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February 27, 2009
Easy networking at the BIO Exhibition. More than 2,200 companies will take advantage of the BIO Exhibition, May 18 to 21, 2009. See the exhibitor list. Make sure your company is represented.

The news summaries appearing in BIO SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The information is not compiled or summarized by BIO. Questions and comments should be directed to SmartBrief at

  Today's Top Story 
White paper: Optimizing Clinical Trials
Clinical trial supply chains (CTSCs) have historically focused on logistics and compliance, not excellence in execution, leading to longer product development cycles and increased costs. Read Business Process Management for Life Sciences Industry to learn how to Optimize Clinical Trials for increased business ROI and revitalized Pharma enterprises.
  Health Care in Transition 
  • Obama's first budget proposes major investments in health care
    President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled his fiscal 2010 budget, which would allot $76.8 billion to HHS, part of which would be used to promote the adoption of health IT, and which would direct more than $1 billion to bolster the FDA's efforts to improve food-safety programs. The budget also would allocate $1.1 billion for research comparing the effectiveness of competing medications and would push for the creation of a "workable regulatory, scientific and legal pathway" for follow-on biologics. Yahoo!/Reuters (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lawmakers reintroduce embryonic stem cell research bill in Senate
    Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., have reintroduced a measure that would provide federal funding for research on stem cells derived from human embryos. The legislation would protect stem cell policy "so that it does not ping-pong back and forth with each successive president," Specter said. Yahoo!/Reuters (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Baucus, Kennedy: Better health care needed to help fix economy
    Universal health care coverage will make the economy more productive, Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., write in a Wall Street Journal commentary. "Solving the nation's health care crisis is a fundamental part of healing our economy," they write, noting that the U.S. spends $2 trillion annually on health care. "If Congress can bail out the nation's banks, surely we can help families get the quality, affordable health care they deserve." The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Care & Policy 
  • Scientists find gene pathway linked to Crohn's disease
    A research team using a gene-searching technique found that the interleukin 12 pathway regulates cell receptors associated with the development of Crohn's disease. Understanding the gene pathways in Crohn's disease could lead to the discovery of potential drug targets for the condition, the study's co-author said. Yahoo!/HealthDay News (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers discover "supermantibody" against flu
    An international team of scientists has discovered a human antibody that is capable of neutralizing most strains of the influenza virus. The scientists found that mice treated with the CR6261 antibody were able to recover from fatal doses of bird flu five days after the infection. Another group of scientists made a similar discovery earlier this week. San Diego Union-Tribune (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • Synta ends development of cancer drug elesclomol
    Synta Pharmaceuticals said it is discontinuing clinical trials of melanoma drug elesclomol after an analysis of a large study showed excessive deaths in patients taking the treatment. Synta had received $130 million in milestone and upfront payments for the drug from partner GlaxoSmithKline. Forbes (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA rejects Somaxon's Silenor, seeks data on heart effect
    The FDA issued a complete-response letter to Somaxon Pharmaceuticals asking for more data on insomnia drug Silenor's possible association with prolonged cardiac QT intervals. QT interval prolongation can disrupt the heart's electrical cycle and result in heart arrhythmia. Somaxon said it will address the agency's concerns using recent trial results that show no evidence of prolonged QT intervals in patients taking 6-mg or 50-mg doses of Silenor. Reuters (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Acorda's fampridine helps MS patients walk faster in study
    A 14-week clinical trial sponsored by Acorda Therapeutics showed that walking ability got better in 35% of multiple sclerosis patients who received the drug fampridine, compared with 8% of those who received placebo. The findings suggest fampridine might be used in combination with other treatments to improve the walking ability of MS patients, although experts said more information is needed to validate the efficacy of the drug. (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Food & Agriculture 
  • Syngenta CEO optimistic about consumer acceptance of biotech wheat
    Syngenta has chosen to not develop biotech wheat because consumers are still resistant to it, but the company believes that people will appreciate the advantages of such a crop within a decade, CEO Michael Mack said. Some countries pushed for the use of biotech crops in the face of a food crisis, but Mack said such technology is safe regardless of a crisis, and its adoption deserves "a sensible discussion." Reuters (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from BIO 
  • Registration now open for BIO-Windhover 2009
    The eighth annual BIO-Windhover 2009, April 13 to 15 in New York, is organized by the Biotechnology Industry Organization and Windhover Information. Meet one-on-one with other key decision makers and network with your peers. Identify prospective partners using the conference's unique partnering software. Communicate with and directly schedule meetings with prospective partners. Don't miss this chance to build your R&D pipeline today. Register now for BIO-Windhover 2009, the partnering conference for decision makers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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