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Dear Colleague,
Welcome to this week's eNewsletter covering breaking R&D news, business insights, and a Q&A with Millennium president Deborah Dunsire on the company's acquisition by Takeda.
 

 
 
FEATURE  
 

Millennium President Deborah Dunsire on the Takeda Takeover
By Alissa Poh

Jon Lester’s gem of a pitching performance in the Boston Red Sox’s opening playoff victory against the Los Angeles Angels had more than just baseball fans abuzz. It even proved topical at a life sciences forum the following morning, organized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

“We appreciate every bit of progress in cancer research that allows our hometown pitcher to pitch a winning game,” said Deborah Dunsire, president of Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, acknowledging Lester’s battle with lymphoma just two years ago in her keynote speech at the forum. “This field will continue to be central to Millennium’s ongoing mission, as we grow and evolve.” More

 
 
BREAKING R&D NEWS
 

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to Study Abraxis Drug
Forbes [Oct 7] The NCCN will conduct studies of Abraxis BioScience's breast cancer injection Abraxane for other forms of the disease, including breast, head and neck and ovarian cancers, along with melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. More

Rituxan Slows Leukemia Progress in Late-Stage Clinical Trial
Associated Press [Oct 7] Genentech and Biogen Idec’s cancer drug Rituxan has been shown to slow the progress of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a late stage clinical trial measuring progression-free survival. More

Avastin-Tarceva Combo Fails to Improve Survival for Lung Cancer Patients
Genentech news room [Oct 5] A late-stage trial combining Genentech’s Avastin with OSI Pharmaceuticals’ Tarceva did not meet its primary endpoint of improving overall survival in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. More

New Class of Drugs Might Cause Congenital Heart Defects
U.S. News and World Report [Oct 2] An animal study raises a warning sign that a new class of drugs targeted against glycogen synthase kinase-3, that shows promise against a variety of ailments ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's disease, might cause congenital heart defects. More

HIV Drug Maraviroc Effective For Drug-Resistant Patients
ScienceDaily [Oct 2] Maraviroc, the first of a new class of HIV drugs called CCR5 receptor antagonists, has been shown to be effective over 48 weeks for drug-resistant patients with R5 HIV-1, a variation of the virus found in more than half of HIV-infected patients. More

Amylin Resurrects Obesity Drug, in New Combination with Diabetes Drug Symlin
Xconomy San Diego [Oct 4] Amylin Pharmaceuticals says it has found a way to resurrect leptin – once considered the magic bullet for obesity, until it failed in Amgen’s clinical trials – by combining it with Symlin, which Amylin markets for diabetes. More

 
 
BUSINESS INSIGHTS 
 

Eli Lilly to Buy ImClone for $6.5 Billion
Bloomberg [Oct 6] Speculations about Eli Lilly as Carl Icahn’s mystery suitor for ImClone were confirmed this week; BMS has agreed to drop its takeover bid. More

BMS to Gain From ImClone-Lilly Merger
BMS news room [Oct 6] Based on its ownership of $14.4 million shares of ImClone, BMS will gain approximately $1 billion in cash from Eli Lilly’s acquisition of the oncology company. More

Pfizer Continues Realigning With 3 New Units
Associated Press [Oct 7 Pfizer, in continuing its drive to create more focused business units, will be replacing its current geographic divisions with new ones focused on primary care, specialty care and operations in emerging markets. This will enable the company to respond better to the needs of doctors, patients and government and other payers, while increasing innovation and holding the independent business units accountable for meeting targets. More

Complete Genomics Offers Sequencing of Human Genome For Just $5,000
Bio-IT World [Oct 6] Third-generation human genome sequencing company Complete Genomics announced its launch on Monday, after operating in stealth mode from a 32,000-square-foot facility in Mountain View for over two years. They have been reinventing the process of DNA sequencing, and will be the first company to sequence complete human genomes for less than $1,000 in material costs. More

Merck Gamble On Anti-Obesity Drug Doesn't Pay Off
CNN Money [Oct 2] Merck has halted development of its experimental anti-obesity drug, taranabant, due to increased risk of psychiatric side effects observed in clinical trials. More

Bayer Sees Opportunity for Health M&A
Reuters [Oct 2] Germany's Bayer sees the current credit crisis as an opportunity to buy assets at favorable prices that can fuel future growth in its key healthcare division, and plans on taking advantage of it within the next three to 24 months. More

Study: Pharmas Need to Better Manage Working Capital
CNN Money [Oct 1] An Ernst & Young study found that the leading 16 global pharmaceutical companies have an opportunity to release between $17 billion and $35 billion in cash - the equivalent of 3% to 7% of sales - through better management of their working capital. More

 
 
LAST WEEK'S TOP STORY
 

Prolong Pharmaceuticals – PEGged For Success?
PharmaWeek [Oct 1] 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. More

For More Recent Articles >>

 
 

FEATURED EVENTS

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

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
 
The Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA) presents LabAutomation2009, January 24-28, in Palm Springs, CA. 

TEPR+ 2009 -
Feb 1-5, 2009 | Palm Springs, CA 

Barnett Educational Services

Cambridge Healthtech Events 

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FROM THE EDITOR

Alissa Poh 

[It’s been a month since Labor Day and three weeks since I introduced myself as PharmaWeek’s new editor; time to shorten this section to the e-newsletter’s basic facts. I'll take this particular blurb off next week, too.]

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

GPCRs: Dawn of a New Era?

Explores recent advances concerning GPCR x-ray structures, allosteric interactions, multimerization, functional selectivity; tabulates marketed drugs and compounds in development.
More  Information

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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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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: Ashley.Zander@theYGSgroup.com