Mar 2011

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Merck KGaA of Germany is about to set up a biomed incubator in Israel, at its Israeli development center InterLab. Merck's biotech division, Merck-Serono, will invest €10 million in the venture over seven years.At the same time, Merck's chemicals division will launch a program for start-up companies in high tech and life sciences, in which it will invest €3 million in the next three years.

A new North American survey of 500+ clinical research site professionals documents the impact of more kinds of, and more complex, clinical trials. The survey focused on 3-year trial trends and found key challenges in subject recruitment/retention and tracking and reporting data. Increased complexity also impacted trial financials- especially negotiating contracts and managing profitability.

FDA has issued a revised Compliance Program Guidance Manual (CPGM) for inspections of Sponsors, Contract Research Organizations and Monitors (CP 7348.810).

The FDA is amending the current informed consent regulations (21 CFR Part 50) to require that informed consent documents and processes for applicable drug (including biological products) and device clinical trials include a specific statement that clinical trial information will be entered into a databank.

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming signed a memorandum of understanding to promote commerce and cooperation between the Israel Export Institute and the Chinese commerce development institute during his recent visit to Israel.

France and Israel to brace efforts on renewable energy, R&D projects. Eric Besson, France Industry and Energy Minister, said that he would like to double the level of exchanges in the next five years. Besson and Israeli infrastructure minister Uzi Landau signed an agreement aimed at increasing cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency. In addition, Besson also supervised an accord between the OSEO, the financing arm of the French industrial association, and Matimop, the Israeli equivalent, to back joint R&D projects.