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Dear Colleague,
Welcome to this week's eNewsletter covering breaking R&D news, business insights, and a feature on Tripos International's joint venture with Wyeth and Accenture to enhance research efficiency.


Triple Play: Tripos Collaboration with Wyeth and Accenture Enhances Research Efficiency

By Alissa Poh

If there’s one word Big Pharma loves, it’s “streamlining” – anything to tame the bulky beast of complex, unanalyzed data from increasingly sophisticated research tools that inundate pharmaceutical scientists. So Tripos International’s latest software solution to the problem of inefficient drug discovery – developed as a joint venture with Wyeth and Accenture – could be on other companies’ shopping lists pretty soon.

“It’s a system by which companies with a lot of research data can create an integrated, real-time platform for accessing, analyzing and sharing all that information,” says Patrick Flanagan, Tripos’ general manager. “Prior to this, folks at Wyeth would spend a significant portion of their time collecting and aggregating data on very discrete topics. Now they claim they’re doing analyses they never would’ve done previously, as a result of time-saving and access to information they didn’t have before.” Read more.


Proteon gets fast-track designation
Boston Business Journal [September 10] The FDA granted fast-track status for Proteon Therapeutics' PRT-201, an investigational drug designed to expand veins and arteries of patients who are on or preparing to undergo hemodialysis. Proteon plans to conduct clinical studies of PRT-201 this year, President and CEO Timothy P. Noyes said. More

Study published in New England Journal of Medicine shows ERBITUX improved survival in first-line recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck cancer
BMS Newsroom [September 10] ImClone Systems Incorporated and BMS have published their findings from a Phase III trial of ERBITUX (cetuximab) plus platinum-based chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of patients with recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). The results show that adding ERBITUX to a platinum-based chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of SCCHN resulted in statistically significant improvement in the primary endpoint of overall survival, as well as secondary endpoints of progression-free survival and overall response rate. More

UMass starts a top stem-cell database
Boston Herald [September 12] The University of Massachusetts Medical School has launched the International Stem Cell Registry, a comprehensive database of embryonic stem cell lines. The registry, which is supported by the Massachusetts Life Science Center, is the first part of a two-pronged plan. A stem cell bank will be established to house the stem cell lines, which will be globally distributed, said Brock Reeve, executive director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. More

Glaxo creates new cancer drug group in R&D revamp 
[September 12] GlaxoSmithKline will launch GSK Oncology, a cancer-focused division that will combine drug-development teams with units under the company's Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery. The move is part of GSK's strategy to create "a tighter connection between discovery and development," said Paolo Paoletti, GSK's senior vice president for oncology and head of the new unit. More

Mini antibodies: Biotech's next big thing?
Reuters[September 12] GSK became the latest drug company to venture into next-generation "slimline" antibody products. The move reflects the industry's growing interest in smaller and more flexible antibody medicines. More

Amgen to present data on bone drug                
Wall Street Journal (sub.req.) [September 15] Amgen is set to present this week 25 reports on denosumab, a drug candidate that showed promise in cutting the risk of spinal, hip and other fractures in osteoporosis patients. The biotech firm is banking on denosumab to boost its shares and to make a strong impact on the $7 billion worldwide market for osteoporosis. More


Glaxo signs up to $1.5 billion drug deal with Cellzome
Reuters [September 10] GlaxoSmithKline and Cellzome have signed a strategic partnership worth as much as $1.5 billion to develop treatments for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The deal grants GSK exclusive options to license experimental drugs made using Cellzome's proprietary Kinobeads technology, which can help identify compounds that can impede the function of molecular switches, called kinases, in the body. More

Controversial stem-cell co. sinking in debt
Boston Herald [September 10] Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester will close its facility in Charlestown, Mass., and will not renew its lease on a research center in California to cut as much as $6 million from its annual operating budget as it struggles to continue operations. The company points to its heavy reliance on "emerging and sometimes unproven technologies" and involvement in "ethically sensitive and controversial" work for its financial problems. More

Xoma explores biotech partnership with Texas A&M
CNN [September 10] Biotech firm XOMA and Texas A&M University have teamed up to develop biotech drugs. As part of the deal, XOMA may construct a biopharmaceutical production facility in Texas. More

