LabCorp Announces Definitive Agreement To Acquire Esoterix, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®) and Esoterix, Inc. and Subsidiaries (Esoterix), a leading provider of specialty reference testing, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which LabCorp will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Esoterix, Inc. for approximately $150 million in cash. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2005

LabCorp Announces Definitive Agreement To Acquire Esoterix, Inc. and Subsidiaries


BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well after 15+ years we finally seem to be near the end of the Lab services consolidation... "Big fish eating little fish" in the US. Not much left except maybe BRLI. Economy of scale and automation drivin. Even the Red Cross now doing the same. We wonder why not the same opportunity in Europe but then many laboratories there are local and more physician managed. But we think there's an opportunity there too for the same models

Elan, Biogen Report Third Infection

Irish biotech firm Elan Corp. and partner Biogen Idec Inc. said Wednesday that their ongoing safety evaluation of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri has turned up a second fatality, involving a patient in a Crohn's disease trial who died in December 2003. Elan shares fell 12 cents to close at $6.98 on the New York Stock Exchange, but then plunged 38.4 percent to $4.30 in the after-market. Biogen shares rose 66 cents to close at $38.35 on the Nasdaq, but then dropped 8.8 percent to $34.99 in after-hours activity.

Elan, Biogen Report Third Infection

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Holy Crap Batman

Wireless Device Can Monitor Patients

Nordic telecommunications operator TeliaSonera AB said Wednesday it is launching a new product that lets doctors monitor their patients through a wireless device. The new system, which is called BodyKom, connects wirelessly to sensors on the patient. If dangerous changes are detected in the patient's body, the hospital or health care services are automatically alerted over a secure mobile network connection

Yahoo! News - Wireless Device Can Monitor Patients

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Now that is Kewl! But to some of us gadget heads not unexpected

Drug Instrument Maker Sector Tumbles

Would this mean they'd rather reinvest the cash into U.S. businesses rather than buy capital goods for subsidiaries and (research and development) overseas?," Lehman analyst Tony Butler said in a note to clients. "Nobody knows, but if this scenario were to come to fruition, it would be negative" for the entire sector. Merrill Lynch also downgraded the company (Waters) to neutral, but analyst Darryl Pardi said he believes the woes are unique to Waters, based on talks with peer suppliers and macro indicators

Drug Instrument Maker Sector Tumbles

BioBOOM Op/Ed: ouCH! Is this just Waters? Or maybe time to short the whole sector. Of course could be a crap year in research with cuts in the NIH budget, and pharma, their customers, in retreat due to regulatory and drug reactions. So budget money goes to lawyers and PR we guess. Also seems many have been announcing some kind of jump into diagnostics or diagnostic OEM type models the last 2 years so something has been going on with the research instrument and reagent tool market to warrant those diversification moves. Will be watching others that suppliers like Millipore, Invitrogen and and Qiagen to see if the trend spreads outside the so called instrument guys. ABI is not having a good run these past few years, that's for sure. Guess they are praying for the proposed cancer genome project too.

Hair follicle stem cells grown into nerve cells

In a report published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Science (PNAS) this week, researchers at Anticancer Inc. report that stem cells found in mouse hair follicles can develop into other cell types.

They showed that the follicle stem cells from mice whiskers expressed a protein called nestin, which is a substance that tells cells to become neurons. They transplanted the follicle stem cells under mice skin and showed that the stem cells could develop into mature nerve cells, skin cells, and other types of cells.

If this works in human hair cells, we might be able to pluck the controvery out of stem cell research!

-HC

Canon to diversify into biotech

Japanese office equipment and camera firm Canon is branching out from bubble-jets into biotechnology to feed its future growth. Canon believes the ink-jet technology in its printers could lead to cheaper ways of mass-producing DNA chips

BBC NEWS | Business | Canon to diversify into biotech

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Why not, we got GE Philips, Seimens, Fujitzu, and others all wanting to jump in the Molecular & Biotech game. With all the money oil's been making wonder if Mobil or BP (formerly Amoco) will think its a good diversification like they did in the 80's Na, we doubt it, burned once not to be twice, better stick with energy related markets boys.

