Biotech industry in survival mode
Restructuring, retrenching and reinventing themselves, Bay Area biotechnology firms are adapting to weather the economic downturn.
“We’ve noticed (biotech companies) will abandon one or two research products and in the process may have discovered something of more use, readjusting their core competency to find something marketable today, rather than long term”
The genetically-modified food fight
Once again, Europe and the U.S. are at loggerheads. This time, they’re fighting over food, not foreign policy. On July 2, the European Parliament passed legislation calling for detailed labeling of genetically modified (GM) food products.
No simple generic answer
Unlike pills and capsules that are brewed from a mixture of chemicals, injectable therapies like hormones and genetically engineered proteins are not covered by the Hatch-Waxman Act, the 1984 law that laid the foundation for the nation’s generic drug industry. That has left brand-name biotech manufacturers with the hope of monopolies well into the future.
Antibacterials: a dying trade
: Despite strong worldwide demand for effective antibacterial products, sustaining growth within this segment will become a challenging task for major pharmaceutical companies. Currently only six marketed drugs have sales of greater than $1 billion and by 2011, 12 out of 29 key products will face patent expiry. A relatively sparse R&D pipeline will do little to replace older products.
Pfizer’s Quest to Stay Ahead of the Pack
The drugmaker has been a stable holding in unstable times. Now, though, it faces big challenges from rivals to its Lipitor and Viagra
Can Your Genomics Work Contribute to Biodefense
Three years ago, Luis Villarreal, a virologist at the University of California, Irvine, came up with the idea of using in vitro gene activation by PCR to study the proteome of a virus in hopes of developing a high-throughput platform for identifying new vaccines.
Villarreal and his collaborators at the university saw infectious disease as their primary target, but after the anthrax attacks in late 2001 they realized that their work might just as easily apply to tackling bioterror agents…
Biogen/Idec: still a matter of size
The merger of Biogen and Idec Pharmaceuticals, announced June 23, is likely to help the two relatively isolated companies increase presence in their disease areas. The annual R&D budget for the new pharmaceutical entity, to be called Biogen Idec Inc, will be $500 million, according to company reports.
The State of Biotechnology
Researchers, government officials and industry executives will gather this weekend in Washington for the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual convention. Topics to be addressed at BIO 2003 range from science and regulatory affairs to bioethics and homeland security.
Coffee Plants Can Produce Less Caffeine
Researchers say they have genetically engineered coffee plants that have 70 percent less caffeine than usual in their leaves. The crucial question for brewing coffee � whether beans from those plants will have less caffeine � won’t be known for three to four years when the plants mature