Bayer buys Direvo Biotech AG for 210 million Euros (approximately $300 million)
Reuters [September 16] Bayer Healthcare has agreed to acquire German drug developer Direvo Biotech AG, as part of its plan to strengthen its biologicals portfolio. Direvo’s R&D personnel will be integrated into Bayer Schering Pharma’s global drug discovery organization, and its specialty – developing proteins for drug use (such as antibodies) using automated processes – will be added to Bayer’s preclinical pipeline. More

MGH licenses HIV and Hepatitis C tech to Altor BioScience Corp
Boston Business Journal [September 10] Altor BioScience has secured exclusive worldwide rights to develop Massachusetts General Hospital’s T-cell receptor technology for use in the treatment of HIV and hepatitis C. New medicines are needed as AIDS and HIV patients continue to develop resistance to existing anti-retroviral drugs, Altor said. More

Cytokinetics Inc. to stop cancer research, cut jobs
Reuters [September 16] South San Francisco biotech company Cytokinetics, Inc. will cut its work foce by 29 percent and stop research on potential cancer treatments as part of a reorganization, focusing instead on muscle biology R&D programs. More

Commentary: Blanket-licensing deals may hurt biotech growth
Boston Herald [September 13] The Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative includes a provision that, if unresolved, could discourage academic scientists from spinning out new firms and could limit venture-capital investments, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals CEO John Maraganore and Polaris Venture Partners’ Amir Nashat wrote in a Boston Herald commentary. The provision allows blanket-licensing agreements that award a single company access to patents derived from publicly funded research conducted at educational institutions in the state. More


Bristol-Myers Squibb Seeks to Become 'Next-Generation Pharma'
Bio-IT World [Sept. 9] Adopting a more agile biotech philosophy and an acquisition strategy akin to creating “a string of pearls” are the key ingredients to helping Bristol-Myers Squibb succeed as a next-generation pharma, according to CSO and president of R&D, Elliott Sigal. More.

For More Recent Articles >>



Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery (LSCDD) - Associate Director of Informatics,
Lead and mentor a strong team for the Bioinformatics group at the Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) department at LSCDD towards the development of novel algorithms, data analysis methods and software tools for drug discovery. Work closely with the Software Engineering group at ICS, and collaborate with the Discovery IT organization in Europe and USA. For additional information, or to apply visit:

Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery (LSCDD)- Senior Bioinformatics Scientist,
Contribute to the development of novel algorithms, data analysis methods and software tools for drug discovery as part of the Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) department at LSCDD.  Work closely with informatics and software engineering peers at ICS, and collaborate with the Discovery IT organization in Europe and USA. The successful candidate will offer hands-on insight and expertise in tailored therapeutic informatics and statistical analyses at the post-genomic era. For additional information, or to apply visit:

Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery (LSCDD) - Manager, Software Engineering (Integrative Computational Sciences)
Join the Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) department at Lilly Singapore Centre for Drug Discovery (LSCDD),as Manager Software Engineering.  Lead the development of integrated applications to process and visualize data from cutting edge technologies used by scientists at Lilly Research Labs (LRL) and the Drug Discovery Research (DDR) teams. Masters in Computer Science/Engineering or related discipline, 10+ years post graduation experience , 2 years management experience needed. For a complete job description and requirements or to apply visit:

Lilly Singapore Center for Drug Discovery(LSCDD) -Senior Software Engineer, 
Join a strong team of software engineers in our Integrative Computational Sciences (ICS) at LSCDD. Collaborate with, and help develop integrated applications to process and visualize data from cutting-edge technologies used by scientists at Lilly Research Labs (LRL) and the Drug Discovery Research (DDR) teams. The Software Engineering team provides computational tools and tailored software solutions that enable the global effort of Tailored Therapeutics; ‘The Right Drug, at The Right Dose for The Right Patient at The Right Time'. For additional information, or to apply visit:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Linux Systems Administrator
MSKCC Bioinformatics Core in Manhattan seeks Linux Systems Administrator. Install, configure, update, monitor and troubleshoot HPC cluster, email and web servers. Bachelor's degree and 3 years experience with HPC, network security, Postfix, Apache, Tomcat, Grid Engine, Solaris. Email #015429. EOE/AA

More Life Science Jobs ~ Add a Job Listing



Frost & Sullivan: The Role of Scenario Planning in Medical Device Companies: Bridging Strategy into Reality ~Sept 18 2008 2pm EST

Multiplexed Genomics Tools: Targeting the Missing Links
Between Health and Disease
 - September 21-23, 2008 • Providence, RI

Next-Generation Sequencing Data Analysis -September 22-23, 2008 • Providence, RI

DIA 2nd Annual Clinical Forum: Data Driven Drug Development Decisions - October 20-23, 2008 | Ljubljana, Slovenia

Harvard Biomed HPC Leadership Summit 2008, October 5~7, 2008, Boston, MA USA

Drug Stability Reporting (eStability) Working Group Vendor Meeting - October 7, 2008.

The Fifteenth Annual Biopharmaceutical Applied Statistics Symposium
 - Nov 3-7,2008~ Savannah, GA

Barnett Educational Services, 2008 Schedule

To have your event featured here, contact Lynn Cloonan for more information.

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Alissa Poh 

You know summer’s really over once you’ve had that Labor Day barbecue, and one last trip to your favorite soft-serve stand before it closes for the season. Now it’s back to work for everyone, and PharmaWeek’s engine is prepared to go full throttle as we enter a new year and I take over the newsletter’s editorial reins. This is a new experience for me; I’m a fresh graduate from the science-writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with an M.S. in pharmacology from Dartmouth Medical School (in New Hampshire) as well, both of which will hopefully stand me in good stead. PharmaWeek’s focus has been, to date, trained mainly on key news and issues in the world of pharma – business, R&D, partnerships and alliances, and the like. But I’ve also been told to regard this newsletter as an “open canvas,” meaning that I’d welcome ideas on any other areas and topics you’d like to see covered. So please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at with your suggestions and feedback.


Life Science Webcasts from Bio-IT World and Cambridge Healthtech Media Group

Life Science Webcasts

Bio-IT World Expo
Video Highlights


Drug Discovery, Development and Commercialization: Evolving Challenges and Opportunities
Joshua Boger, PhD, president and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., delivers his keynote at the 2008 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston, April 2008.
View the Webcast Now.

Personalized Genetics: Advancements and Driving Change
Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe, delivers her keynote at the 2008 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston, April 30, 2008.
View the Webcast Now.

The Future of Personal Genomics
A distinguished panel of personal genomics experts discuss the future of personal genomics at the 2008 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston, April 30, 2008.  They include Dietrich Stephan (co-founder, Navigenics); George Church (Harvard Medical School);
Jeff Drazen (editor-in-chief, New England Journal Medicine); Fred Ledley (Bentley College); John Halamka (CIO, Harvard Medical School); and Linda Avey (23andMe). Bio-IT World Editor-in-Chief Kevin Davies moderates the discussion.
View the Webcast Now

Insight Pharma Reports

Strategic Management of Resources and Portfolios

Analyzes ways that risks can be assessed and managed, how corporate resources can be allocated to create maximum value, models for optimal portfolio planning and management.
More Information   

Custom Market Research Services
Our experienced research team will work with you to fully understand your needs in order to create and conduct a custom market research program that meets your objectives.
Learn More

Featured Content

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The continued explosion of raw experimental data, the increased use of video, the growingadoption of new data retention practices, and the move to high throughput computational workflows are all placing new demands on the way life sciences organizations store and manage their data.
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“Storage for Science – Methods for Managing Large and Rapidly Growing Data Stores in Life Science Research Environments” sponsored by Isilon
Large and rapidly growing stores of file-based and other data are a hallmark of life science research and bioinformatics. Determining how best to manage those data stores has become a significant challenge for Researchers and IT Pros alike.  This paper is intended to:  Provide guidance on the many storage  requirements common to Life Science research;  Explain the evolution of modern storage architectures; Summarize the major data storage architectures currently in use.  Additionally, it will present the Isilon IQ clustered storage product as a strong and flexible solution to those needs. Download now

To have your white paper featured here, contact Lynn Cloonan for more information.


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                                Healthtech InstitutePublished by Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI). Copyright © 2008, all rights reserved. No material may be reproduced electronically or in print without written permission from CHI, 250 First Ave., Needham, MA 02494-2814. For reprints and/or copyright permission, please contact The YGS Group, 1808 Colonial Village Lane, Lancaster, PA; 17601 717-399-1900 ext.125, or email: