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February 17, 2009
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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 
  • Advocates impatient over slow action on policy for stem cell research
    Some advocates of stem cell research have expressed frustration following President Barack Obama's statement that he will wait for Congress' action on a proposal to lift restrictions on federal funding for studies involving human embryonic stem cells. Amy Comstock Rick, president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, said the group sent Obama a letter to remind him that it is still counting on his campaign pledge. Los Angeles Times (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Health care businesses seek new growth approaches
    Companies are searching for new ways to drive growth as the Obama administration moves to reduce reimbursements and implement other changes to the U.S. health care system. According to the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009, 78% of CEOs aim to increase financial resources in the next five years by offering more outpatient services while 42% intend to introduce a strategic campaign to boost market share. HealthLeaders Media (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Care & Policy 
  • Study: Lactic-acid bacteria keep oral anthrax vaccine intact
    Researchers at North Carolina State University found that an oral anthrax vaccine worked as well as an injectable vaccine in mice when delivered with the aid of "food grade" lactic-acid bacteria. Study authors plan to further explore the potential of "good bacteria" in keeping oral vaccines from being destroyed during the digestive process. Reuters (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Device evaluates patients' response to drugs
    U.K. scientists and DNA Electronics are testing a prototype of a hand-held device that helps doctors assess the response of patients to different drugs. The Snip Doctor device uses saliva or cheek-swab samples to look for single nucleotide polymorphisms, which are known to play a role in a person's response to medicines. Google/The Press Association (U.K.) (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Altered virus holds promise for cystic fibrosis, study finds
    U.S. scientists were able to treat diseased human lung tissues after using a modified adeno-associated virus designed to deliver a gene that can replace the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. They hope the findings will pave the way for development of a gene therapy for the condition. BBC (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study links gene variants to lower blood pressure
    U.S. researchers have identified three gene mutations associated with higher levels of two peptides -- atrial natriuretic peptide and B-type natriuretic peptide -- that play a role in lowering blood pressure. ANP and BNP are molecules that aid the body in easing blood vessels and removing excess salt, the study's lead author said. Yahoo!/HealthDay News (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company & Financial News 
  • Eli Lilly to develop nervous system treatments with Danish biotech firm
    Eli Lilly and Co. is teaming with Danish biotech firm NeuroSearch in a three-year deal focused on discovering medicines for central nervous system disorders. NeuroSearch could receive as much as $30 million in initial payments and research funding and up to $320 million in milestone fees for each product developed and commercialized as part of the agreement. Reuters (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Roche unveils test to calibrate effectiveness of Pegasys
    Doctors will be able to determine whether patients will benefit from Roche Holding's hepatitis B drug Pegasys in the long run by monitoring levels of the S-antigen protein during treatment, the company said. The viral protein's decline has been linked to the remission of liver cancer and cirrhosis as well as improved life expectancy, Roche said. Reuters (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Developments 
  • Millipore unveils biomanufacturing training facility in Singapore
    Millipore has launched an 8,000-square-foot training and technical-support facility in Singapore that would provide services to its Asian clients in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector. The Biomanufacturing Sciences and Training Center would enable Millipore's local and international experts to assist customers in studying and improving processes such as purification and monitoring. Mass High Tech (Boston) (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  Food & Agriculture 
  • Biotech group: More EU countries support use of biotech crops
    Nine European Union countries have voted in favor of the European Commission's call for France and Greece to revoke their ban on the cultivation of a biotech corn variety from Monsanto. This indicates that "more and more member states are following the science as to the safety of these [biotech] products and listening to the voice of their farmers," said Nathalie Moll, a spokeswoman for the European Association for Bioindustries. International Herald Tribune (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News from BIO 
  • Feeling the pinch in today's market hurts
    Let BIO ease your pain with BIO Business Solutions, BIO's cost-savings program, which provides products and services specific to the life sciences industry at discounted prices and other benefits. Participation is free to members of BIO and 38 state/regional biotech associations, and more than 1,900 companies currently use BIO Business Solutions. See how BIO Business Solutions can help your bottom line. Get more information about the 15 money-saving opportunities here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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