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Aveo Gets Money from OSI, Merck Buys SmartCells, Glaxo Cancels Resveratrol Drug Trial, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

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end the trial of the drug as a treatment for advanced multiple myeloma after a review of data from the study found that the drug had minimal efficacy and could potentially cause kidney complications.

—The Cambridge-based Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research, a R&D unit of Swiss drug giant Novartis, has weighed in to the legal battle over a potentially game-changing lung cancer drug discovered at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dana-Farber scientists started Gatekeeper Pharmaceuticals in Millbrae, CA, to commercialize the discovery but in a recent filing Novartis claims it has rights to the drug because it has funded research at Dana-Farber that contributed to the drug’s discovery.

—Luke gave a preview of the upcoming American Society of Hematology conference in Orlando, FL, where Cambridge-based Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company will unveil results from a string of clinical trials of treatments for blood-related disorders. Millennium has already developed a $1 billion molecule in bortezomib (Velcade) for multiple myeloma and will likely answer questions on how it’s maintaining the momentum for that drug and what else it has in its pipeline.

—Beverly, MA-based biotech startup SmartCells will be bought by drug giant Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) in a deal that could exceed $500 million, Merck announced on Thursday. SmartCells, which is developing a once-a-day injectable form of insulin designed to make diabetes treatment more convenient and effective, has received an upfront payment, and is eligible for future payments based on clinical development and regulatory milestones for products that come from its technology.

—Sage Science, a Beverly-based provider of genetic research tools, brought in a $2 million equity-based financing. In November the company announced it would be providing its technology to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge.

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