PHARMACY

Sheng appointed as Genentech neuroscience VP

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Genentech has announced the appointment of Morgan Sheng as vice president for neuroscience.

Sheng will begin the newly created position Monday, Genentech said in the Wednesday announcement. He will direct neurobiology drug discovery and oversee the department of neurobiology, reporting to Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the company’s executive vice president for research drug discovery.

“Morgan is widely recognized as a leading neuroscientist internationally,” Tessier-Lavigne said. “Given his exceptional accomplishments in this field, I am confident that he will make significant contributions to our drug discovery efforts.”

Sheng previously served as Menicon Professor of Neuroscience at the Power Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a fellow at the Royal Society and has published more than 140 scientific papers.

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Glue-like bacterial sugar could lead to vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON A study has found that when manipulated with chemicals, a sugar that drug-resistant bacteria secrete triggered an immune response in animals.

The study, presented last week at the Dublin, Ireland, meeting of the Society for General Microbiology used a glue-like sugar that bacteria produce to protect themselves from antibiotics called PNAG.

PNAG alone does not produce an immune response in most people and animals, but the researchers, from the Harvard Medical School, hope that formulations of it do.

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FDA announces likely delay on Novo Nordisk diabetes drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will be unable to meet the user fee deadline for a timely approval of Novo Nordisk’s drug liragludite.

The FDA will not be able to make an approvability decision until March 23 for the drug, a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk had submitted an approval application for the drug on May 23.

The standard review period for FDA action on approval applications is 10 months. Because the agency’s advisory committee meeting will take place shortly before March 23, however, its decision will probably be delayed by a further two months, the company said.

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