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Risk-sharing deals attract biotechs and Big Pharmas alike (Weekend Rounds)

Life science current events this week include option-based deals growing in popularity with biotechs and Big Pharmas, regenerative medicine comes into focus, and Nervomatrix closes series A and plans a move.

A review of life science current events reported by MedCity News this week.

Option-based deals: How biotechs and big pharmas share R&D risks. Rather than licensing the compounds and taking on the drug development risks themselves, pharmas are increasingly choosing option-based deals that give both small biotechs and big pharmas a little something. The biotechs get money to further develop a drug candidate. If the compound meets milestones, the pharmas get an exclusive opportunity to license it without having shouldered all of the risks of developing it.

Regenerative medicine: Technology whose time has come. It will be up to investors to decide whether regenerative medicine is a sound investment. The National Venture Capital Association on Thursday released a report that said life sciences investments are shifting from the United States to Europe and Asia, a move driven by the uncertainty and length of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process. The investment picture is cloudy but it’s clear that regenerative medicine technology was not 25 years away.

Israeli back pain device company lands $3.5M investment, plans Akron move. Israeli pain-relief neurostimulation device company Nervomatrix has received a $3.5 million series A investment and is planning to set up its North American sales and marketing headquarters in Akron, Ohio.

Could Occupy Wall Street spread to the healthcare industry? It’s not difficult to imagine a time when many Americans, after years upon years of unsustainably rising health costs, simply throw up their hands and say, “To hell with this health system that so few of us can afford. We demand a single-payer, government-run, Medicare-for-all type of health system like most of the world’s other industrialized countries that, oh by the way, enjoy higher-quality and lower-cost healthcare than we do.” And that likely would be the best healthcare-related outcome the Occupy protesters could hope for.

PPD’s new CEO Hill ‘sticking around’ after private equity sale. If Hill is on his way out, the CRO has made no such indications. In the proxy statement filed with the SEC, the company includes a letter from PPD founder and Chairman Fred Eshelman distributed to all employees. In the letter, Eshelman said: ‘Nothing will change in our day-to-day operations as a result of this transaction…’