Arizona Bioscience News: $50M for OncoMyx Therapeutics; Five bio, health firms win Innovation Challenge; City of Hope to acquire CTCA

December 9, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

Phoenix bioscience startup secures $50M to kill cancer using a rabbit virus / Phoenix Business Journal (AZ Inno)

Phoenix-based OncoMyx Therapeutics has received $50 million in funding to be used to develop cancer killing agents using a virus found in rabbits, following $25 million received in 2019 after spinning out a year before from Arizona State University.

10 winners named in 2021 Arizona Innovation Challenge / Phoenix Business Journal (AZ Inno)

The Arizona Commerce Authority has selected 10 winners in the 2021 Arizona Innovation
Challenge, including bioscience and health care companies Navi Nurses, ReSuture, SaiOx Inc., Taproot Interventions & Solutions, and The Patient Company. 

Scientists uncover possible reasons behind rare blood clots associated with some COVID-19 vaccines / Arizona Republic

Arizona researchers played a significant role in helping to unlock part of the puzzle of why certain people had complications from adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines such as Johnson & Johnson’s, which could have implications for the development of future vaccines as well as therapeutics for cancers and other genetic disorders.

Nonprofit in talks to acquire Cancer Treatment Centers of America / Phoenix Business Journal

California-based The City of Hope, which has an alliance with Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute, is about to expand its Arizona presence by acquiring Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a network of oncology hospitals and outpatient care centers.

Arizona scientist finds ‘strong evidence’ on how pandemic began, reviving debate on virus origins / Arizona Republic

A University of Arizona researcher, who conducted an investigation over several months with the help of a translator, has concluded that a wet market in China—and not a lab leak—is the likely ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Arizona, state says / Arizona Republic

Arizona health officials have announced that the first known case of the omicron variant in Arizona was detected in Yavapai County.

Nearly 2 weeks post-Thanksgiving, strained Ariz. hospitals see influx of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients / Arizona Republic

Arizona hospitals are in another December crunch, fueled by seasonal demand and a steady influx of mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, with major health systems reporting being at maximum capacity for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, also known as ECMO.

Slow on the uptake: About 13% of Arizona kids have been vaccinated in 1st month of eligibility / Arizona Republic

Nearly a month after kids ages 5 to 11 became eligible for a low-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, uptake among Arizona children in that age group remains relatively low, although health officials are optimistic that number will increase significantly.

New building readied to ‘mine’ promising University of Arizona tech in Tucson / Arizona Daily Star

The Refinery, a four-story, 120,000-square-foot building set to open next spring at The Bridges, will be anchored by a half-dozen University of Arizona programs including Tech Launch Arizona, the UA’s tech-commercialization arm, the UA Center for Innovation incubator and a UA-linked nonprofit devoted to national security needs.

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