Carnival of Biotechnology

Scientific Advances

The MaRS Blog has a captivating story of Canada’s recent major diabetes discovery. The first discovery, in 1920, elucidated insulin’s central role in diabetes. The most recent discovery, also from the University of Toronto, has found a strong link between diabetes, pain nerves, and inflammation. Researchers were able to prevent and even reverse diabetes in mice modulating the neuroinflammatory mechanism without any serious side effects.

In the Pipeline issues a dose of realism for the overly-optimistic news of a potential anti-cancer drug found by mistakenly using a high concentration of compounds not previously known to have an anti-cancer effect.

Patents and Regulation
I always like a good inequitable conduct case, and the Patent Baristas have got a fresh one! Amphastar and Teva successfully challenged Sanofi-Aventis’s Lovenox patent by convincing the court of deceptive intent by Sanofi.

Eye on Pharma has some recomendations for the FDA. After years of being simultaneously blamed for being too lax on safety and not moving quickly enough on safety, this nine-step plan for change aims to restore the agency’s credibility.

I’ve railed about Michael Crichton’s misguided NYTimes Op-Ed’s before, and his most recent anti-patent screed is as misguided as his previous posts. I rather liked Nobel Intent‘s take on the matter: “It is becoming a truism that if there are two sides to a scientific debate, Michael Crichton can usually be found on the wrong one.


John Mack at Pharma Marketing has another excellent post on what I’d call “excessive creativity” in pharmaceutical marketing. Whereas branded websites providing information on drugs must carefully meter their statements, the same does not hold true for unbranded sites. Through a little investigative journalism, Mack has discovered a thinly veiled promotional agenda for weight-loss drug Alli.

Industry Trends

Yet another industry giant enters the biotechnology fray. Following the path laid by IBM, Motorola, Corning, and others, General Electric is investing in biotechnology – specifically in medical diagnostics.

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