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Dear Colleague,
Welcome to this week's eNewsletter covering breaking R&D news, business insights, and a feature on Prolong Pharmaceuticals' use of pegylation technology to create next-gen drugs.
 

 
  
 
FEATURE  

Prolong Pharmaceuticals – PEGged For Success?
By Alissa Poh

In Britain, people often use the phrase “pegging away” to describe working hard at something.

Across the pond, in New Jersey, the folks at Prolong Pharmaceuticals are also pegging away, attaching polyethylene glycol (PEG) to a variety of protein-based drugs. Or, to use the proper term, “pegylating” these drugs to improve pharmacokinetics, extend circulation time and decrease toxicity, all of which make for enhanced therapeutic effects. More

 
 
BREAKING R&D NEWS
 

A Glimpse into Personalized Medicine of the Future
Washington Post [Sept 29] G. Steven Burrill, chief executive of San Francisco life sciences merchant bank Burrill & Co., reckons that all of health care will soon be “Wal-Mart-ized,” envisioning superstores presenting people with printouts of their health ailments and a bag of personalized medicine, after they’ve dropped blood or saliva samples onto a Blackberry-type device – not to mention “smart” clothing capable of monitoring one’s health through probes and sensors. More

FDA: No Lou Gehrig's Disease Risk with Statins
Reuters [Sept 29] After reviewing dozens of studies on statin cholesterol drugs, the FDA has found that these drugs do not increase the risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More

Anemia Drugs Linked to Stroke Study Deaths: FDA
U.S. News and World Report [Sept 26] Preliminary results from a German study suggest that stroke patients' use of anti-anemia drugs such as Aranesp, Procrit and Epogen might end up boosting their risk for death, the FDA warned on Friday. More

Less Than 1 in 5 Cancer Trials Are Published
BusinessWeek [Sept 26] Clinical trial blackouts are a huge problem in cancer research, according to a new paper in The Oncologist. Two researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center downloaded the complete list of clinical trials in the NIH’s registry, then searched for scientific papers reporting the results of those trials. They found that less than 1 in 5 clinical trials were published in peer-reviewed journals. And when it came to publishing industry-sponsored trials, the rate was even lower: just 1 in 20. More

Lilly's Prasugrel Delayed as US Continues Review
Bloomberg [Sept 26] US regulators are still scrutinizing Eli Lilly’s experimental blood-thinner prasugrel, delaying marketing of the drug (as Effient). While study results have shown that prasugrel prevents more heart attacks and strokes compared to Plavix (BMS and Sanofi-Aventis), more people on this experimental drug died from bleeding than those taking Plavix. More

Drug Discovery Research Turns to Biomarkers
WSJ MarketWatch [Sept 25] An analyst with Frost & Sullivan says that biomarkers – an area of heavy investment for pharmaceutical firms since 2005 – are the future trend in drug discovery and a promising avenue for streamlining drug discovery, also noting that the biggest drive across this field is oncology. More

 
 
BUSINESS INSIGHTS 
 

Pfizer Ends Heart Disease Research; Focuses on Cancer
Bloomberg [Sept 30] Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, is ending early-stage development of treatments for a range of illnesses from obesity to heart disease, and will focus its $8 million research budget on medicines for cancer, pain, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. More

Other Drug Makers May Follow Lilly in Disclosing Payments
CNN Money [Sept 24] In the wake of Eli Lilly & Co.'s announcement that it will begin publicly disclosing payments to doctors, at least one rival drug maker said it would do the same, and others may consider such moves. Merck & Co. (MRK) spokeswoman Amy Rose said Wednesday the company plans to begin disclosing physician payments in 2009. More

Opening the Books
Newsweek [Sept 25] Eric Campbell, a Harvard health policy expert, talks about why Eli Lilly's pledge to reveal the payments it makes to doctors is only the first of many needed changes in the way pharmaceutical companies interact with the medical profession. More

MedImmune Licenses Reverse Genetics Technology to Japan's BIKEN
MedImmune press room [Sept 29] MedImmune has licensed its proprietary reverse genetics intellectual property to BIKEN, the Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University in Japan, to support the development and construction of new vaccine strains to produce non-live human influenza vaccines. More