Elan directors look into break-up as crisis looms

Some directors of Elan, understood to include Garo Armen, its former chairman, are exploring the possibility of splitting the group’s original drug-delivery business from its US-based biotechnology operation.

Elan directors look into break-up as crisis looms - Sunday Times - Times Online

Huge Genome Project Is Proposed to Fight Cancer

The proposed Human Cancer Genome Project, as it is being called for now, would be greater in scale than the Human Genome Project, which mapped the human genetic blueprint. It would seek to determine the DNA sequence of thousands of tumor samples, looking for mutations that give rise to cancer or sustain it.

The New York Times > Health > Huge Genome Project Is Proposed to Fight Cancer: "a databank of all such mutations, which would be freely available to researchers, would provide invaluable clues for developing new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer."

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This would be a wonderful project to all but those who were not planning a business model that would have competition or access to their prized samples, sequences, & probes. With a "HCGP", potentially everyone will. It would essentially open up content to various platforms. Looks to be another opportunity for the tool companies during the discovery phase if it gets going, so let the games begin.....

Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding

"What we've developed is a simple and inexpensive sensor for determining when a protein changes its conformation," said study co-author Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science in Stanford's Department of Chemistry. According to Zare, the new sensor may eventually provide biomedical researchers a fast, affordable method for detecting antibodies and other disease-related proteins. Acid and base

Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding

Affymetrix's new tiling microarrays may cause to question current views on genome research

A high-resolution scan of structure and function for nearly 30 percent of the human genome sequence was completed. They scaned the sequence of 10 human chromosomes and found that roughly 15 percent of the DNA sequence analyzed was transcribed; most sites of transcription were not located in areas associated with protein-coding genes. "The findings of this study compel us to reconsider how the genome is organized and regulated," said Thomas Gingeras, Vice President for Biological Research at Affymetrix and senior author of the Science manuscript. "These data point us toward two critical and exciting questions: What are the functions of these previously unannotated transcripts and what are the regulation schemes that orchestrate such complex assemblies of transcription? It seems certain that this is not the genome we learned about while in school."

ClearStation : News Articles : AFFX

Trio of Leukemias Shares a Single Mutation

Three leukemias that affect as many as 100,000 people in the United States are all caused by acquired mutations that alter a specific enzyme controlling blood cell proliferation, according to new studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers. This means they may be able to devise a targeted therapy, just as they have done for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which is presently treated with Gleevec. The three leukemias that share a common genetic cause are polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET) and myeloid metaplasia with myelofibrosis (MMM).

HHMI News: Trio of Leukemias Shares a Single Mutation

BioBOOM Op/Ed: More interesting to us is the comment at the close of the article that says the internet-based clinical protocol is the first time that a research group has used it as a protocol for collecting blood samples to identify the cause of a disease.

Firms can get more FDA feedback on genomic research

The FDA outlined just how pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms should present genomic-based drug research. The FDA also created a process in which companies could submit preliminary data the agency said it wouldn't hold against drug companies later in the marketing review process. Larry Lesko, the FDA's director of clinical pharmacology, said the exemption will let firms start talks with the FDA earlier in the development process and make it easier to spot problems.

Boston.com / Business / Rules aim to speed personal medicine

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This is a tremendous regulatory development and opportunity that will affect the market. Watch the investment money flow to the emerging MDx and tool companies that have options and tests for just such needs. And it again highlights the potential for Roche's P450 chip

SEQUENOM Discovers Gene Linked to Bone Mineral Density

SEQUENOM, Inc. (Nasdaq: SQNM) announced the discovery of a genetic variation in the gene encoding phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) that is believed to affect osteoporosis risk.

SEQUENOM Discovers Gene Linked to Bone Mineral Density

Surfers in Australia pass a billboard promoting the use of sun bloc to help prevent skin cancer. US researchers have identified a protein that allows cancer in skin cells to spread(AFP/File/Torsten Blackwood)
 Posted by Hello

Nanogen and Pathway Diagnostics Sign License Agreement for Gene Variants Linked to Drug Response

The companies have begun work on developing a molecular diagnostic product that could be used to select the most appropriate drug and dosage for patients treated for psychiatric diseases. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nanogen and Pathway Diagnostics Sign License Agreement for Gene Variants Linked to Drug Response

BioBOOM Op/Ed: And another strategy for drug stratification..... as the birdy says - chipy chipy chipy

Genomic analysis may one day be a primary diagnostic tool for physicians deciding on a course of treatment for trauma

Scientists identified key aspects of microarray testing procedures that were vital to obtaining results that could be reproduced regardless of where the studies were conducted. The researchers showed that state-of-the-art techniques for rapidly analyzing changes in activity of all human genes will likely produce useful insights into the health of critically ill patients.Researchers applied DNA microarrays, a genomic analysis technology, to blood samples and skeletal muscle from 34 severely injured patients and 23 healthy individuals.

Genomic analysis may one day be a primary diagnostic tool for physicians deciding on a course of treatment for trauma

FDA: IV Solutions Possibly Contaminated

Federal regulators alerted hospitals nationwide Friday night not to use a solution commonly used on heart patients, saying it may be contaminated with the bacteria that caused this year's shortage of flu vaccine. It is produced by PharMEDium Services of Houston. (washingtonpost.com)

FDA: IV Solutions Possibly Contaminated (washingtonpost.com)

Welcome Mats Out for California Stem Cell Agency

Ocean vistas. A 'perfect place.' Private jets. A Capitol view. Cities go all out for the prestige of being home to the cutting-edge institute.

In the market for about 17,000 square feet of prime commercial real estate? How does a decade rent-free overlooking the 18th hole at Torrey Pines sound? Ocean view included. Perhaps a location steps from San Francisco Bay, across from the Giants baseball park, more suits your fancy. Also gratis, of course. Or consider the offer from Los Angeles of a private jet, or San Jose's dangling of a 24-hour concierge, "lush fountains" and an on-site exercise facility for your workers.....


FULL ARTICLE
By Megan Garvey, LA Times Staff Writer
Welcome Mats Out for Stem Cell Agency

Qiagen shifts 60 Calif. workers to Maryland

The relocation of about 60 people from Valencia, Calif., to Germantown is a modest win for Maryland, which in 2004 slipped from third to fourth in Ernst & Young's national ranking of biotech centers. Maryland has about 350 biotech companies, putting it in the top three, but based on venture capital raised and other factors, the state continues to lose pace.

Biotech shifts 60 Calif. workers to Maryland - 2005-03-14

BioBOOM Op/Ed: As the Govenator of California recently said, We have to make sure everyone in California has a great job. A fantastic job!" Guess he didn't think it would be in Maryland. The article also says analysts expect the firm to continue buying other companies to accelerate growth. What's more, Qiagen itself could be an "attractive" acquisition target, say analysts at Canada-based Canaccord Capital in a recent report.

FDA OKs Amylin Drug for Diabetes

Symlin is a synthetic version of the natural hormone amylin, which works with insulin to control the flow of sugar from food into the bloodstream. It was approved for use by the estimated 4.5 million diabetics in the U.S. who use insulin to control their disease.In fact, Symlin is the first new drug in 80 years for patients with Type 1 diabetes, which strikes in childhood. The drug also was approved for patients with Type 2 diabetes, which develops in adults.

Patients would take Symlin with insulin to control spikes in blood sugar, which take their toll on patients and can lead to blindness, kidney failure and heart disease. Regular insulin shots can control diabetes, but Symlin is an additional tool for keeping blood sugar in check, though it can be tricky to use because patients must adjust their insulin when taking it.


FDA OKs Amylin Drug for Diabetes

B

Biogen and FDA issue a drug warning

Biogen and the FDA reported yesterday that the multiple sclerosis drug, Avonex might cause severe liver damage, including liver failure in rare cases, particularly among patients who drink alcohol. Amy Ryan, a spokeswoman for Biogen stated that there have only been a handful of cases out of ~130,000 patients using Avonex. The 'minor update' is made to the drug warning label upgrading liver problems from "precaution" to a stronger "warning".

Both FDA and Biogen claim no connection between the Avonex warning and Tysabri withdrawal, but state the timing was coincidental. It looks like the cards are stacking up against Biogen and putative treatments for MS.

FDA warning

related New York Times article

Some Comments on Investing Today

BioBOOM Op/Ed: We found this funny yet enlightening dialog from JAGJR on ClearStation. Although its not Biotech related it has some good thoughts regarding investing in today's climate in general.

Today's quiz:

OK, kids...once again I stand before you willing to expose my enormous ignorance (so what else is new?)...

First premise: in broad terms, if interest rates rise beyond a certain threshold (and there is probably a range of opinions about what that threshold might be), the US economy (particularly housing, consuming and stocks--and I guess bond prices as well, eh?) goes into
the toilet...

Second premise: if the US consumers, monumental pigs that we are, go belly up, Japan, China, India, OPEC, and anybody else who mainly depends on our consumption to remain afloat goes down with us...

Third premise: one way to retard the rise in interest rates is for others to keep buying US treasuries and increasing dollar reserves, even though that is probably going to lead to a death by a thousand cuts as the dollar inevitably declines due to the massive debt being incurred by the twin deficits (spending and trade)....

Fourth premise: the US consumer's appetite for conspicuous consumption (and therefore, debt) is unquenchable, and will only stop when the punchbowl of "free" (low interest) money/debt is taken away or our stomachs explode, whichever comes first....

Fifth premise: the US government's determination to avoid pissing off the voter with hard choices like increased taxes and/or reduced programs is legend, and not likely to change anytime soon...

So the question becomes: given all of the above, how is it all gonna play out?

It would seem to me that only continued low interest rates can allow this dance to go on, and once inflation can no longer be explained
away or lyingly denied, that's all she wrote.....

can interest rates be held down indefinitely?

Best...

the Village Idiot

FDA halts MS drug trial in wake of Tysabri

GlaxoSmithKline said on Wednesday U.S. regulators had halted clinical trials on multiple sclerosis drugs in the same class as recently withdrawn treatment Tysabri, including its experimental product '699.

Top News Article | Reuters.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Not all bad news is bad for the whole Biotech Market. Industry analysts said makers of interferon-based MS drugs, including Switzerland's Serono, stood to gain from any further delays to newer types of treatment -- and Serono shares advanced as much as 1.3 percent. Yet we think this time or poor news which will get better, presents a possible buying opportunity long term. The Baby Boomers are coming and they are gonna need lots and lots of meds. Although we wait to see pre-screening models and individualized medicine become the new paradiqm.

Mayo Clinic discovers 'new pathway' against pancreatic cancer

Mayo Researchers determined that they can decrease a known regulator of cancer cell survival -- in effect, turn this regulator off -- and when they do, the pancreatic cancer cells undergo apoptosis (commit cell suicide) and die. Pancreatic cancer kills 30,000 Americans every year. Not only is there no cure, but there are no effective treatments. That may change if a new finding by Mayo Clinic researchers continues to show promise. In the March 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research,(http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/future/65.6.shtml)

Mayo Clinic discovers 'new pathway' against pancreatic cancer

BioBOOM Op/Ed: As they say in the article, the finding may be applied to make pancreatic cells more sensitive to gemcitabine, the sole drug available for treating pancreatic cancer. For all you biotech investors, gemicitabine is sold by Lilly under the trade name Gemzar.

Test Could Be Predictor of Heart Disease

It's really a wake-up call for the profession, heart disease was not created by cholesterol alone."
In the study, a white blood cell count did not have to be off the charts to predict heart disease death. Levels at the upper end of normal, or above 6.7 billion white blood cells per liter of blood, doubled the risk. The study measured white blood cell counts once, then tracked the women for an average of six years.


