five most promising young faculty in his college, which includes people with expertise in computer science, bioengineering, and cleantech.
—The new director of Washington’s commerce department, Rogers Weed, sat down for an interview with me at the Washington Innovation Summit. He’s a former vice president at Microsoft, with lots of connections in software and venture capital, and says he’s learning on the job about what he can do help foster growth of other sectors like life sciences and aerospace.
—Geospiza, the Seattle maker of software for biomedical researchers, said last week it raised $750,000 from a group of new and existing angel investors. This comes a month after the company got a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
—Lots of people in biotech and cleantech are thinking about how to get a piece of the President’s economic stimulus package, but based on what I heard at the Washington Innovation Summit last week, not many people are really organized to get it. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell urged entrepreneurs to go after their share of this historic opportunity with ideas to create a “smart grid.”
—We’ve been telling the ongoing story about UW’s effort to raise its game in creating startups, and since this effort is not without its perils, I gathered a few words of caution from Joe Eichinger, a medical device entrepreneur who’s advising faculty on business plans. He suggests the UW nurture its technology a little more before licensing it to a startup, to make sure it has the biggest impact possible in society.
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