April 1, 2008
A LAUREATE AND A GENTLEMAN
Robert Gentleman, a bioinformatician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, is the winner of the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award by the Bioinformatics Organization. Gentleman is one of the developers of R (http://www.r-project.org), a widely used suite of statistical tools. He is also known for leading a group effort to develop BioConductor (http://www.bioconductor.org), a highly popular open source and open development software project for the analysis and comprehension of genomic and computational biology data.
FDA TOXICITY AID
Xceleron has released a service designed to help companies quickly and cost effectively comply with the February 2008 FDA Guidance Document "Safety Testing of Drug Metabolites." The META-ID program can be integrated with existing Phase 1 studies and deliver preliminary data within two weeks. In a three-step process, META-ID quantifies the extent of drug metabolism, measures metabolites in plasma at different time points, and measures full ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) of a drug candidate.
Pfizer has started the process to acquire Serenex (see "The Matrix Revolutions," Bio•IT World, April 2004), a privately-held biotech company with a Phase 1 candidate to target solid tumors and hematological malignancies. The acquisition includes Serenex' small molecule Heat Shock Protein 90 compound library, and proprietary drug discovery technology based on a high-content screening platform that optimizes libraries of compounds against myriad targets. The acquisition should be complete by the second quarter of 2008. Financial terms have not been disclosed.