Yahoo! News - Test Could Be Predictor of Heart Disease

Stocks Rally, Biotechs Soar on Genentech

Genentech surged nearly 25 percent, or $10.92, to $55, adding almost $11 billion in market capitalization in the last hour of trading, after the National Cancer Institute said Avastin helps lung cancer patients live longer when combined with standard chemotherapy. The American Stock Exchange Biotechnology index rose nearly 5 percent

Yahoo! News - Stocks Rally, Biotechs Soar on Genentech\
BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well now looks like we might have a new trend.... or a bear trap. Lets see what happens before we jump into the deep end. But as we can see with our trends on aging polulation. If a drug works it brings huge value to the company. $11 billion in a little over an hour. All we can say is WOW!

Drug complaints reach record high

Drug side effects and other related health problems reported to the Food and Drug Administration reached an all-time high in 2004, a government estimate shows. The federal agency received roughly 422,500 adverse-event reports from pharmaceutical companies, health professionals and patients, up nearly 14% from the 370,887 reports filed in 2003.

USATODAY.com

Stem-Cell Craze Spreads in Russia

While scientists worldwide are only studying stem cells, dozens of Russian clinics and beauty salons claim they are already using both adult and embryonic stem cells to treat everything from wrinkles to Parkinson's disease to impotence.

Yahoo! News - Stem-Cell Craze Spreads in Russia

Gene therapy cures inherited liver disease in rats

A single dose of gene-virus combination cured rats of a inherited liver disease in which lack of a gene causes the accumulation of bilirubin –which, untreated, results in jaundice and brain damage, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

Gene therapy cures inherited liver disease in rats

Cloning for stem cell research sparks concern over egg donors

The issue is not abstract. A small, nonprofit lab outside Boston has been quietly paying a handful of women for the last four years to take hormone injections to "superovulate" several eggs at once and donate them for research. The Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation has paid about 20 women about $4,000 each plus expenses to take fertility hormones. It is the only U.S. organization known to be actively collecting eggs for research purposes.

AP Wire | 03/10/2005 | Cloning sparks concern over egg donors

Biotech: The Death Of A Dream

Biotech: The Death Of A Dream

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Interesting article on investing in the Biotech sector. Kudos to Mr. Bernstein. Are we nearing the current cycle bottom? Still my wish to wait for the trend to change...the trend is your friend.

SG Cowen 25th Annual Health Care Conference starts 3/14/05

Should be an interesting conference and often they will webcast the presentations. We'll try to post some things we learn.

SG Cowen & Co., LLC

Discovery of a genetic variation that is the age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

"Considering that AMD is such a common and complex condition with multiple risk factors, we did not expect that we would identify a gene that is responsible for almost half of the cases," said author Lindsay A. Farrer, PhD, chief of the genetics program at Boston University School of Medicine.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UT Southwestern), and SEQUENOM, Inc.

ClearStation : News Articles : SQNM

Could a Lunar Gene Bank Save Our Species?

Some say the moon could offer a lifeboat for the genetic material of Earthlings. The concept is to establish a genetic Noah's Ark of sorts or a protected stash of genomes from Earth's wide array of species and individuals. The concept is somewhat similar to the Frozen Zoo project, based at the San Diego Zoo, and the London-based Frozen Ark, where researchers collect genetic material from rare and threatened animal species and store it in liquid nitrogen for future research. The difference is this genetic library could one day be used to revive the human species. And it's not just the Alliance to Rescue Civilization that has pondered such a moon-based bank. Bernard Foing, chief scientist with the European Space Agency, said it's an idea that his agency has discussed for some time.

ABC News: Could a Lunar Gene Bank Save Our Species?

Ambion, Inc. Opens Japanese Subsidiary

Ambion, Inc. announced today the formal opening of its Japanese subsidiary, Ambion KK, located in Tokyo, Japan. Ambion KK, which will be directly serving scientists in Japan, is the latest expansion of Ambion, Inc., a fifteen-year old company that develops, manufactures and markets research and diagnostic products for RNA-related applications to academic, industrial, clinical and government biotechnology scientists."

