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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 on HUYA Bioscience International's co-development model for drug discovery with Chinese biotechs.


HUYA: A Conduit Between Chinese Pharma and US Clinical Trials
By Alissa Poh

China plus the drug industry plus newspaper headlines has seldom equaled positive reading. Yet where pharma is concerned, two things can’t be denied. First, China has certainly become a key player in global biotech, especially over the last five years, with its economy loosening up and the government allowing capitalist-type ventures in parts of the country. As well, those in pharma constantly lament the lack of new, high-quality compounds for drug development – a process that isn’t getting any less expensive, while the pool of sources is drying up.

Perhaps it needs to be better recognized that drug manufacturing, and the brainpower behind drug discovery, are really quite distinct. If married in the right way(s) between China and a pharma powerhouse like the US, the combination could turn out pretty appealing. Such was the observation of Mireille Gingras, president and CEO of San Diego-based HUYA Bioscience International, who noted that significant numbers of Chinese individuals, after being educated and trained in top US institutions, were returning home to start their own biotech businesses. And naturally, they were bringing with them Western-style small-molecule discovery and development approaches. Gingras realized that this could be one answer, at least, to the problem of shrinking US and European source pools; it would also provide unique partnership opportunities with Chinese companies and research institutes. More


Merck Says It Will Stay in Heart Research
MarketWatch [Nov 8] Merck has no plans to follow its bigger rival Pfizer out the door of the heart-disease laboratory. More

Stem Cell Supporters Await Their Obama Moment
Washington Post [Nov 10] Stem cell advocates and researchers are eagerly awaiting the moment next year when president-elect Barack Obama rescinds a directive that limits federal funding of human embryonic stem-cell research. More

Pfizer Ends Development of Obesity Drug
Reuters [Nov 5] Pfizer is the latest drugmaker to abandon an obesity treatment that works by blocking the receptors in the brain that makes people hungry after smoking marijuana. More

The Promise and Power of RNA
New York Times [Nov 10] Pharmaceutical companies would love to find a drug that can attach itself to the protein PCSK9 and block its activity – overactive PCSK9 can result in high cholesterol levels. RNA interference may surmount this obstacle. More

Applied Biosystems and Asuragen Collaborate with the Critical Path Institute to Improve Drug Toxicity Screening
MarketWatch [Nov 6] Applied Biosystems and Asuragen will work with the Predictive Safety Testing Consortium to develop a predictive gene signature panel that will allow pharmaceutical companies to quickly and easily screen potential therapeutics for toxic effects in pre-clinical samples. More

J&J's High-Wire Heart Drug
Forbes [Nov 10] Rivaroxaban, a powerful new blood thinner in late-stage tests in heart patients at J&J and Bayer, is J&J’s hope as a potential huge bestseller to revive its slumping drug unit, despite significantly higher rates of bleeding in patients who took the drug.

Scientists Coax Brain Cells in Mice to Regenerate
Reuters [Nov 6] Scientists at Children’s Hospital Boston have found a way to get damaged nerve cells in the brains of mice to repair themselves, while a separate team from Genentech found that blocking a protein that discourages cell repairs allowed nerve cells in lab dishes to regenerate. Both findings may lead to new treatments for spinal cord and brain injuries. More


For Sale: Pfizer's Terre Haute Factory
Indianapolis Star [Nov 10] Nine months after halting production of its inhaled insulin and idling more than 600 workers at a plant near Terre Haute, Pfizer is putting the massive factory up for sale. More

Amylin Says It Will Cut 340 Jobs to Slash Expenses
BusinessWeek [Nov 10] Amylin plans to cut a quarter of its San Diego work force, in a move it said will cut its operating expenses by more than $100 million in 2009. More

Woodcock Gains Support From Drugmakers for FDA's Top Job
Bloomberg [Nov 7] Janet Woodcock, a 22-year insider at the FDA, is the top choice of drugmakers who are lobbying for her to be named the agency's chief by President-elect Barack Obama, according to people associated with the industry. More

Biotech Firms Fear Pricing Pressure From Obama
San Francisco Chronicle [Nov 9] Tough pressure on drug prices is expected as the new president tries to realize his campaign vision of expanded health care coverage for Americans at substantially lower cost. BIO president James Greenwood says Obama's management of the continuing financial crisis will be the most important influence on the fate of biotech companies coping with tight credit markets and risk-averse investors. More

Obama Expected to Regulate DTC Advertising
MediaDailyNews [Nov 5] Pharmaceutical companies, ad agencies and publishers are bracing for a possible series of new restrictions on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising after the president-elect takes office next year. More

AstraZeneca's Crestor Cuts Deaths and Heart Attacks
Reuters [Nov 9] AstraZeneca's cholesterol fighter (rosuvastatin) dramatically cut deaths, heart attacks and strokes in patients with healthy cholesterol levels but who had high levels of a protein associated with heart disease, researchers report. More

Amgen, Like Pfizer, Targets Biotechs With Ready Cash
Bloomberg [Nov 4] With more cash than all but two U.S. pharmaceutical industry rivals, Amgen is seeking to snatch up distressed biotechnology companies at bargain prices. More

Novo Nordisk to Invest in New Chinese Factory
Financial Times [Nov 7] Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceuticals company, is to invest $400m in a new factory for diabetes treatments in China, the latest multinational to commit to a large investment despite slowing Chinese growth. More


Of Ghrelin and the Gut: Tranzyme Pharma
PharmaWeek [Nov 5] When the Human Genome Project first took off, the genomics space teemed with life science entrepreneurs, all raring to create startups. It was no different for those who started Tranzyme Pharma. More

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Lilly Singapore Centre for Drug Discovery - Bioinformatics Manager- For more information click here 

Lilly Singapore Centre for Drug Discovery - Senior Statistical Geneticist- For more information click here 

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Linux Systems Administrator
MSKCC Bioinformatics Core in Manhattan seeks Linux System
Administrator. Install, configure, update, monitor and troubleshoot HPC cluster, email and web servers. Master's degree and 5 years experience with HPC, network security, Postfix, Apache, Tomcat, Grid Engine, Solaris. Email or #015429. EOE/AA

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

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks-28th to 29th January 2009, Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, United Kingdom.

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

7th Annual Bio-IT World Conference - April 2009

Storage for Science Seminar Series-See Schedule Here

Barnett Educational Services

Cambridge Healthtech Events

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Alissa Poh 

A very brief note this week - hope you find HUYA's story an interesting read. With the right balance, it could well be (to quote Hannah Montana) "the best of both worlds" for the US and China, in terms of discovering and developing new drugs. Expect a feature on patient non-adherence next week, which a recent survey said costs pharma pretty close to $200 billion a year...and this was a pre-meltdown estimate. Also, as mentioned in the last two issues, any suggestions for expanding PharmaWeek's economic development focus are welcome - you can reach me at


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

Life Science Webcasts



Exploring Next-Generation Sequencing
Bio-IT World Editor-in-Chief Kevin Davies interview BGI's Laurie Goodman on the sequencing of the first Asian genome. View the webcast.

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

Immunotherapies and Vaccines for Cancer and Infectious Diseases

Reviews immunotherapies and vaccines currently available and in development for cancer and infectious diseases; the market opportunity; R&D challenges; business considerations. More Information

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Next Generation Sequencing  Learn how labs can maximize the value they receive from their next generation sequencing instruments:
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Software Helps Doping Control Lab Streamline Results Management, sponsored by Waters

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Managed Innovation, 
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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: