Biotech Strategy Blog – the year of the paywall

Thank you to all our subscribers for a great year!

September 17, 2014
ESMO 2014 Access Restriction

ESMO 2014 Cancer Congress bans Press, Nurses and Patient Advocates from Exhibits and Symposia #ESMO14

Restricting the freedom of the press and creating a two-tier access to information at major medical meetings such as ESMO 2014 is both pernicious and toxic.

August 25, 2014
ESMO 2014 Madrid

ESMO 2014 Madrid Congress Preview #ESMO14

2014 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) is set to take place this year in Madrid from September 26 to 30th.

August 22, 2014
BJTC Award 2014 Final

Healthcare Innovation in Action: Designing for Dementia

Can design make a difference to those with dementia? Liverpool City Council's award-winning Sedgemoor Dementia Support Centre shows how design innovation can stimulate memories and offer improved quality of life.

April 28, 2014
Everton in the Community

Everton FC leads the way in community dementia support

Everton FC and Mersey Care NHS Trust use football memorabilia and activities at Goodison Park to stimulate memories and support members of the local community with dementia.

April 23, 2014
Liverpool World Heritage Waterfront

Can Liverpool become a global biomedical hub?

Liverpool like many UK cities with a teaching hospital and local universities is trying to grow and develop companies in the life sciences sector, but can it compete with the "Golden Triangle"?

April 21, 2014
Be Clear on Cancer Ovarian Cancer Awareness Liverpool March 8, 2014

Luciana Berger MP supports ovarian cancer awareness in Liverpool

England lags behind other European countries in survival rates for ovarian cancer. In a recent interview at St John's Shopping Center in Liverpool, the Shadow Minister for Public Health, Luciana Berger MP talks about the importance of raising cancer awareness.

March 10, 2014
Prof John Seymour ASH 2013

ASH 2013 ABT-199 CLL TLS Death blamed on Failure to Follow Protocol

In the ASH 2013 media briefing on CLL, Prof John Seymour answered questions about ABT-199 CLL clinical trial deaths due to tumor lysis syndrome

December 8, 2013
Boston Prudential Center

Cerulean CRLX101 Challenges and Opportunities

Cerulean are developing a novel nanopharmaceutical that targets HIF1-alpha and is synergistic with anti-angiogenic drugs for RCC and Ovarian cancers.

October 21, 2013
Back Bay Boston

Preview of 2013 AACR Molecular Targets Conference in Boston

Preview of 2013 AACR-EORTC-NCI Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Conference in Boston. This is a "must attend" meeting for anyone interested in cancer drug development.

October 11, 2013

Preview of 2013 European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam

2013 European Cancer Congress organized by ECCO takes place in Amsterdam from September 27 to October 1st. This is a preview of some of the abstracts to watch out for at the meeting.

September 16, 2013
ASCO 2013 Chicago Skyline

AZD3514 Fails to Live up to Preclinical Promise in CRPC at ASCO 2013

The novel SARD inhibitor AZD3514 showed preclinical promise in advanced prostate cancer, but the phase 1 first-in-human clinical trial showed it had tolerability problems, and it's development in CRPC has been terminated by AstraZeneca.

June 6, 2013
ASCO 2013 Charles Sawyers Science of Cancer Award

ASCO 2013: Cancer Drug Combinations are The Future

At ASCO 2013 Dr Charles Sawyers received the 2013 Science of Oncology Award, after which he gave an insightful lecture on Overcoming Resistance to Cancer Drug Therapy. His message was clear that combinations of cancer drugs are the future.

June 3, 2013
Power of Social Media

AACR 2013 Cancer Scientists fail to embrace Social Media

Cancer scientists have not embraced social media in the way cancer doctors and patient advocates have. To support public funding of research, cancer scientists need to communicate the value of the scientific research they conduct. One way to do this is to embrace social media more, particularly at meetings such as AACR, where there is the opportunity to share information with a worldwide audience.

April 11, 2013
Cancer Discovery Cover Feb 2013 Screenshot

Inhibitors of Apoptosis Target one of the Hallmarks of Cancer

Inhibitors of apoptosis proteins IAP such as Novartis LCL161 and Curis CUDC-427 are new cancer drugs to watch. However recent research published in the AACR journal Cancer Discovery raises the question of whether IAP-antagonist-based therapy may require concomitant use of drugs that prevent bone resorption.

February 28, 2013
Clinicaltrials.gov snapshot Feb 14, 2013

ABT-199 clinical trials suspended after patient death $ABBV

Following a death due to tumor lysis syndrome, AbbVie ($ABBV) have suspended the ABT-199 clinical trial program. ABT-199 is a promising new drug in development for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that was about to enter phase 3 drug development by the company.

February 15, 2013
FDA Cancer Related NME Approvals 2012

2012 was a Grand Cru year for the FDA with 39 NMEs approved

FDA approved 39 new molecular entities in 2012. This is the highest number in the last 10 years. However, approval rate is not a surrogate benchmark for the state of innovation given that it can take several years to bring a new drug or biologic to market.

January 2, 2013
View of San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2011

Who to follow at #SABCS San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

The overall survival data for the CLEOPATRA trial will be presented next week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Here's my list of a few people to follow on Twitter for news and commentary from the meeting.

November 29, 2012
Adcetris MOA at ASH 2011 Annual Meeting

Who to follow at #ASH12 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in Atlanta

Without wishing to offend anyone, here’s my list of people to follow on Twitter at #ASH12, the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Atlanta from December 8 – 11

November 27, 2012
Dr Jagannath presented on Multiple Myeloma at Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium

The Evolving Multiple Myeloma Landscape

Dr Sundar Jagannath from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine discussed new IMiD and Proteasome Inhibitors for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma at the 2012 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium in New York.

November 9, 2012
BMS Sprycel Logo

Will dasatinib be effective in prostate cancer?

The results of the phase 3 prostate cancer trial for dasatinib in combination with docetaxel are expected soon.

October 22, 2012
Gefitinib Esophageal Cancer ESMO 2012

ESMO 2012 Gefitinib in Esophageal Cancer – can we identify the responders?

At ESMO 2012 Professor David Ferry reported the results of the Cancer Oesophagus Gefinitib (COG) study that looked at whether gefitinib (Iressa) could improve overall survival in esophageal cancer patients who had progressed after chemotherapy.

October 1, 2012
ESMO 2012 Congress

ESMO 2012 Vienna Congress Plenary Preview #ESMO12

Preview of late breaking abstracts to be presented in Presidential Symposia at the European Society of Medical Oncology ESMO 2012 Congress in Vienna

September 5, 2012
Credit: Caltech and Harvard University

Creating an artificial jellyfish to model the human heart

Creation of an artificial jellyfish advances the potential to reverse engineer the human heart

August 20, 2012

The Potential of Gene Therapy to Restore Hearing Loss

Restoration of hearing in mice by gene transfer is a major breakthrough

August 14, 2012
Pivot Prostate Cancer Trial Conclusion

Urologist Castrates Media over Reporting of PIVOT Prostate Cancer Trial

Dr Benjamin J. Davies from University of Pittsburgh criticizes the media reporting of the Prostate Cancer Intervention versus Observation Trial (PIVOT).

August 7, 2012
US Capitol Photo Credit Pieter Droppert

Biosimilars could be a casualty of Supreme Court Health Care Decision

Biosimilar regulations could have been a casualty of Supreme Court ACA decision - fortunately this did not happen

June 26, 2012
Radium-223 Delays time to first SRE

Problems with Alpharadin ASCO SRE data?

Algeta says there are "discrepancies" in the skeletal-related event (SRE) data presented at ASCO 2012

June 15, 2012
ASCO 2012 CRPC Prostate Cancer Education Session

ASCO 2012 What is the Optimal Sequencing of Advanced Prostate Cancer Drugs?

Oliver Sartor, Professor of Cancer Research and Medical Director of the Tulane Cancer Center in New Orleans says there is "no data" (yet) on the optimal sequence for new advanced prostate cancer drugs.

June 7, 2012
Abiraterone Acetate Pre-Chemotherapy ASCO 2012

ASCO 2012: Zytiga fails to show overall survival pre-chemo

For abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®) in the pre-chemotherapy setting i.e for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic men, doctors will not be able to tell patients that they will live longer if they take it.