House budget plan goes farther than Bush in benefit cuts = Medicare Targeted

The House plan, though, would pare benefits by $69 billion over the next five years, almost $20 billion deeper than the president suggested. That will set the stage for months of partisan battling over cuts in programs such as Medicaid likely to echo in next year's midterm congressional elections. Medicaid could be targeted for up to $20 billion in five-year cuts -- more than double what's called for in Bush's plan

House budget plan goes farther than Bush in benefit cuts

Genetic Therapy Reverses Nervous System Damage in Animal Model of Inherited Human Disease

2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- By injecting a therapeutic gene directly into the brain, researchers have treated a naturally occurring genetic disease in cats. This is the first genetic disease affecting the central nervous system to be successfully treated in an animal larger than mice and rats. If this approach can be successfully applied to humans, say the researchers, it might one day treat an entire class of diseases called lysosomal storage disorders which cause severe, sometimes fatal, disabilities in about one in 5,000 births.

The members of the research team, from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and the U.S. Naval Academy, published their findings in this month's issue of the Annals of Neurology.


Investor's Business Daily: Breaking News

Int'l Drug Sales Rise 7 Percent to $550 million in 2004

China was the lead area, reporting the biggest surge with sales increasing 28 percent to $9.5 billion.

Yahoo! News - Int'l Drug Sales Rise 7 Percent in 2004

GSK faces DOJ probe over wholesale pricing practices

GlaxoSmithKline has acknowledged in SEC documents that federal officials are investigating it to see if the drug maker had purposefully inflated its wholesale drug prices to obtain a better reimbursement rate from Medicaid. GSK said that it was cooperating with investigators from the Justice Department. Under the law, drug makers are required to give their "best price" to Medicaid. But a new GAO report says that the federal agency has routinely ignored violations of the law and rarely attempts to police prices.

Get the story from The Wall Street Journal for more about the probe (sub. req.)

High Doses of Statins Help Heart Patients

Taking very high doses of a drug to push cholesterol to very low levels can help people with heart disease avoid strokes and heart attacks, but also can cause liver problems that limit the ability to tolerate such intensive treatment, doctors report

Yahoo! News - High Doses of Statins Help Heart Patients

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Big market for a gene expression array or some diagnostic tool to identify responders or rather those who maybe in trouble to such side affects. Any takers?

Four new human cases of avian flu reported in Vietnam

NY TIMES: Vietnam said it has discovered four new cases of avian flu, sending a wave of alarm through the public health community. All of the new cases were discovered in the month of February. Of particular concern was the case of a healthcare worker in Hanoi who appears to have contracted the virus after exposure to a patient. Officials at the Word Heath Organization have repeatedly warned that the H5N1 virus is on the verge of making the jump to a form capable of human-to-human transmission. Some experts have warned the disease could spread quickly around the word and claim hundreds of thousands of lives if it breaks that barrier. That has led public agencies to begin making contingency plans and call for a renewed effort to develop a vaccine.

Forbes.com: Millennium Achieves Milestone Payments of Approximately $40 Million

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLNM) today announced it will receive licensing fees and milestone payments based on the success of collaborations with the GlaxoSmithKline Group (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development L.L.C. (J&JPRD) totaling approximately $40 million.

Forbes.com: Millennium Achieves Milestone Payments of Approximately $40 Million

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Disclosure - BioBOOM is long MLNM

Basis for DNA ejection from single phage particles

The study demonstrated that DNA release is not an all-or-none process, but rather is unexpectedly complex. DNA release occurred at a very high rate, reaching 75,000 base pairs of DNA/sec, but in a stepwise fashion. Pausing times were observed during ejection, and ejection was transiently arrested at definite positions of the genome in close proximity to genetically defined physical interruptions in the DNA.


