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Industry Trends

U.S. Generic Drug Market Outlook to 2012
By Mark P. Mathieu

Since drugs with $50 billion on 2007 U.S. sales are scheduled to lose patent/
exclusivity protection in 2008 – 2010, the three-year period presents formidable obstacles for the pharmaceutical industry. Marketing exclusivity …
 Read more

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Dear Colleague,
Welcome to this week's eNewsletter covering breaking R&D news, business insights, and a feature highlighting Scripps researcher K.C. Nicolaou's thoughts on using nature for drug discovery.


Boosting the Pipelines: Mother Nature's Resources
By Alissa Poh

Legend has it that villagers in northern Greece used to walk their old, ailing (read: no longer useful) donkeys up a mountain and leave them there, tied to a yew tree. The poor starving beasts would resort to eating the tree's leaves and bark - and die. Women called it, simply, the "donkey tree"; men were more apt to refer to it as the "mother-in-law tree."  In his book Gallic Wars, Caesar also described how, after being roundly defeated by the Roman legions, the barbarian chieftain Catulvolcus committed suicide by drinking tea made from a yew tree extract.

These days, we're more likely to associate this tree with paclitaxel (Taxol), one of the bigger anticancer drug success stories. But there were clues even from ancient times, says K.C. Nicolaou, a world-renowned synthetic chemist at San Diego's Scripps Research Institute, whose group, incidentally, was the first to publish a completed synthesis of paclitaxel in 1994.

"People in ancient Egypt and Greece knew that chewing bark from the willow tree would relieve fevers and pain, but only when chemistry came of age were scientists able to isolate and modify the active ingredient, producing Aspirin," Cyprus-born Nicolaou says, by way of another anecdote. He's a passionate believer in utilizing much more of what nature has to offer, for drug discovery. Natural products provide excellent drug leads, he says, because most have evolved to bind to biological receptors as part of the living world, and are thus likely to exert interesting biological properties that could be disease-relevant. In fact, over 60 percent of today's drugs originate, one way or another, from nature. More


No Lucky Surprise on Genentech's Avastin
San Francisco [Oct 21] Genentech shareholders will have to wait until next year to find out whether Avastin protects patients from a recurrence of colon cancer after surgery. Experts have found no reason to stop the clinical trial early, although analysts say this would likely have led to an immediate increase in Roche’s bid. More

Sanofi Expands R&D in China
Reuters [Oct 21] The French drug company is expanding its R&D facility in Shanghai, establishing a biometrics center in Beijing, and has signed a partnership agreement with the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences to discover new drugs for neurological diseases, diabetes and cancer. More

MedImmune Opens New UK Research Facility
Baltimore Business Journal [Oct 16] Gaithersburg-based MedImmune has opened a new biologics R&D facility in Cambridge, UK. The 92,000-square-foot Aaron Klug Building will help MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics unit, to accomplish AstraZeneca’s goal of delivering an average of one new biologic product per year, from 2013. More

Genzyme Hits an FDA Snag
WSJ [Oct 20] The FDA is questioning whether a study submitted by Genzyme is strong enough to merit expanded approval of its drug Myozyme to treat Pompe disease. More

Genentech's Raptiva Gets FDA Warning
Bloomberg [Oct 16] The FDA will require that Raptiva, Genentech’s drug for psoriasis, carry “black box” warnings about the risk of life-threatening infections, including progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), viral meningitis, and invasive fungal disease. More

Intradigm Targets Cancer's Genetic Switch
San Jose Business Journal [Oct 17] Palo Alto-based Intradigm Corp. has succeeded in raising $35 million to help develop RNAi therapeutics – described by its CEO as a “hot space” and a “whole new way of making drugs” – for a variety of disorders, including cancer. More

Rice University Students Making Anti-Cancer Beer
United Press International [Oct 17] Students from Rice University plan on using genetic engineering to create a “BioBeer” with resveratrol, a substance from grapes that has been shown to reduce heart disease and cancer. More


Pfizer Forms Joint Venture with Belgian UCB
 [Oct 20] Pfizer and Belgian drug company UCB, with investments from the British government, have formed Cyclofluidics, a joint venture aimed at developing new technologies to automate and speed up the process of drug development. More