June 4, 2012
Science Translational Medicine Cover May 16

Repetitive brain injury from high impact sports generates similar pathophysiology to traumatic brain injury in soldiers blown up by IEDs

Several retired American Football stars have ended up with chronic traumatic encephalophy (CTE). It’s similar to Alzheimer’s disease in that the brain ends up with neurofibrillary tangles. CTE has also been seen in soldiers who have experienced blast induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)

May 21, 2012
Drug Development Pipeline

TEDMED 2012: Francis Collins on how to brings drugs to market faster

It can take 14 years of research and the screening of 10,000 compounds to bring 1 new drug to market.

May 18, 2012
American Urological Association 2012 Annual Meeting

AUA 2012 Twitter Conference Coverage #URO12

If you missed the tweets from the 2012 annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Atlanta, you can read them here.

May 17, 2012
Participant S3 drinking froma bottle using the DLR robotic arm

Innovation in Neurotechnology: how a paralyzed person uses thoughts to control a robotic arm

A tetraplegic (all four limbs paralyzed) is able to use her mind to control a robotic arm, 15 years after she became completely paralyzed & unable to speak.

May 16, 2012
AACR 2012 Jeffrey Engelman Strategies to Overcome Resistance

AACR 2012: Future is combinations of novel cancer agents

The future of cancer drug therapy is likely to involve combinations of novel cancer agents. Jeffrey Engelman from MGH persuasively presented on why we need combination therapies to overcome resistance.

April 23, 2012
Bill Sellers VP Global Head Oncology Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

AACR 2012: the automation of preclinical drug discovery will be a driver of innovation

One enduring image I have from the plenary presentation on "The Genetic Basis for Cancer Therapy" by Bill Sellers, VP/Global Head Oncology at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research was the video he showed of the robots that are used for automated cell profiling.

April 18, 2012
2012 Annual meeting of American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago. Photo Credit: Pieter Droppert

AACR 2012: AZD3514 a new prostate cancer drug to watch

One prostate cancer new product that caught my attention at AACR 2012 as one to watch is AZD3514.

April 17, 2012
Winter in Malta

A personal perspective on Alzheimer’s: my mother doesn’t dance anymore

I have a personal interest in Alzheimer’s disease. It’s an area where innovation needs to catch up with demand for treatment and therapies, not to treat it when it’s happened – it’s too late to untangle the damage, but to delay it’s occurrence in those at risk.

March 9, 2012

The Mannogram – how imaging may revolutionize prostate cancer diagnosis

Professor Barentsz described how advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and in particular multi-parametric MRI (Mp-MRI) offer the potential for the improved detection and characterization of prostate cancer.

March 8, 2012

PIVOT data continues to show no survival benefit for prostatectomy over watchful waiting in men with low to medium risk early prostate cancer

Timothy J. Wilt MD, MPH presented an update on the VA, NCI, AHRQ Prostate cancer Intervention Versus Observation Trial (PIVOT) on the final day of the 2012 European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Paris.

March 6, 2012
da Vinci surgery system

Why don’t we have evidence based medicine for robot-assisted radical prostatectomy?

Professor Walter Artibani told the assembled media that urologists had failed as scientists in not generating robust clinical data to support the use of the da Vinci robotic system for the removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy).

March 5, 2012

Alpharadin Expanded Access Program is Recruiting #EAU12

Bayer have opened an Expanded Access Program for Alpharadin, that allows eligble advanced prostate cancer patients access to this radiopharmaceutical pending regulatory approval.

February 25, 2012

European Association of Urology 2012 #EAU12 Twitter Coverage

Aggregation of #EAU12 tweets for those interested in following twitter coverage of the meeting in Paris.

February 24, 2012
MicroCHIPS Drug Delivery Device

Implanted Wireless Microchip offers Osteoporosis Drug Delivery that improves patient Quality of Life

Robert Farra of MicroCHIPS, Inc. and research collaborators, describe a first-in-human testing of a wirelessly controlled drug delivery microchip.

February 20, 2012
Children's Hospital Boston Innovation Acceleration Program

Today is Innovation Day at Childrens Hospital Boston #iDay

Children’s Hospital Boston has an Innovation Acceleration Program focused on supporting “clinical care that impacts patients around the world.”

February 14, 2012

Follow 2012 BIO CEO Investor Conference news on twitter #BIOCEO2012

Aggregation of tweets from #BIOCEO2012 conference in NYC

February 13, 2012

Targeting IDH1 in Glioma Patients

One of the challenges of the next decade in cancer research will be targeting cancer metabolism; imaging…

January 17, 2012
JCO Barry Paper Banner

Robotic Assisted Prostate Surgery does not lead to fewer complications

A survey of patients who had their prostate removed showed there was no significant difference in complication rates between open retropubic radical prostatectomy (ORRP) and robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery (RALRP).

January 6, 2012
View of San Diego from ASH 2011

Which posters were hot at ASH 2011?

This post highlights a few of the 4000+ posters that appeared to attract a lot of interest at the 2011 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting.

December 16, 2011
ASH 2011 Poster Viewing

AML update from 2011 ASH annual meeting

FLT3 has been shown to be prognostic of poor survival, but is it an attractive molecular target in AML?

December 15, 2011

CML update from 2011 ASH annual meeting

The most newsworthy CML data presented at the meeting was on Ponatinib. Jorge Cortes (MD Anderson Cancer Center) presented the phase II results from the PACE (Ponatinib Ph+ ALL and CML Evaluation) clinical trial.

December 14, 2011
The Alamo San Antonio

What role do macrophages play in breast cancer?

At the 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Lisa Coussens (USCF) described how understanding the biology of macrophages and the importance they play in breast cancer may lead to new drug targets.

December 9, 2011

Can you reduce your environmental risk of breast cancer?

At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on “Breast Cancer and the Environment” was eagerly anticipated.

December 7, 2011

Photoimmunotherapy may be a new way to deliver molecular-targeted cancer drugs

Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) that uses a near-infrared (NIR) dye conjugated to monoclonal antibodies (mABs) that target epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) is a new type of molecular-targeted cancer therapy that appears to offer considerable promise.

December 1, 2011

Overcoming barriers to new cancer drug development

William N. Hait MD, PhD, global therapeutic area head of oncology, Johnson & Johnson presented a plenary session on "overcoming barriers to new drug development" at the AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics International Conference in San Francisco.

November 21, 2011

Improving Cancer Clinical Trial Design #AACR Molecular Targets

Commentary on educational session on "Clinical Trial Paradigms in the Era of Novel Therapies” at the AACR-NCI-EORTC international conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in San Francisco

November 18, 2011
Times Square NYC

Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium Prostate Cancer Update

The 8am session at the Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium (The Greenspan Meeting) in NYC featured a review of current developments in Prostate Cance

November 11, 2011

Blocking Sema4D may be a new osteoporosis target

Research published in the November 2011 issue of the journal Nature Medicine has highlighted a new potential target for osteoporosis drug development that acts on osteoblasts and promotes bone formation.

November 10, 2011

A potential new Immunotherapy in Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have published data from a small pilot trial showing a clinical response to a poxviral vaccine (PANVAC) in metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer patients.

November 9, 2011

MDV3100 shows survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer

MDV3100 produced a 4.8-month advantage in median overall survival compared to placebo. The estimated median survival for men treated with MDV3100 was 18.4 months compared with 13.6 months for men treated with placebo.

November 3, 2011

New Imaging Agents may improve Glioblastoma Surgery

Colin Watts from the University of Cambridge, will treat patients with 5-Amino-Levulinic Acid (5-ALA), a metabolic marker of malignant glioma cells. 5-ALA is preferentially taken up by brain tumor cells and then converted into a strongly fluorescing porphyrin.

November 1, 2011

Vitamin E may improve gemcitabine effectiveness in pancreatic cancer

Tocotrienols (unsaturated form of Vitamin E) may have a potential role to play in anti-cancer therapy

October 14, 2011

Vitamin E supplements lead to 17% increase in Prostate Cancer

Despite promising preclinical data suggesting that selenium and vitamin E may reduce prostate cancer risk, a randomized trial started in 2001 with over 35,000 men now suggests otherwise.

October 11, 2011
USPTF Screening

Prostate Cancer Screening – the debate continues

Opinion remain divided over the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening

October 10, 2011
Alpharadin Dr Chris Parker Interview

radium-223 Alpharadin in Advanced Prostate Cancer – an interview with Dr Chris Parker

A video interview with Dr Chris Parker at EMCC 2011 in Stockholm about radium-223 (Alpharadin).

October 3, 2011

EMCC 2011 Patient advocacy session on Cancer & the Internet

The internet can help patients with rare diseases have a voice with policy makers. This session also showcased the new European cancer portal: ecancerHub

September 30, 2011
Alpharadin Media Briefing EMCC 2011

ECCO ESMO 2011 radium-223 Alpharadin media briefing video

Dr Chris Parker presented the phase 3 ALSYMPCA prostate cancer trial results for radium-223 chloride (Alpharadin) at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm.

September 29, 2011

Alpharadin wlll be new treatment option for Prostate Cancer

Radium-223 (Alpharadin) shows an overall survival benefit in men with symptomatic bone metastases and castration-resistant prostate cancer.

September 25, 2011
EMCC 2011 Michael Baumann

Alpharadin Prostate Cancer data will be “Practice Changing” #EMCC2011

Radium-223 (Alpharadin) will be “Practice Changing” is how Michael Baumann, President of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and Jean-Charles Soria, Co-Scientific chair of the 2011 Stockholm Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress described the prostate cancer clinical trial data to be presented in the Presidential (plenary) session.

September 23, 2011

BioPharm America 2011 Biotech Partnering Conference #BPA11

Aggregation of tweets from BioPharm America 2011 - 4th International Biotechnology Partnering Conference in Boston.

September 7, 2011
human eye

Serious eye infections reopen Lucentis v Avastin debate

The FDA earlier this week issued a safety alert to doctors that repackaged bevacizumab (Avastin®) had caused serious eye infections in 12 patients in Florida.

September 2, 2011

Discovering the cause of Lou Gehrig’s disease

Scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago report findings that could help develop drugs for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

August 31, 2011

Can we halt memory loss as we get older?

New research offers the hope that in the future we may be able to reverse or slow-down the age-related memory loss and cognitive defects we would otherwise experience.

August 26, 2011

Alpharadin on fast track to FDA prostate cancer approval in 2012

Bayer & Algeta have announced that Alpharadin™ (radium-223 chloride) has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)

August 25, 2011

$500M Google Online Pharmacy Settlement does not address why drugs are cheaper in Canada

Google have reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice and will forfeit $500M in gross revenue received from Canadian online pharmacies advertising to US consumers through the Google AdWords program.

August 25, 2011

Zytiga European Prostate Cancer approval may kill Jevtana sales

Jevtana simply came to the market too late in Europe, and Zytiga gained accelerated approval. It’s a reminder that we live in a dynamic pharmaceutical market place.

August 4, 2011

How to measure the effect of nanoparticles on the heart

Using a Langendorff heart, which is an isolated heart from an animal, flushed with a nutrient solution instead of blood, researchers were able to show that certain nanoparticles caused an increased heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia and modified ECG.

August 3, 2011

Innovation – should companies take bigger risks and outsource pharma R&D?

"Rather than do research in house, companies should close their labs and outsource the work to tiny, nimble startups that can explore bigger, crazier ideas.”

August 3, 2011
Boston Charles River

Letter from Boston

New England is the No 1 biotechnology region on the East Coast of the United States and the Boston/Cambridge area of Massachusetts is the hub.

August 1, 2011

How we may be able to rebuild The Six Million Dollar Man

The Six Million Dollar Man was fiction, but it is becoming closer to reality as a result of new research into how artificial limbs can integrate with human tissues

July 11, 2011
Miami Beach

How does sunburn cause pain?

Research by John Dawes and colleagues at King’s College London & University College London has shed new light on how sunburn causes pain.

July 8, 2011

Regenerative Medicine: Tissue Engineered Airway Transplant

Researchers from University College London led by Prof. Alexander Seifalian designed and built a polymer based nanocomposite tracheal scaffold, which was then seeded with the patient’s own stem cells.

July 7, 2011

Science Translational Medicine on Innovation – part 1

With an image of Rodin’s bronze “The Thinker” on its cover suggesting deep thought and insight, the journal "Science Translational Medicine" analyzes the state of innovation.

July 7, 2011
BIO 2011 Conference Video

BIO 2011 International Convention Video Review #BIO2011

A short video with reflections on BIO 2011.

July 1, 2011

BIO 2011 What is the future for innovative medicines in our industry’s pipeline?

What is innovation? Like "strategy" and "leadership" it’s a term we frequently use, something we all seek in the biotech/pharma industry, yet it’s hard to define, even harder to develop or predict.

June 28, 2011
Bio Maryland

BIO 2011: Ernst & Young Global Biotechnology Report 2011

One of the key issues that biotech companies continue to face is access to funding in order to sustain innovation.

June 20, 2011
BIO 2011 Washington DC

BIO 2011: my top 10 sessions at the BIO International convention in Washington DC

My top 10 sessions at BIO reflect my personal interests in innovation, science and new product development

June 18, 2011
EHA 2011 CML Patient Adherence

Patient advocacy session at European Hematology Association EHA 2011 Congress shows impact of drug adherence on outcome

Adherence to chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) therapy is the critical factor for achieving molecular responses.

June 15, 2011

Prostate Cancer Market to expand from $1B to $5B by 2015

The market for prostate cancer therapies is set to expand from $1 billion currently to $5 billion by 2015, according to analysts.

June 2, 2011

ASCO 2011 Cabozantinib (XL184) may be an exciting new prostate cancer drug

It will be interesting to see whether cabozantinib can impact overall survival (OS) in advanced prostate cancer, something that denosumab (Xgeva®) failed to show in the 147 trial that was just presented at AUA.

May 19, 2011

AUA 2011 Results from PIVOT study show no benefit from radical prostatectomy in low risk early stage prostate patients

Data from the Prostate Cancer Intervention versus Observation Study (PIVOT) was presented in the plenary session of the 2011 annual meeting of American Urological Association (AUA)

May 17, 2011

AUA 2011 European men with a biochemical recurrence have a lower prostate cancer survival compared to the United States

Presented by Alex Haese from Hamburg, Germany, this paper was a retrospective analysis of 1,574 patients who had a biochemical recurrence (PSA > 0.2 mg/dl) following RP.

May 17, 2011

AUA 2011 New Prostate Cancer products in development beyond the androgen axis

Focusing on adrenal steroid inhibition or blocking the androgen receptor may not be sufficient to prevent disease progression. If we are looking for a Prostate Cancer cure, then will it may take multiple drugs, including those that target various stromal sites.

May 16, 2011

Nanoparticles using layer-by-layer technology provide targeted cancer drug delivery

Nanotechnology can use methods from other scientific disciplines including layer-by-layer (LbL) polymer chemistry.

May 6, 2011

ARVO 2011 Lucentis v Avastin Briefing

Briefing at ARVO on the National Eye Institute Lucentis v Avastin comparative effectiveness trial in AMD.

May 1, 2011

Will the future offer artificial retina transplants?

A Nature article shows, for the first time, the ability to generate a three-dimensional culture of neural retinal tissue from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells.

April 29, 2011

Results from NEJM Lucentis v Avastin AMD CATT clinical trial

The New England Journal of Medicine have published online the results of the Comparison of Age-related macular degeneration treatment trial (CATT) comparing the efficacy of FDA approved ranibizumab (Lucentis) to off-label bevacizumab (Avastin).

April 28, 2011

Justice Scalia had the bull by the horns in Sorrell v IMS Health oral argument – Vermont’s chance of winning appears low

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral argument today in William Sorrell, Attorney General of Vermont versus IMS Health Inc., a case involving the right of Vermont to regulate the use of prescription drug data for marketing and sales purposes by pharmaceutical companies.

April 26, 2011

How nanotechnology may revolutionize the detection of traumatic brain injury using a sensor that changes color

At Health Journalism 2011 Dr Cullen presented his research on blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) and the development of a nanomaterial containing photonic crystals that change color upon exposure to blast pressure.

April 26, 2011

Can States regulate the use of pharmacy prescribing data? A preview of U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Sorrell v. IMS

In 2007, Vermont passed a law that restricted the use of prescriber-identifiable (PI) data for marketing or promoting a prescription drug.

