Biotech, FInally

The just published June 13th issue of BusinessWeek has a great article on the industry. The "BioBOOM" is happening and we are now in the golden era of drug discovery. A must read for anyone in the biotech biz

Cancer patients in particular have reaped rewards from biotech. A decade ago there were fewer than 10 oncology drugs in clinical trials, most of them highly toxic chemotherapies. Today over 400 cancer drugs are being tested in humans, and almost all are targeted biotech medicines designed to produce minimal side effects.

Biotechnology has finally come of age. This declaration may bring to mind the hype that has swirled around biotech so many times in the past. But a growing number of scientists and industry executives say today's enthusiasm is based on a new reality: Drugs actually exist. There are 230 medicines and related products created from biotech techniques. Last year alone, the Food & Drug Administration approved 20 biotech drugs, among them treatments for insomnia, multiple sclerosis, severe pain, chronic kidney disease, incontinence, mouth sores, and cancer. The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development estimates that at least 50 of 250 biotech drugs currently in late-stage clinical trials should win FDA approval, a success rate almost three times better than the pharma industry standard. "This is all a continuum of discoveries that started in the early 1980s," says Joseph Schlessinger, chairman of the pharmacology department at Yale School of Medicine and a co-founder of Sugen, the company that created Sutent. "We are now in a golden age of drug discovery."

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