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March 15, 2013
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  Today's Top Story 
  • Is focusing on rare diseases becoming all too common?
    As more drugmakers shift their focus to finding cures for rare and orphan diseases, research and associated funding on more common diseases might fall by the wayside, writes biopharma consultant Stewart Lyman. The 1983 Orphan Drug Act offered tax and regulatory incentives that encouraged research on long-neglected rare diseases, but society now faces a choice between funding research on diseases that affect a relative few versus diseases that affect the masses, Lyman writes. If drugmakers and publicly funded researchers collaborate on a large-scale project focused on repairing broken genes rather than attacking individual diseases, they might find treatments for both rare and common diseases, Lyman posits. Xconomy/Seattle (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Care & Policy 
  • Report: Global spending on APIs reached $113B last year
    The global market for active pharmaceutical ingredients grew from $91 billion in 2008 to $113 billion in 2012, according to the Italian Chemical Pharmaceutical Association. The market grew at an average annual rate of 5.6% compared with a 7.2% average in the previous four years. The slower growth rate was attributed to several factors, including price controls, patent expirations, competition and rising research costs. (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA approves Lymphoseek for lymph node mapping
    The FDA has approved Navidea Biopharmaceuticals' radioactive tracer Lymphoseek for breast cancer and melanoma intraoperative lymphatic mapping. The FDA said the tracer is the first agent for lymph node mapping to gain approval in more than three decades. "Removal and pathologic examination of lymph nodes draining a primary tumor is an important diagnostic evaluation for some patients with breast cancer or melanoma," said Dr. Shaw Chen of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Medscape (free registration) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ICR licenses prostate cancer biomarkers to Oxford Gene
    Oxford Gene Technology secured licensing rights from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, to develop a panel of prostate cancer microRNA biomarkers into a new diagnostic test. The biomarkers were jointly discovered by Oxford and ICR. The biomarkers have a specificity of more than 90% and they can be used to assess the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, Oxford said. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sinovac's HFMD vaccine hits primary goal in trial
    A late-stage study showed that 95.4% of infants who received Sinovac Biotech's investigational hand, foot, and mouth disease vaccine demonstrated immune response to the infection. The vaccine was tested in 10,000 healthy infants. The vaccine is expected to be launched in China next year. Reuters (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  Food & Agriculture 
  • Opinion: What motivates the anti-biotech movement?
    The idea that genetic engineering is unnatural and thus unethical may be the main reason why some people continue to reject biotech foods despite numerous studies and expert opinion backing their safety, Dr. Henry I. Miller writes. Contrary to critics' beliefs, biotech foods may be safer than other foods because they are produced using modern genetic engineering techniques that are more precise and predictable than their predecessors, Miller says. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News/BioPerspectives blog (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industrial & Environmental 
  • Exec: Biofuels sector now focused on operational improvements
    The biofuels industry has left the era of talking about "game-changing inventions" and entered "what one might call the really hard yards" of improving operational output, BP Biofuels CEO Philip New said during a keynote address at the World Biofuels Markets. "If we have grown out of the phase of hyping step-change innovations, we are now seeing innovation in the smaller things; the incremental improvements that mean the difference between business survival and failure," New said. (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from BIO 
  • BIOtechNOW
    BIOtechNOW is the first in a number of new products from BIO intended to enhance our communications with the biotech community -- not only with our members, but with other stakeholders as well. This e-newsletter, combined with its website, serves as our flagship in that effort. BIOtechNOW will offer original content that emphasizes the business needs of the industry; highlight BIO's advocacy efforts; and provide a portal to all BIO activities and events. Most importantly, it will spotlight for those outside the industry the value of biotechnology. Sign up for the e-newsletter. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--George Eliot,
British writer

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