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BioTechCircle News®

January 2012

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Issue 103 Part b

Starting in January 2012, you will find links to our 4-part monthly report issues at Bioreports. All previous issues through December 2011 continue to be archived HERE.

In this articles section: links to 73 free Web articles in 15 major categories. Click on the category list below to go immediately to that section. (Part b continues our original classifications, with links to articles on research advances and other areas that have longer-range impact.)

The major categories below are further subdivided to make it easy for you to locate
news and technology developments, the business and the markets in the life sciences
of particular interest to you. The brief synopses will help you decide which articles you'd
like to read. Simply click on the article's title to go directly to the original article.

Here are this month's major categories:

Agri-Biotech (15 articles)
Biobusiness Management (5 articles)
Clinical Trials (2 articles)
Diagnostic Tools (1 article)
Industry (12 articles)
Investments/Government Support (4 articles)
Novel Applications (3 articles)
Organizations (1 article)
People Profiles (1 article)
Personalized Medicine (1 article)
Pharmaceuticals (1 article)
Platform Technologies (8 articles)
Research Advancements (17 articles)
Research Tools (1 article)
Strategic Relationships (1 article)

For a brief explanation of how we categorize the articles, please see "Express Guilde to Monthly Web Articles."

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Subcategory: Animal

World's Smallest Frog Discovered
Richard Black BBC News (11-Jan-12)
A frog species that appears to be the world's smallest has been discovered in
Papua New Guinea. The tiny frog sits easily on a US dime, whose diameter is

Carbon Dioxide Is "Driving Fish Crazy"
Coral Reef Studies (16-Jan-12)
Rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central
nervous system of sea fishes with serious consequences for their survival,
interfering with fishes’ ability to hear, smell, turn and evade predators

Subcategory: Crops

Researchers Discover 'Nourishing Gene' in Maize
Gemma Mackenzie Farmers Weekly (15-Jan-12)
A gene, named Meg1, regulates the optimum amount of nutrients flowing
from mother to offspring in maize plants. This imprinting gene expression
also occurs in human genes, but this is the first time a similar gene is found in
the plant world.

Don't Ignore Benefits of GM, Says Chief Scientist
Philip Case Farmers Weekly (23-Jan-12)
More than one trillion meals have been made using GM crops in North
America and there has not been a single case in the law courts of anyone suing
after eating GM products, says UK biologist and government advisor.

Call to Arms
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (22-Jan-12)
When pathogens invade, plant growth must be temporarily slowed while the
plant turns its genetic resources to fortifying its defenses. A molecular master
switch triggers this genetic overhaul, altering the activity of as many as 3,000
  different genes.

Subcategory: Energy/ Fuel

Custom-mutated Bacteria Converts Seaweed to Fuel
Wynne Parry The Christian Scientist (19-Jan-12)
Bacteria, genetically engineered to break down a previously inaccessible sugar
in seaweed, called alginate, can convert brown seaweed into biofuel. Opens up
a new possible source of energy that could help replace fossil fuels, like

Subcategory: Environment

Agbiotech Is Working to Help Plants Cope with Global Warming
John Sterling Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (18-Jan-12)
Plant and Animal Genome Conference indicates development of
climate-resilient crop varieties with growth plasticity, resistance to biotic and
abiotic stresses, improved growth and development patterns is important to
combat climate change.

Amazing Map Shows Every Tree in the United States
Diane Pham Inhabitat (17-Jan-12)
Based on a series of data sources including readings collected from
space-based radars, satellite sensors, computer models, and simply counting
trees, map was created to help determine how the world’s forests have the
potential to store more carbon.

The Changing Amazon
Nature (01-Jan-12)
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will discuss how
to protect the Amazon, Earth's largest rainforest; a proposed change to
Brazil's forest code could speed the destruction of this biodiversity hot spot.
Links to other articles.

Ocean Acidification Study Reveals Effects of Carbon Dioxide
R & D Magazine (25-Jan-12)
Might a penguin's next meal be affected by the exhaust from your tailpipe?
The answer may be yes, when you add your exhaust fumes to the total
amount of carbon dioxide lofted into the atmosphere by humans since the
industrial revolution.

Subcategory: Food

Bill Gates Defends High-Tech Agriculture
Donna Gordon Blankinship ChemInfo (25-Jan-12)
Response to criticism that the high-tech solutions Gates advocates for world
hunger are too expensive or bad for the environment: Countries can embrace
modern seed technology and genetic modification or their citizens will starve.