ImClone's New Erbitux Problem
Forbes [Sept 26] ImClone has been hitting the headlines recently in its squabble with BMS, and now faces a lawsuit from Merck concerning royalty payments from the blockbuster cancer drug Erbitux, which the three pharma companies share. More

With Finance Gig, Mott Comes Full Circle
Washington Post [Sept 29] MedImmune’s former chief executive David M. Mott  has started his new job as a general partner at New Enterprise Associates, a Chevy Chase venture capital firm. He’ll be financing and growing biotech and specialty pharmaceutical start-ups, and pushing Washington to become one of the nation's top biotechnology hubs. More 

Orchid Chem, US Merck in Drug Discovery Pact
Reuters India [Sept 29] Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd will work together with Merck to develop new drugs to treat bacterial and fungal infections, the Indian firm said on Monday. More

 
 
LAST WEEK'S TOP STORY
 

Breathing New Life into Old Drugs
PharmaWeek [Sept 24] Thinking outside the box is generally a good idea. And in drug development, it’s not always out with the old and in with the new. More

For More Recent Articles >>

 

LIFE SCIENCE JOBS

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:
 LSCDD

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:
 LSCDD   

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:
 LSCDD 

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:
 LSCDD  

 
                    More Life Science Jobs ~ Add a Job Listing

 

FEATURED EVENTS

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

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

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

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

Super Computing ~ November 15-21, Austin, TX
 
Fifth Annual Molecular Imaging Week ~November 17-19, 2008, La Jolla, CA, 

The Next Tool for Healthcare Innovation~ Nov 20, 2008 2pm EST A Complimentary Frost & Sullivan eBroadcast
 
Barnett Educational Services

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

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FROM THE EDITOR

Alissa Poh 

[It’s been a month since Labor Day and two weeks since I introduced myself as PharmaWeek’s new editor; time to boil this column down to the e-newsletter’s basic facts. I’ll have this particular blurb posted for probably another week, before taking it off.]

PharmaWeek’s focus will continue to be trained mainly on key news and issues in the world of pharma – business, R&D, partnerships and alliances, and the like. As well, I plan on making full use of the “open canvas” concept for this newsletter, writing a fresh story each week on pharma topics that I find intriguing. Hopefully these will also be of interest to you, the reader. I’d really welcome ideas on other areas and topics you’d like to see covered, so please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at apoh@healthtech.com with your suggestions and feedback.

EXCLUSIVE WEBCAST

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

CALL FOR PROPOSALS
2009 Bio-IT World Conference

We invite you to submit a speaking proposal for consideration by our Advisory Committee for the 7th Annual Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, April 27-29, 2009 at the World Trade Center in Boston, MA. Please respond by Oct. 15.

The 2009 program will feature best practice case studies and joint partner presentations relevant to the technologies, research, and regulatory issues of life science, pharmaceutical, clinical and IT professionals. Spanning three days, the meeting includes six parallel conference tracks. Details here.
Insight Pharma Reports

Obesity Drug Pipeline: Developing Therapies for a Complex Disease

Analyzes the product pipeline; the need and potential market for novel obesity therapies; challenges to obesity drug development; genetic and physiological factors in obesity. 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

Managed Innovation, 
Assured Compliance
Developing, executing and managing the transformation, analysis and submission of clinical research data with SAS® Drug Development
sponsored by SAS
 

Discovery organizations are identifying a lot of promising compounds, but clinical research processes haven't kept pace with timely testing of all those potential therapies. This white paper describes how SAS Drug Development supports true innovation across the clinical trial process.
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Addressing Life Sciences Constantly Growing Data Challenges Research               Environments sponsored by BlueArc

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.
Download this white paper to learn about:
• Factors driving the data explosion in the life sciences
• New data management issues that must be addressed
• HPC trends that are placing new demands on storage
• Storage solution attributes that address performance, manageability, and energy efficiency. Download now
 

Microsoft’s BioIT Alliance

Bio-IT World published a special supplement with support from Microsoft and their Alliance members. The supplement provides insight into the activities of the Alliance and their partners. Click here to access the Supplement PDF.

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


Cambridge
                                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: Ashley.Zander@theYGSgroup.com