New Samsung phone; Stem cell study; Ockham award; Scynexis drug; CommScope earnings
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Research Triangle Park, N.C. — The latest technology and life sciences news in WRALTechWire’s Bulldog Blog’s roundup:
- New Samsung Galaxy phone to be unveiled in Spain
BARCELONA – Samsung Electronics Co. will unveil a high-end Galaxy phone next week in circumstances far different than those facing the previous model as it fights to stay atop an industry that’s proven hard for one company to lead for long.
Instead of March’s exclusive gala at New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the S4, the new device will be unwrapped at a trade show in Barcelona, where the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker shares the spotlight with other producers and carriers. Samsung is now facing slumping profit growth, a falling share price and increasing sales by Apple Inc. and Chinese newcomer Xiaomi Corp.
Samsung used a diverse Galaxy lineup to dominate a business that rewarded and then wrecked companies from Motorola Mobility to Nokia Oyj. After reaching the summit with devices selling for about $150 to $900, Samsung is being squeezed as Apple wins high-end users and Xiaomi andLenovo Group Ltd. pack advanced features into inexpensive models.
“The smartphone market is getting crowded,” said Neil Mawston, director of global wireless practice for researcher Strategy Analytics. “Samsung needs something different in its product designs to stand apart in a sea of black rectangles on store shelves.”
The new phone will have a 5.2-inch screen that is larger and sharper than the S4, and have an upgraded battery and camera, according to a person familiar with the device who asked not to be identified before the public release.
- Study: Stem cells could help reconstructive surgery
DURHAM – A new study released in the journal STEM CELLS Translational Medicine shows that many patients with defects to the skull, face or jaw bone might benefit from reconstructive surgery combining stem cells taken from adipose (fat) tissue seeded on resorbable scaffolds.
These defects can be due to congenital malformations, such as cleft lip and palate, or to traumatic injuries or surgery to remove a tumor. The use of a patient’s own bone is still considered the gold standard for reconstructing these defects, but this requires yet another surgery to harvest the bone for the reconstructive procedure. The STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study tracked the case of 13 patients undergoing regenerative medicine procedures.
“To our knowledge, this study represents the first GMP-compliant application for autologous adipose-derived stem cells in the treatment of defects at various sites of the cranio-maxillofacial skeleton,” said the study’s lead investigator, George K. Sándor, M.D., DDS, Ph.D., of the University of Tampere (UT), Tampere, Finland.
- Ockham Oncology wins community engagement award
CARY – The Scotland division of Cary-based clinical research organization Ockham Oncology received a distinctive community engagement award acknowledging contributions to the regional biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.
The award from Life Sciences Scotland recognizes Ockham's commitment to community engagement and leadership in 2013. During the year, Scotland-based employees raised money for cancer research and promoted employee health during a company-wide fundraising effort.
Ockham Oncology was one of only three companies nominated for the Scottish Enterprise Community Engagement Award. Roma Clark, Ockham Oncology's controller for Europe, accepted the award February 6 during a celebratory event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
The Community Engagement Award is one of six competitions hosted by Life Sciences Scotland to highlight the growing expertise and community involvement of Scotland's biotechnology and pharmaceutical community. Award criteria include the success, outcome and scale of the engagement as well as the impact on the community. The award also focuses on the success of raising the profile of life sciences to the broader community.
- Scynexis anti-fungal gets on FDA fast track
DURHAM – An anti-fungal drug candidate from Scynexis is now on a path for faster regulatory review.
The Durham company said that the Food and Drug Administration designated the compound SCY-078 as a “qualified infectious disease product,” or QIDP. This designation allows Scynexis to have priority review, eligibility for fast-track status, and an additional five years of market exclusivity in the U.S. for the compound – if approved.
SCY-078 is being studied to treat invasive Candidiasis, including Candidemia, and invasive Aspergillosis. The compound, Scynexis’ lead product candidate, is entering phase II clinical trials. So far it has shown activity against has shown activity against the two main pathogens responsible for the majority of invasive fungal infections Candida and Aspergillusspecies, and is an oral and parenteral glucan synthase inhibitor developed for the treatment of invasive fungal infections..
- CommScope reports $9M 4Q loss
HICKORY – Telecommunications infrastructure company CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) reported a $9 million loss in the fourth quarter, the company’s first earnings report since returning to the public markets in October.
Hickory-based CommScope generated $847 million in fourth quarter sales, down slightly from the $848 million in fourth quarter revenue in 2012. While revenue did not grow, the company said that orders booked in the fourth quarter were strong, up 8 percent year over year to $916 million. Wireless and enterprise order growth offset a decline in broadband.
“We are pleased to deliver another solid quarter following our recent initial public offering,” President and Chief Executive Officer Eddie Edwards said in a statement. “We exited 2013 with positive momentum with particular strength in our Wireless business. These positive business trends position us well as we move into the first quarter.
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