Basis for DNA ejection from single phage particles

Affy - Opportunities in Genetics Posted by Hello

First Molecule Negative Differential Resistor Developed

A team of scientists led by biophysicist Stuart Lindsay from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has created the first reproducible single molecule negative differential resistor – and in the process has developed a groundbreaking experimental technique that provides a “roadmap” for designing single-molecule devices based on biochemistry. Lindsay’s team reports achieving an experimental result that physicists have been trying to detect for a long time: negative differential resistance in a single molecule attached to electrodes.

The specifically designed molecule, a hepta-aniline oglimer, belongs to a group of molecules that biochemists believe to be capable of being molecular switches but that have failed to exhibit those properties in conductance experiments. The team solved the problem by developing a technique where the molecule could be tested in an electrolyte solution, a condition that past experiments didn’t attempt because of the problem of interaction between the solution and the electrodes.

ASU News & Information

BioBOOM Op/Ed: We almost expect a terminator robot to crash through the door. This is pretty big and has numerous futuristic implications.

F.D.A. Brings in the "Big Guns" - Seizes Millions of Pills From Pharmaceutical Plants

The Food and Drug Administration used armed federal marshals to seize millions of tablets of two medicines from facilities in Tennessee and Puerto Rico operated by GlaxoSmithKline, the agency said Friday.

The New York Times > Washington > F.D.A. Seizes Millions of Pills From Pharmaceutical Plants

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Wow this is like Elliot Ness moving on Capone operations.... so we guess a letter and request won't do it anymore. But a good headline and some guns will surely let the public know that the FDA is back up to snuff. Didn't know these QA departments were armed and dangerous. We thought all along this Six sigma stuff was some organized crime thing...lol. In a related story Abbott's board considers new production facility in a more secure compound in Waco, TX. Surely some good politcal cartoons will come from this episode. Damn, gotta go, old lady down the street getting mugged and no cops around, talk to ya later.

Mayo Clinic develops first genomic-based test to predict stroke from ruptured brain aneurysm

The Mayo researchers are the first to identify specific genetic variations or "polymorphisms" associated with an approximately 10-fold increased risk of a ruptured aneurysm. If further studies validate these findings, screening for these polymorphisms could be done with a fast, inexpensive blood test to predict which patients with aneurysms are at risk. The experimental blood test researchers developed detects specific variations in the gene that encodes an important blood vessel-relaxation protein.


Mayo Clinic develops first genomic-based test to predict stroke from ruptured brain aneurysm

Chiron flu vaccine license 'important', FDA says

Chiron Corp.'s success in getting a renewed British license for its influenza vaccine plant is an "extremely important milestone" for getting enough inoculations for the upcoming flu season, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official said on Wednesday.

Reuters AlertNet - Chiron flu vaccine license 'important', FDA says


BioBOOM Op/Ed: Wonder how long this would have taken if not for the emerging talk of potential bird flu pandemic..... hummmmmm

Biogen and Elan announce update on TYSABRI-R- suspension

Previous reports revealed two patients contracted progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and often fatal central nervous system disease when given TYSABRI® and AVONEX®.

The companies reported today that they have received no reports of PML in patients receiving either TYSBARI or AVONEX alone, suggesting the combination of drugs may lead to adverse reactions.

Biogen and Elan say they will continue to work with clinical investigators and experts in examining the effects of TYSBARI on patients with PML. They also state they are cooperating with the SEC in connection with the voluntary suspension in the marketing of TYSABRI.

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/050303/35915_1.html

Gene Therapy Is Facing a Crucial Hearing

Fifteen years after experiments with human gene therapy began in earnest, a federal drug advisory panel on Friday will discuss the death of a French child in one such experiment and why, after so many years of hope, the technology has been such a disappointment. Three major gene therapy trials in the United States have been suspended pending the outcome of the meeting.

Gene therapy's disappointing history is mirrored in other medical technologies once highly promoted, like high-throughput chemical screening and the decoding of the human genome. Reaping the fruits of such technological advances is taking much longer than executives in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals once suggested. As a result, the industries are suffering a drought of new products and are trying to explain why their laboratories have burned through so much money in recent years with so little to show for it.