Guest Post: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Demand, by Tim Benton
Tim Benton Seed, Feed and Food (11-Jan-12)
Without investing in soils, reducing carbon impacts, ensuring lower pollution
levels, preserving ecosystem functions of many sorts, agriculture will
eventually splutter and die, becoming untenable, Benton says.

Subcategory: Immunology/ Infectious Diseases

Stinky Frogs Are a Treasure Trove of Antibiotic Substances
R & D Magazine (25-Jan-12)
Frogs live in warm, wet places where bacteria thrive and have adapted skin
that secretes chemicals, known as peptides, to protect themselves from

Subcategory: Microorganisms

Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic
FastCo.Exist (31-Jan-12)
Polyurethane seemed like it couldn’t interact with the earth’s normal
processes of breaking down and recycling material. That’s just because it
hadn’t met the right mushroom yet.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Amid Drought, Water Desalination Gets Attractive
Juan Carlos Llorca Manufacturing.net (04-Jan-12)
Desalination is the only option Texas has for bringing "new water" to the
state's supply as the readily available fresh water in aquifers and reservoirs is
used up. Expected to produce nearly 310,000 acre-feet (~ 101 bil gal) of
drinkable water by 2060.

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Subcategory: Education

An Early Start on Innovation
Lindsay Hock R & D Magazine (15-Dec-11)
A lack of students going into STEM (science, technology, engineering,
mathematics ) fields not only affects the learning curves in schools, but it also
affects our global competitiveness and our ability as a nation to innovate, say

Subcategory: Government/ Approvals

Meeting the Need for Speed
Kimberley Sirk Drug Discovery News (01-Jan-12)
Describes TREAT (Transforming the Regulatory Environment to Accelerate
Access to Treatments) proposal to streamline and better organize the way
that potential drugs come to market.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

The Rise of the Biobased Economy... And Why Brand Owners Need to Develop a
Strategy in 2012

Jacquelyn Ottman and Mark Eisen Huffington Post (18-Jan-12)
The USDA Certified Biobased label is part of a federal BioPreferred program
designed to help grow "green" jobs, stimulate the rural economy, promote
energy independence, and prompt a shift to renewable resources from

Subcategory: Mobile Medicine

Going Paperless: The Digital Lab
Jim Giles Nature 25-Jan-12
Lab-management software and electronic notebooks are here — and this time,
it's more than just talk, writes Giles. Most early notebook-software programs
had limited impact, often because they weren't easy enough to use.

Subcategory: Patent/Intellectual Property Issues

Worldwide Patent Filings and Grants on the Rise
Technology Transfer Tactics (25-Jan-12)
US, Japan and Germany are top 3 European patent filers, top 3 companies
receiving US patents were IBM, Samsung and Canon. The only life sciences
company making the list was E I Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Tables and

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Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Clinical Trials Remain Unpublished
Ansa Varughese BioTechniques (18-Jan-12)
Of 635 completed clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), less than half of the results were published within 30 months of
completion. “It’s wasteful and inefficient...not respectful for the patients
enrolling in these trials.”

Subcategory: Subject Enrollment/Management

Therapy Dose Management During Clinical Development of Oncology Products
Salvatore J. Salamone, et al. Drug Discovery & Development (24-Jan-12)
How many drugs have failed in clinical trials because the pharmacokinetic
variability was such that the incorrect dose was administered to some
patients, or how many trials had to recruit a larger number of patients because
of exposure variability?
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Subcategory: Microorganisms

Blinking Bacteria Warn of Contamination | Video
Ashley Yeager BioTechniques (20-Jan-12)
The ability to coordinate bacteria behavior in response to changes in their
environment could improve bioelectrical devices that detect contamination in
water, food, and other important resources.
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Subcategory: Bio Pharma

Declaration of Independence
Adelene Q. Perkins Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (15-Jan-12)
Perkins believes the impact and success of the biotech industry is clear.
Biotech has tackled some of the most difficult and enigmatic problems and
diseases, and we have discovered and delivered highly effective therapies.

US Pharma: 282 Meds for Children Now in R&D
Lynne Taylor Pharma Times (13-Jan-12)
Children and adolescents have unique health care needs. Drugs in development
include 54 potential new treatments for cancer, 49 for infectious diseases, 48
for genetic disorders, 25 for neurological disorders.

Survey: Lack of Funds, Regulatory Climate Threaten Biomedical Industry
Michael Christel R&D Directions (13-Jan-12)
Survey of a newly released survey of CEOs from life sciences companies in
California, the largest biomedical cluster in the world, reports the 3 biggest
threats: access to capital, the regulatory environment, lack of
innovation/productivity in R&D.

Subcategory: Biomanufacturing

Bioprocessors Enter Year on Optimistic Note
Eric S. Langer Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (15-Jan-12)
The biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector may be even more
recession-resistant than other healthcare areas. Budget estimates for 2012 are,
once again, up strongly for acquisition of new technologies, capital equipment,
and training.

Subcategory: Environment

Scientists Say Cut Soot, Methane to Curb Warming
Seth Borenstein R & D Magazine (13-Jan-12)
Stop focusing so much on carbon dioxide, say scientists. Reducing methane
and soot offers quicker fixes, and dramatically cutting soot with existing
technology would save between 700,000 and 4.7 million lives each year.

Subcategory: Geographic Focus

The Top 10 Smart Cities on the Planet
Boyd Cohen Co.Exist (01-Jan-12)
These smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to
be more intelligent, efficient in the use of resources; resulting in cost and
energy savings;,improved service delivery and quality of life, reduced
environmental footprint.

Subcategory: Imaging

Best Science Multimedia of 2011
Cristina Luiggi The Scientist (23-Dec-11)
A look at this year’s most memorable science videos, images, and websites,
including Nikon’s 2011 Small World Competition, Wellcome Image awards
2011 and Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE).

Subcategory: Market Research

2011 Review and Outlook for Biotechnology in 2012
Life Science Digest (25-Jan-12)
Reviews new drug approvals, pipeline and R&D investment, access to capital,
other issues. Tables: top 10 gainers/decliners from NASDAQ Biotech Index.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

GE Global Innovation Barometer
GE Global Innovation (01-Jan-12)
Links to press release; full data set; global results report; Milken Institute's
country innovation profiles with country by country comparisons; country
pages; macroeconomic perspectives on global trends in innovation.

Report Suggests How to Strengthen U.S. Competitiveness
Laboratory Equipment (24-Jan-12)
Summaraizes key findings of U.S. Department of Commerce related to basic
research, education, infrastructure, manufacturing. Link to full report.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012
National Science Board (01-Jan-12)
Links to a wealth of information on science and engineering in education, the
work force academia, society and trends. Data on individual U.S. states;
figures, tables, slides, appendices.

American Innovation: Nope, Not Dead Yet
The Atlantic (18-Jan-12)
New report from the National Science Board says that when it comes to high
tech industries, the U.S. is still by far the global leader. Refutes the common
belief that loss of high-tech manufacturing jobs to Asia equates to loss of
innovation leadership.
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Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Cap in Hand
Nature (18-Jan-12)
Academic researchers are increasingly turning to private funders and wealthy
individuals- turned-philanthropists to pay for their work. Links to stories
ranging from funding by billionaires to crowd-funding.

Subcategory: Personalized Medicine

Genes that Fit Everyone
Kimberly Sirk Drug Discovery News (01-Jan-12)
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has committed close to half a
billion dollars toward supporting newer and faster gene sequencing efforts.
Allows exploration of the front edge of genomics, which will move into
genomic medicine.

Subcategory: Research Labs
World-Class Scientists Chosen for HHMI’s First International Early Career

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (24-Jan-12)
Top biomedical scientists from 12 countries will be integrated into HHMI’s
scientific community, attending meetings and giving talks to HHMI’s
investigators and early career scientists. The 28 recipients represent a wide
range of disciplines.

Subcategory: Venture

Growth of Corporate Ventures Reflected in Rising VC Numbers
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (24-Jan-12)
Despite the continued drop in first-sequence investments, fourth-quarter and
full-year 2011 venture capital numbers for biotechnology showed significant
gains, thanks in part to the rise of corporate venture funds.
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Subcategory: Energy/ Fuel

Project to Pour Water into Volcano to Make Power
Jeff Barnard ChemInfo (14-Jan-12)
Scientists hope the water pumped into the side of a dormant volcano comes
back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean
electricity that isn't dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes.

Subcategory: Environment

Bristol Scientists Produce World's Frst Magnetic Soap
University of Bristol (23-Jan-12)
Iron, dissolved in liquid surfactant to create a soap that can be controlled by
magnets, could be used to create cleaning products that can be removed after
application and used in the recovery of oil spills at sea.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Researchers Find Speed Limit for Birds—and Drones
R & D Magazine (19-Jan-12)
Given a certain density of obstacles, there is a speed below which a bird and
any other flying object has a fair chance of flying collision-free. Any faster,
and a bird or aircraft is sure to smack into something, no matter how much
information it has.
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Subcategory: Environment

American Picker
Chris Fox Manufacturing.net (06-Jan-12)
A company based on the reuse of waste materials has a growing list of
repurposed materials, such as marketing old billboard vinyls as robust,
water-proof tarps. In many ways their products are often better than some of
new made-for materials.
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Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Top People of 2011
Jef Akst The Scientist (21-Dec-11)
Magazine recounts the year’s top science prize winners and top-notch
scientists that passed away. Includes nobelists, protein folding pioneers, the
MacArthur Five. Links to in-depth articles in each category.
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Subcategory: Geographic Focus

Norway Launches National Cancer Genomic Medicine Effort
GenomeWeb Daily News (20-Jan-12)
Objectives include: provide a national network for implementation of
personalized cancer medicine in Norway, establish a nationwide cancer
mutation database in collaboration with the Cancer Registry.
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Subcategory: Materials

Bridge Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles
Ann R. Thryft DesignNews (09-Jan-12)
Recycled Structural Composite (RSC), a proprietary composite thermoplastic
material is made from 100% recycled plastics. It's 100% recyclable at the end
of its useful life, won't rot, crumble, splinter, rust, or corrode. No painting,
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Subcategory: Cell Therapy

Waste not, Want not
Kelsey Kaustinen Drug Discovery News (01-Jan-12)
Describes a new, $840,000, three-year collaboration aiming at using umbilical
cord blood as a source of blood-forming stem cells to treat patients with
diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma or sickle cell anemia.

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells That Yield Brain Cells
Zee News (18-Jan-12)
Scientists have for the first time transformed stem cells from umbilical cords
into other types of cells, which may have several therapeutic applications for
spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, among other nervous system

Subcategory: Genomics

Expanding the Genomic Map
Riken Research (27-Jan-12)
Newly identified genetic variants could provide useful biomarkers for
predicting and treating metabolic disorders in East Asian individuals. Most
genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have focused on populations of
European ancestry.

Subcategory: Materials

Breakthrough in Bid to Grow Blood Vessels in the Lab which Could Revolutionize
Heart Attack and Stroke Treatment

Tamara Cohen Daily Mail (15-Jan-12)
Researchers use patients’ own skin cells to make different types of vascular
smooth muscle cells. Could help create blood vessels in the laboratory for
surgeons simply to implant into patients – as an alternative to heart bypass
treatment and stenting.

Artificial Living Tissue Could Come from a Printer
Laboratory Equipment (17-Jan-12)
Scientists are working on creating artificial living tissues using a very special
kind of inkjet printer. Still in its initial stages, this technology could
nonetheless soon provide biological samples that could be used for testing
new drugs.

Bits of Life, Drop by Drop
R & D Magazine (16-Jan-12)
Scientists are working on a technique that should eventually allow them to
"print" living constructs resembling human tissues. Could be used as models
for testing new drugs, reduce the need for animal testing.

Subcategory: Microorganisms

Hardy Bacteria Help Make Case for Life in the Extreme
Penn State Live (30-Jan-12)
Respiration in Chryseobacterium and Paenisporosarcina is found to occur at
temperatures ranging from -27F to +24F. May have implications for the
search for life on other planets, like Mars.

Genetics Study Reveals how Bacteria behind Serious Childhood Diseases Evolve
to Evade Vaccines

Wellcome Trust (30-Jan-12)
Bacteria evading the vaccine swap the region of the genome responsible for
making the polysaccharide coating with the same region from a different
serotype, not targeted by the vaccine. This effectively makes the bacteria
invisible to the vaccine.
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Subcategory: Addiction

Study Offers Clue As to Why Alcohol is Addicting
Bioscience Technology (17-Jan-12)
Endorphin release in the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex in
response to alcohol consumption has been directly observed in humans for the
first time. Provides a possible target for developing more effective drugs for

Don’t Stress Out
Kelsey Kaustinen Drug Discovery News (10-Jan-12)
Scientists have discovered an endogenous anti-stress peptide in the brain that
is capable of preventing and even reversing some of the cellular effects of
alcohol dependence.

Subcategory: Disease Prevention

Antimicrobial Scrubs May Decrease Bacterial Burden
Drug Discovery & Development (20-Jan-12)
Use of antimicrobial impregnated scrubs plus good hand hygiene is effective in
reducing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on health care
workers’ apparel; may play a role in decreasing the risk of MRSA
transmission to patients.