April 25, 2011
Storify Lessons from MA Healthcare Reform

Lessons from Massachusetts Healthcare Reform

My summary of the key points from the MA healthcare reform panel at AHCJ 2011 in Philadelphia

April 25, 2011

Using Social Media to recruit for Cancer Clinical Trials

Richard Schilsky in Science Translational Medicine describes the challenges of enrolling patients into ever more complex cancer clinical trials. It is estimated that only 3-5% of cancer patients participate in clinical trials. Can social media be used to overcome barriers to enrollment?

April 21, 2011
BayBio Logo

BayBio 2011 Annual Conference on Powering Global Innovation

Twitter aggregation from Northern California's Life Science organization BayBio's annual meeting: 'Powering Global Innovation"

April 20, 2011

Biodegradable nanoparticles may be a new treatment to combat MRSA infections

Biodegradable nanoparticles could be used to treat infectious diseases such as methillicin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

April 13, 2011

The future of Parkinson’s disease, part 2 of an interview with Dr Todd Sherer, Chief Program Officer, Michael J Fox Foundation

"The understanding of the genetics of Parkinson’s will certainly form the building blocks of some future breakthroughs. Now that we have very tangible therapeutic targets that we know can cause Parkinson’s, it makes a much more rational directed drug development program."

April 8, 2011

Making a difference to Parkinson’s Disease Research, an interview with Dr Todd Sherer, Michael J Fox Foundation

"The goal of the foundation, the goal of all the research that we are supporting is to develop new therapies for Parkinson’s disease patients."

March 31, 2011

Of Mice and Men

The March 17, 2011 edition of Nature, highlights how innovative preclinical animal models are having an impact on drug development.

March 25, 2011
EAU 2011 Vienna

Technology Innovation – the challenges and opportunities with robotic surgery

At the European Association of Urology (EAU) annual congress in Vienna, Associate Professsor Axel Merseburger from Hannover in Germany discussed some of the challenges with robotic surgery for prostatectomy or partial nepthrectomy.

March 19, 2011

“Diamonds are Forever” – using nanodiamonds for drug delivery may improve the efficacy of cancer chemotherapy

Nanotechnology is set to have a major impact on drug development and new products for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

March 18, 2011
cancer nanotechnology brochure

Innovation in Nanotechnology will lead to improved drug delivery, diagnostics & imaging

Innovation in drug delivery presents opportunities for biotechnology companies, and is an area I expect we will see major leaps forward through nanotechnology.

March 17, 2011

Patients with Spinal Cord Injury may benefit from treatment with Taxanes

Research published in Science shows that treatment with paclitaxel reduces the scarring associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) and promotes nerve regeneration.

March 15, 2011
LLNL Artificial Retina Video Screen Shot

Argus III is the next generation of artificial retina from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have produced an excellent video about their manufacturing of the Argus™ III artificial retina.

March 14, 2011

Artificial Retina Project shows power of collaboration to bring new products to market

The Artificial Retina Project is a case study on the success of collaboration.

March 14, 2011
romosozumab NEJM press release

Targeting Sclerostin in Osteoporosis

Sclerostin is a protein produced by osteocytes within bone that inhibits bone formation. It is thought to pass through the surface of bone where it acts on osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation). There it binds to low-density lipoprotein receptors and inhibits the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling involved in bone mass regulation. Promising phase 2 trial data for a novel sclerostin inhibitor, romosozumab (AMG 785), in osteoporosis has just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

March 10, 2011
second sight logo

New artificial retina restores some visual perception and improves autonomy

Detecting a door or a window may not be a big deal for all of us with normal vision, but for those who lose their sight, e.g. through retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a new "artificial retina" now provides hope of a better quality of life.

March 8, 2011

Letter from San Francisco

I was recently in San Francisco so thought I would continue my theme of writing about biotechnology regions that I visit around the United States.

March 5, 2011

AB Science – realizing the potential of masitinib in cancer and inflammation

Masitinib is a multi-kinase inhibitor that inhibits wild type and mutant forms of stem cell factor receptor (c-KIT, SCFR), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGFR), fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGFR3) and to a lesser degree, focal adhesion kinase (FAK)

February 23, 2011

Gilead acquires Calistoga and CAL-101 for $375M

In an acquisition that highlights the importance of cancer and inflammation, Gilead Sciences today announced the acquisition of Seattle based Calistoga Pharmaceuticals for $375M.

February 22, 2011

Hypoxia and Inflammation: is HIF-1 a target for drug development?

HIF-1 overexpression is associated with tumor growth, vascularization and metastasis. This has led to HIF-1 being evaluated as a target for anti-cancer drugs.

February 22, 2011
Downtown Disney Orlando

Is Orlando a future biotechnology region?

The opening of a new medical school, children’s hospital and medical research institute in Orlando will undoubtedly lead to biotechnology and biomedical companies considering start-ups in the surrounding area.

February 16, 2011

Merck’s cathepsin-K inhibitor odanacatib in osteoporosis

Cathepsin-K inhibition is a novel approach to osteoporosis treatment and Merck's odanacatib is leading the way in this new class of drugs.

February 11, 2011
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

Emerging drugs in development for Osteoporosis

The market opportunity for osteoporosis remains significant, affecting 44 million people in the United States over the age of 50, resulting in healthcare costs in excess of $15 billion a year.

February 8, 2011

Austin’s growing and emerging biotechnology cluster

Austin, TX is an emerging and growing biotechnology cluster.

February 7, 2011

US Supreme Court to decide whether Vermont can control the use of prescribing data by IMS health and Pharma companies

The Supreme Court of the United States on January 7 decided to hear the case of Sorrell (Attorney General of Vermont) v. IMS Health Inc & Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). This case is about whether States have the right to regulate how physician prescriber data is sold and used.

January 17, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court to decide if only statistically significant adverse events need to be disclosed to investors

At issue is whether knowledge of possible adverse events is material information that must be disclosed to investors, even if not statistically significant. The biotechnology industry argue that such a requirement would impose an unreasonable burden upon them and could lead to drugs not being developed.

January 11, 2011

New research points to role of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Signaling in Emphysema

Developing drugs that target cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) protein and mediate ceramide may have an important role to play in the treatment of emphysema

January 10, 2011

Insights of the Decade

The December 17, 2010 issue of "Science" has the catchy of title of "Insights of the Decade", one of which is the ubiquitous role of inflammation in multiple chronic illnesses including cancer.

January 3, 2011
Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Logo

Lilly completes acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals

Avid Radiopharmaceuticals is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly. They have a novel imaging biomarker, florebetapir (18F-AV-45) in development for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

December 27, 2010

Targeting BAP1 – a future targeted therapy for Uveal Melanoma?

Results published in Science, “implicate loss of BAP1 in uveal melanoma metastasis and suggest that BAP1 pathway may be a valuable therapeutic target.”

December 21, 2010
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Can teriparatide be used to treat Osteonecrosis of the Jaw?

Because teriparatide activates bone remodelling it may have a role to play in the management of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ).

December 20, 2010
Amphastar Lovenox Enoxaparin

Amphastar sues FDA

The race to bring a biosimilar version of Sanofi-Aventis' low molecular weight heparin, Lovenox® (enoxaparin sodium), to market had three players, Momenta Pharmaceuticals in partnership with Sandoz, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and Teva.

October 27, 2010
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Antares Pharma has promising gel based contraceptive

Antares Pharma has developed a gel based contraceptive that is as effective as taking a pill, acccording to data presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Denver.

October 26, 2010
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FDA may seek tighter standards for approval of generics

The news that generic companies may be subject to stricter FDA standards in order to show therapeutic equivalence is good news for the biotech industry and consumers.

October 25, 2010

Regeneron announces positive trial results for VEGF Trap-Eye in Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

VEGF Trap-Eye is a formulation of VEGF Trap (aflibercept) and is an anti-angiogenic agent that can be injected into the eye to stop the proliferation of blood vessels.

February 23, 2010
Arc de Triomphe Paris

AB Science plans Euronext IPO based on promise of masitinib

AB Science has grand designs to follow the growth strategy of biotech companies such as Genentech, Celgene and Biogen Idec.

February 22, 2010