The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, a 10% spike from the previous year. An increase in the number of Americans using opioids and drugs becoming more deadly were cited as the reasons. (New York Times)

Roche’s Genentech is planning to lay off 223 employees from its headquarters. The job cuts are set to begin at the end of the month. It wasn’t immediately clear what types of employees or what departments would be affected. (Endpoints)

Bayer can begin the integration of Monsanto, following the completion of an antitrust-related sale of assets that was required by the Justice Department. Bayer closed its deal for Monsanto in early June. (Reuters)

The roles of the National Institutes of Health and the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee in reviewing gene therapy may decrease. Proposed changes could streamline the process further, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and NIH Director Francis Collins. (NEJM)

Pfizer is investing up to $425 million in BioNTech. MRNA specialists at BioNTech are developing an mRNA flu vaccine. Sanofi, Genentech, and AstraZeneca are also investing in the biotech company. (Endpoints)