Lilly Shares Sink Amid Prasugrel Delay Speculation
 [Oct 17] Lilly’s shares fell more than 4 percent Friday, following speculation that its anti-clotting drug prasugrel could face more FDA regulatory delays, with the best case scenario being an approval decision no earlier than March 2009. More

Nektar Sells Pulmonary Business to Novartis
WSJ MarketWatch 
[Oct 21] Novartis has agreed to acquire specific pulmonary delivery assets, technology and intellectual property from Nektar, for $115 million in cash. More

Roche Confirms Genentech Bid
 [Oct 21] Roche has confirmed its commitment to a $43.7 million bid for the rest of Genentech Inc., and reports a 2 percent fall in sales over the last nine months. More

Novartis's Profit Drops 69%; Executive Shake-Up and Job Cuts Planned
WSJ MarketWatch [Oct 20] With its greatly decreased third-quarter profit, Novartis has announced plans to cut 550 US sales jobs, and will be introducing several executive changes, most notably the promotion of Joerg Reinhardt (formerly head of vaccines and diagnostics) to the new position of chief operating officer. More

Myriad Genetics to Divide in Two
Reuters Oct 20] Myriad Genetics plans to spin off its research and drug development business from its molecular diagnostics business, forming two independent public companies, with the drug development unit being known as Myriad Pharmaceuticals Inc. More

Phoenix Biotechnology Raises $3.6 Million Despite Tight Financial Market
WSJ MarketWatch [Oct 20] Phoenix Biotechnology, which has an R&D relationship with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and an anticancer drug in a Phase I clinical trial, recently completed a private placement where the company raised $3.6 million from individual investors. More


Skewering Pain at Javelin Pharmaceuticals
PharmaWeek [Oct 15] There will be some 73 million surgical procedures in the US this year, to say nothing of 110 million admissions to the emergency room. And along the way, nearly half of those patients will also have to deal with insufficient pain management. More

For More Recent Articles >>



MedImmune INC. - Associate Director, Development Information Systems
Associate Director, Development Information Systems (Gaithersburg, MD): Responsible for IS strategy for the global Development organization, implementation and oversight of the ongoing projects and support of existing systems.  If you are interested in this position, apply online at and search for Req 01124.

More Life Science Jobs ~ Add a Job Listing



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 4th Annual World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress - December 8 – 10, 2008 | Washington, DC

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

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

The World Health Care Congress 2nd Annual Leadership Summit on Consumer Connectivity & Web Empowerment | February 23 – 24, 2009-Carlsbad, CA

Storage for Science Seminar Series-See Schedule

Barnett Educational Services

Cambridge Healthtech Events

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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

Bio-IT World's 2009
Best Pract
ices Awards

Entry forms are now available for Bio-IT World’s 2009 Best Practices Awards program. This has long been one of our most successful programs. Last year, there were 56 entries and we awarded 15 prizes at a gala dinner held during the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in the spring. This year we are hoping to expand those numbers. 
The program is intended to spotlight companies whose use of innovative technologies is making a positive difference in biomedical R&D and drug discovery and development.
Bio-IT World is also making available a free compendium of Best Practice entries from 2008 to help ensure the lessons learned are widely spread. The compendium can be downloaded here.

Meanwhile, get started on this year’s entries. There are nine categories, shown below. The deadline is mid-January 2009. Full details of the entry process and the entry form are available by clicking here.

2009 Best Practices Categories:
*Basic Research & Biological Research
*Drug Discovery & Development
*Clinical Trials & Research
*Translational Medicine
*Personalized Medicine
*IT & Informatics
*Knowledge Management
*Manufacturing & Bioprocessing

All of the entries will be reviewed and ranked by a panel of experts assembled by Bio-IT World editors. Winners will be announced at a dinner ceremony held in Boston in April 2009 in conjunction with the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo. If you have questions, write to 

Insight Pharma Reports

Insight Updates—Kinase Therapeutic Pipelines

Bi-monthly Kinase Insight Update reports provide updated business intelligence on clinical trials, company announcements, research activities, and more from April 2008 to May 2009. More Information 

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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:
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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

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.

                                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: