Yearly Archives: 2006

Lots of interesting developments since the last edition: Pfizer’s high-profile drug failiure, a new law against violent extremists, good news for Merck, and good and bad news for the biotechnology industry as a whole.

News and Trends

The Washington Times has an update on the signing of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Bolstered by recent bombings and other acts of vandalism against biotechnology firms, the bill is designed to make it easier for federal agents to wiretap and prosecute animal rights extremists who have mounted successful campaigns of harassment against researchers.

More welcome news for the industry, a recent study finds that FDA drug approvals are on the rise.

Sign on San Diego has a detailed article on the loss of American biotechnology jobs to offshoring. An important note is that while the impact on workers who have lost their jobs is certainly negative, the prospect of reducing R&D can only serve to bolster the industry.

In what is being billed as an affirmation of Merck’s strategy to challenge the thousands of Vioxx cases one at a time, a federal jury has cleared Merck in the 11th Vioxx Trial. Just 24,000 more cases to go!


There has been so much buzz about the high profile failure of Pfizer’s cholesterol drug, it merits it’s own category.

Pharma Marketing has two posts on the issue: questioning the $800mm price tag associated with the failure and examining the many impacts that the failure will have.

Paul Kedrosky comments on the impact on the future of drug development, concluding that drug development is “broken.” More justification for this conclusion would have been greatly appreciated.

In the Pipeline has, as expected, an series of excellent and very detailed posts on the reasons for torcetrapib’s failure, and the greater impact on Pfizer.

Biotechnology around the world

Signals Magazine‘s post Global Aid from Presidents and Billionaires profiles the many activities dedicated to ensuring that the world’s poor are able to benefit from the latest innovations in healthcare.

While India’s drug manufacturers are often alluded to, there is little detailed information on the actual companies that comprise this industry. Wired profiles Indian Cipla, a company regarded as a pirate among the competitors in developed countries, and a godsend among people in developing countries.

Intellectual Property and Lawsuits

Culture Dish has a post on a DNA sequencing technique patent dispute — Enzo biochem claims that they invented the technique for sequencing DNA, though the patent on it was awarded to some scientists at Caltech nearly 25 years ago.

Pharmablogger presents an inside view of a series of 7,000 complaints filed by the State of Massachusetts against a drug company for unspecified illnesses caused by a psychoactive drug.


The Pharma Marketing Blog takes a look at sleep drugs and Google adwords. The ephemeral nature of Google’s adwords means that ads in violation of FDA rules are being posted and, more importantly, cannot be reported.

The Register reports on a group of scientists looking to rebrand “cloning” as “somatic cell nuclear transfer.” While this rebranding is more precise than the current use of the word cloning (cloning also applies to manipulations of genes that have nothing to do with making copies of mammals), far fewer people are against it — presumably because they don’t know what it is!
R&D Trends

Chemical Engineering News profiles a trend which has been growing in recent years. Biotechnology companies, once defined by their focus on biologic drugs, are increasingly crossing over into pharma territory and trying to develop small-molecule drugs.

This edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology features some interesting commentary on issues ethics, how to dress for drug ads, progress in biogenerics guidance, and innovation.


Signals Magazine presents a Financial Snapshot For September 2006


The Pharma Marketing Blog gives us some fashion advice in Lipitor’s Jarvik: Fop or Flop?


The Patent Baristas give us a double-header: Are Conflicts of Interest on The Rise? and Should Doctors Be Paid To Give Inside Info To Wall Street?


Signals Magazine presents an update on the Bio-Generic Regulatory Debate and matching commentary in Gearing Up For Bio-Generics


On Pharma asks Are Pharma’s Lean Projects Having an Impact?

This edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology features commentary on regulatory problems and progress, international development, and failed commercialization strategies.


The Washington Post has a report from the Institute of Medicine claiming that the drug review system is broken, and calling for changes.

The Patent Barista’s update the road to biogenerics, profiling recent bills aimed at formalizing processes to approve generic versions of biologic drugs.
International Development

Pharmalicensing has a post on the costs and benefits of clinical trials in India.

Solata Advisors have a brief post on the evils of starting from technology – it is preferable to start a company by seeking to serve a market rather than develop a technology for which no market may exist.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology. Some pretty good stuff this week. More Vioxx news, the human genome stops by for an update, and no love for the FDA.


SignalsMag provides an update on March financials: Modest Gains, Solid Quarter.


The Drug Wonks take a Dumb and Dumber approach to drug price controls, an excellent case of argumentum ad absurdum.

Following the the same vein, Pharma Marketing explains how the New England Journal of Medicine was Hoodwinked by Merck.
In another post, Pharma Marketing explains why the FDA’s grade just went from pass to fail.

Scientific Developments

The human genome is back in the news, this time reporting for what hopefully will be the last time, that the entire sequence of the human genome has finally been completed.

The Times has an article on Frankencotton where they introduce genetically modified shirts and ask why nobody seems to be afriad of genetically modified clothes.

This week’s edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology addresses a number of issues challenging the biotechnology industry today.


About biotech proclaims Innovation is dead, long live innovation! in the wake of Proctor & Gamble’s spin of the dissolution of it’s pharma R&D efforts as a bold new innovation strategy.

A Vc asks changing our expectations and creating a second way for drugs to come to market can solve the ills facing the industry.


The Drug Wonks present their modest proposal, a solution for those concerned about big pharma’s unreasonable drug prices


With a number of medical blunders such as the withdrawal of Vioxx, disastrous clinical trials, and now Bausch & Lomb’s association with fungal infections, Eye on FDA presents guidelines to avoiding a crisis in communications during a medical product crisis.


Feeling unloved? Money magazine has rated biotechnology research scientists as the 35th-best job in America. Enjoy the ride while it lasts – these jobs aren’t immune to offshoring.

That’s it for this edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology. Don’t forget to submit your items, and if you’re interested in hosting the carnival, drop a line to

Welcome to this edition of the Carnival of Biotechnology. The next edition will be hosted at Patent Baristas. If you’re interested in hosting the Carnival, drop an email to

General Business

While not technically a blog post, this article from CNN highlights an oft-ignored element of biotechnology, supplying laboratories. Raising lab animals is big business.

About Biotech has a roundup of 2005 retrospectives and future projections for the biotechnology industry.


Signalsmag profiles merger and acquisition activity in 2005 and finds that M&A’s were hot in 2005.


John Mack at Pharma Marketing tells us about a new trend in pharma, detailing generic drugs.


The Patent Baristas shed light on an exciting new development the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has set guidelines on biosimilar drugs.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of the carnival. Check out next week’s host, Patent Baristas, and submit your items.

Welcome to the inaugural Carnival of Biotechnology. This roundup of the best blogs on biotechnology brings together the best posts covering the industry.

This week’s carnival is hosted here at The next post will be at Biotechnology.

For more information about the Carnival of Biotechnology, see the Carnival’s homepage.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s entry:

Finance and business development

Ben McClure at at Investopedia has put together a sample case of Using DCF In Biotech Valuation. This excellent tutorial provides a clear example of how to apply this commonly used biotech valuation tool.


The Drugwonks aren’t bashful in their critique of price controls. In ‘Of Barn Doors and Horses‘ they bemoan the inefficient circle of impeding vaccine development through price controls, tort liabilities and other factors while providing government incentives to foster the development of vaccines.

In a trifecta of posts directed at reimportation, the Drugwonks explain that Counterfeit Drugs are a Global Problem, imported drugs shouldn’t be used Because They’re Illegal and Unsafe and ask Who’s Next, given the dramatic increase in counterfeit drugs seizures over the past decade.

See you next time at Biotechnology.