The New York Times > Washington > Gene Therapy Is Facing a Crucial Hearing

Scientists Find Marker for Early Testicular Cancer

"This is the first time there may be a potential method of detecting testicular cancer in a semen sample," Dr. Christina Hoei-Hansen, of Rigshospitalet-Copenhagen University Hospital, told Reuters. She believes the findings could lead to the development of a cheap, non-invasive diagnostic test and perhaps a screening program for testicular cancer. The researchers had earlier discovered that a protein called AP-2gamma was found in testicular carcinoma in situ (CIS), a very early stage of the disease before it has started to spread.


Yahoo! News - Scientists Find Marker for Early Testicular Cancer

Garvan Team Identifies Bipolar Gene...

Researchers at Sydney's Garvan Institute have identified a gene coding for a cellular 'glue' in the brain as a strong risk factor for bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression.

Garvan Team Identifies Bipolar Gene...: "Garvan Team Identifies Bipolar Gene

? siht daer ouy nac - Gene 'linked to dyslexia'

If you can read the headline better get checked out!

A gene which is likely to be one of the causes of dyslexia in children has been discovered, university researchers said today.

Scientists at Cardiff University believe the breakthrough will give a better understanding of what causes the brain disorder, which disrupts reading and writing skills.


icWales - Gene 'linked to dyslexia'

Digital Rx: Take Two Aspirins and E-Mail Me in the Morning

In a move to improve efficiency and control costs, health plans and medical groups around the country are now beginning to pay doctors to reply by e-mail, just as they pay for office visits. While some computer-literate doctors have been using e-mail to communicate informally with patients for years, most have never been paid for that service.

The New York Times > Technology > Digital Rx: Take Two Aspirins and E-Mail Me in the Morning

Senator Requests From FDA Information About Advisory Panel Members' Links to Drug Industry

Sen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Friday sent a letter requesting information on the drug industry ties of members of an FDA panel on the safety of COX-2 inhibitors, saying that a report last week on the panel's potential conflicts of interest has 'marred' the members' recommendation to keep the painkillers on the market, the Los Angeles Times reports (Alonso-Zaldivar, Los Angeles Times, 2/26). The New York Times on Friday reported that 10 of the 32 advisory panel members have recent financial ties -- ranging from research projects to speaking fees -- to manufacturers of COX-2 inhibitors.

Senators Seek Mandatory Drug Study Database

The new bill would create an electronic database with information about study outcomes and funding, potential drug side effects, and demographic information on test subjects. Drug and medical device companies would be required to report clinical trial results in a public database under legislation unveiled on Monday by a top U.S. Senate Republican and three Democrats.

Health News Article | Reuters.com:

Special Report: Genotyping for Cytochrome P450 Polymorphims to Determine Drug-Metabolizer Status

This report provides background information on cytochrome p450 (CYP450) enzymes, genotyping
applications for currently available drugs, examples of companies and products, evaluation of clinical
utility, examples and the current state of evidence, regulatory issues, and cost-effectiveness analysis.


http://www.bcbs.com/tec/Vol19/19_09.pdf

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Might be the most common question an attorney will ask in future class action cases, " Did you run a cytochrome P450 test?"

Drug Approval Times Likely to Grow

Such a slowdown couldn't come at a worse time for an industry that is already struggling with patent expirations and a decline in the number of new drugs in the pipeline. Conducting more studies will add to costs and potentially delay drugs coming to market. The average time to win FDA approval for a new drug already has risen to about 17 months from 12.6 months in 1999, according to data from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Analysts said the drugs most likely to suffer under a regime of extreme cautiousness at the FDA are products that represent a new class of medicines or those entering crowded fields where a plethora of treatment option exist. For example, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. expects a review of a new diabetes drug sometime this year. It is part of a class of new drugs that had previously raised some safety concerns, so Napodano and others said they wouldn't be surprised if the FDA required more data before giving the medication a greenlight.

Yahoo! News - FDA Drug Approval Times Likely to Grow: " Health - AP





Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein

Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein

Blog Archive