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From SCRIP Intellingence: Merck Taps Abide for up to $430m Diabetes Deal

In its second deal around diabetes this week, Merck & Co has entered into a collaboration worth up to $430 million to use Abide Therapeutics' platform targeting a group of enzymes known as serine hydrolases to discover, develop and commercialize small-molecule therapies against three novel targets for metabolic diseases with a focus on type 2 diabetes.

The news in a nutshell

Abide co-founder and CEO Alan Ezekowitz told Scrip that the San Diego-based company's serine hydrolase-targeting technology had a lot of interest from pharmaceutical companies in general with some big pharma players specifically interested in the potential for treating diabetes.

"That led us to Merck as the preferred partner," he said.

Merck's blockbuster diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) inhibits dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), which is a serine hydrolase.

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From SCRIP Intelligence: Value added: Digital Health, Pharma Companies Collaborate

Pharmaceutical companies have to think beyond the pill – or injection – if they want their 15 years of drug development and $1.5 billion investment in new medicines to result in payer reimbursement, and digital health options are emerging to help pharma add value.

Drug developers are more frequently generating data to help payers understand the value their products add to patient care, such as reductions in the number of days patients need hospital care or improvements in medication compliance (scripintelligence.com, 11 April 2013). And some pharma companies are signing risk-sharing contracts to gauge the health care value new drugs offer both patients and payers (scripintelligence.com, 10 April 2013).

And life science advisors from Burrill & Company and Ernst & Young released separate reports during the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual convention from 22 to 25 April in Chicago that highlighted the industry's new era. It's an era in which many countries are instituting drug price controls while the US is moving to a system that will reward hospitals and doctors for improving health care quality while reducing costs.

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La Jolla Institute Named One of San Diego's Healthiest Companies

Ranking Marks Latest in a Series of Recognition for Exceptional Work Environment

SAN DIEGO - May 13, 2013 In the latest in a growing series of recognitions, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology has been named one of San Diego’s Healthiest Companies. The award, presented annually by the San Diego Business Journal, honors local organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to creating a healthier workplace. The Institute placed as the number four healthiest company among medium-sized organizations in San Diego.

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