BSX Meets With Much Approval, Biogen and Icahn Set the (Showdown) Date, Fate’s Fate Revealed, Win Free Stuff, & More Life Sciences News

5/14/08

Each week I round up the latest news from the New England life sciences cluster, but this week I also want to offer you, gentle reader, the opportunity to share your views on the cluster, as part of a survey we’re helping PricewaterhouseCoopers conduct. Participating in the survey is a great chance to help key policy makers, corporations, investors, and other stakeholders understand and support the local life sciences community. Plus, you get a chance to win a Garmin GPS Navigation System if you do. So to help us see where the life sciences industry is headed (get it?) click here.

—Natick, MA-based medical device maker Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) won a series of regulatory approvals. First came the European approval of its Altrua family of pacemakers. The next day, the FDA followed Europe’s example and approved the devices. And yesterday the firm announced it had won FDA approval for two devices for heart failure and sudden cardiac death: the Cognis cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) and the Teligen implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

—Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) finally set the date for its annual meeting—and showdown with activist investor Carl Icahn. Bob took a look at the proxy materials filed by each side ahead of the June 19 meeting, at which Icahn’s slate of board nominees will go up against Biogen’s own slate.

—Pharma giant Novartis exercised an option to buy $5.4 million worth of unregistered shares in Cambridge, MA-based RNAi firm Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY).

—Stem cell startup Fate Therapeutics, which has been an East Cost-West Coast operation since its founding by a group of scientists from Boston, Seattle, and San Diego, has established its headquarters in San Diego. The city is home to the firm’s new CEO, Paul Grayson, whose last gig was at California-based Sanderling Ventures.

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