Carnival of Biotechnology

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.

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