Monthly Archives: June 2007

Welcome to the June 25th 2007 edition of Carnival of Biotechnology.

Finance and business development has a great post on 25 alternatives to venture capital — too many entrepreneurs assume that venture capital is the de facto way to fund a company, when there are many other avenues they should be exploring.

Industry Trends
As big pharma Abbott plans a spinoff to make generic drugs, biotech giant Amgen is doing the opposite. They’re buying two small-molecule drugmakers.

The”>Patent Baristas report on a report asking Do Authorized Generics Deter Paragraph IV Certifications? Authorized generics are generic drugs sold indirectly through branded drug developers — effectively allowing innovators to compete with generics. A generic drug producer who successfully challenges an innovator’s patent is granted 180 days of marketing exclusivity under a paragraph IV certification. Because innovators can indirectly compete with generics through authorized generics (confused yet), the question at hand is: does this tactic discourage generic drug producers from challenging innovator patents in search of a 180-day marketing exclusivity?

Generic Pharmaceuticals & IP has an interesting post on a drug which was approved, but not being launched

Pharmalot has a report from Paraxel, suggesting that India is lagging as a site for clinical trials. By assessing the country of residence of clinical trial investigators, they suggest that running clinical trials in India is not as prevalent as often suggested.

Pharmalot has a great post questioning Boston’s proposed $1 billion 10-year commitment to biotech: B is for Boston, biotech and also boondoggle

That concludes this edition.
For more information, see the Carnival of Biotechnology Homepage, or submit a link for the next edition. Interested in hosting a future Carnival of Biotechnology? Let me know.

I’ve been trying to elucidate Google’s rumored healthcare plans for quite some time now. Google’s plans are outlined in these two posts on Google’s blog: How do you know you’re getting the best care possible? and Is there a doctor in the family?.

The post titles lay it out pretty well. Google wants to be your trusted source of information in health matters. Is you surgeon’s recommended knee surgery the best option? Which drugs are best for your form of diabetes? etc.

There’s been a shift in the past 50 years away from the doctor-centric model of healthcare to one in which patients expect, and demand, better information and control over their treatments. Google’s not the first to try this, but they weren’t the first search engine either – we’ll see if they can’t fix health information the same way they fixed search.

Craig Venter, leader of the private effort to sequence the human genome, has filed for a patent on a synthetic bacterium. By knocking out each of Mycobacterium’s 470 genes, Venter and his team have elucidated a minimal set of genes that could, in theory, be synthesized on a stretch of DNA and inserted into a membrane containing a set of enzymes necessary for replication and metabolism.

It will be interesting to watch how this case plays out. The supreme court essentially enabled the growth of the biotechnology industry in 1984 when they ruled that genetically modified bacteria were patentable. We’ll see how the patent office (and ensuing lawsuits) treat synthetic life.

For more background detail, see this excellent article at the Economist.

Interesting post from the Business Standard: Pharma R&D heads call the shots. They report that top pharma scientists in India are commanding wages at or near U.S. rates with significant perks such as the operating in the U.S. for six months or round-trip tickets for their families.

The impact of this strong compensation is that it begins to erode the strong financial incentive to offshore work to India. It is also a sign that India’s pharmaceutical industry is maturing. Note that while top scientists are well compensated, their compensation is an order of magnitude greater than that of second- or third-level scientists.

It’s important to remember where the biotechnology industry comes from: the demonstration of gene splicing by Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen in 1973. Investor’s Business Daily has a great non-interview (Boyer doesn’t give interviews) profile of Boyer, retelling the story of Boyer’s meeting with Robert Swanson and the formation of Genentech, one of the first biotechnology companies.

There’s an interesting side-note to this story, which relates to current concerns over regulations inhibiting scientific progress – one year after the demonstration of gene splicing, an international moratorium on genetic manipulation was implemented. The moratorium was lifted a year later, opening the door to biotechnology commercialization.

Courtesy of

Drug Patent Expirations in June 2007
*Drugs may be covered by more than one patent

Tradename Applicant Generic Name Patent Number Patent Expiration
AEROBID Roche Palo flunisolide 4,933,168 JUN 12,2007
ANTHELIOS SX Loreal Usa avobenzone; ecamsule; octocrylene 4,585,597 JUN 16,2007
ESTRING Pharmacia And Upjohn estradiol 4,871,543 JUN 12,2007
ESTRING Pharmacia And Upjohn estradiol 5,188,835 JUN 12,2007
IMITREX Glaxosmithkline sumatriptan 4,816,470 JUN 28,2007
IMITREX Glaxosmithkline sumatriptan succinate 4,816,470 JUN 28,2007
IMITREX STATDOSE Glaxosmithkline sumatriptan succinate 4,816,470 JUN 28,2007
LAMISIL Novartis terbinafine 4,755,534 JUN 30,2007
LAMISIL Novartis terbinafine hydrochloride 4,755,534 JUN 30,2007
LAMISIL AT Novartis terbinafine hydrochloride 4,755,534 JUN 30,2007
MAVIK Abbott trandolapril 4,933,361 JUN 12,2007
NASALIDE Ivax Res flunisolide 4,933,168 JUN 12,2007
NASAREL Ivax Res flunisolide 4,933,168 JUN 12,2007
PAXIL Glaxosmithkline paroxetine hydrochloride 4,721,723 JUN 29,2007
PAXIL CR Glaxosmithkline paroxetine hydrochloride 4,721,723 JUN 29,2007
PHOTOFRIN Axcan Scandipharm porfimer sodium 4,932,934 JUN 12,2007
TARKA Abbott trandolapril; verapamil hydrochloride 4,933,361 JUN 12,2007
THALITONE Monarch Pharms chlorthalidone 4,933,360 JUN 12,2007
VERELAN Elan Drug verapamil hydrochloride 4,863,742 JUN 19,2007
VERELAN PM Elan Drug verapamil hydrochloride 4,863,742 JUN 19,2007

Courtesy of