Subcategory: Immunology/ Infectious Diseases

Alternative Therapy Approach for Hepatitis C
Drug Discovery & Development (17-Jan-12)
The HCV is constantly mutating, making it difficult to develop antiviral
therapies that target the virus itself. A new inhibitor decreases the size of host
fat droplets in liver cells and stops HCV from multiplying and infecting other

Cardiff University, King's College Uncover Diabetes Discovery
Drug Discovery & Development (16-Jan-12)
Research shows how killer T cells might play an important role in
autoimmune diseases like diabetes. In the future, at risk groups could be
identified and treated earlier.

Powerful Drug's Surprising, Simple Method could Lead to Better Treatments
Liz Ahlberg University of Illinois (17-Jan-12)
Top drug for treating systemic fungal infections works by simply binding to a
lipid molecule essential to yeast’s physiology. Finding could lead to better
treatment for microbial infections and diseases caused by ion channel

Feature: A Delicate Balance - Investigating Intestinal Inflammation
Michael Regnier Wellcome Trust (31-Jan-12)
Professor Fiona Powrie, the 2012 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine awardee
discusses research showing that the immune system's cells and signals do
different things according to where they are located.

Subcategory: Metabolism: Obesity, Diabetes

‘Killer Cells’ and Diabetes
Bioscience Technology (16-Jan-12)
Killer T-cells in the human body which help protect us from disease can
inadvertently destroy cells that produce insulin. Study provides the first
evidence of this mechanism in action, could offer new understanding of the
cause of Type 1 diabetes.

Minnesota Researchers on the Cusp of a Diabetes Cure
Lorna Benson Minnesota Public Radio (17-Jan-12)
People with diabetes have lost their insulin cells or they don't work properly.
With genetic characteristics that are remarkably similar to humans, pigs may
hold the cure to this disease which has become a worldwide epidemic.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Cells Dispose of 'Garbage' in Cyclic Waves
Bioscience Technology (25-Jan-12)
Tens of billions of cells die daily in the human body and taking out the garbage
(getting rid of the dead cells) is critical to health. Discusses the intricately
choreographed ballet that involves both the cells’ encapsulation and

Out of Order: Gift Horses
Randall C. Willis Drug Discovery News (01-Jan-12)
In the past, the pharmaceutical industry has figured out how to make money
from tree barks and saps, citrus mold and other natural products. Surely we
can figure out how to take advantage of the untapped knowledge of
non-Western medicine, writes Willis.

Subcategory: Oncology

Study Shows How A Group of Tumor Cells Prevent Cancer Spread
Bioscience Technology (17-Jan-12)
Anti-angiogenic therapies, which shrink cancer by cutting off tumors’ blood
supply, may be inadvertently making tumors more aggressive and likely to
spread. Pericytes, however, are found to inhibit tumor growth

Agent May Suppress Brain Metastasis
Drug Discovery & Development (18-Jan-12)
Brain metastases are increasing and are often a primary reason patients with
breast cancer do not survive, say researchers. Pigment epithelium-derived
factor (PEDF), studied for therapy on macular degeneration, may treat brain
cancer metastasis.

Examining Recent Approaches to Treating Solid Tumors
Punit Dhillon Drug Discovery News (01-Jan-12)
Treatment of solid-tumor cancers, ranging from melanoma and Merkel cell
carcinoma to cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, continues to be a major challenge

Studies Show Pancreatic Cancer Starts to Spread Before Initial Tumor Is Evident
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (19-Jan-12)
A fluorescent cell tagging system demonstrates in a mouse model that
pancreatic cancer cells begin to spread out and move to other tissue sites well
before the initial tumor is clinically evident.

Subcategory: Pain Management

New "Omics" Technique Taps into Unknown Metabolome
Janelle Weaver BioTechniques (23-Jan-12)
A novel potential drug target for the treatment of chronic pain has been
revealed by untargeted metabolomics. Untargeted metabolomics allows
scientists to analyze thousands of metabolites in an unbiased manner.

Subcategory: Pediatrics/ Neonatology

First Studies in Pediatric Cancer Genome Project Identify Genetic Changes in
Leukemia, Retinoblastoma

Amy Swinderman Drug Discovery News (24-Jan-12)
Researchers have published the first of many studies expected to be released
in 2012 that are part of the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project (PCGP) that
aims to identify the genetic changes associated with some of the deadliest
forms of childhood cancer.
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Subcategory: Mobile Medicine

Technological Healing
Sharon Begley Technology Review (01-Jan-12)
Does turning the flow of data into a deluge lead to better results on a large
scale? The evidence is mixed. In 1 study, telemonitoring of hypertension led
to larger reductions in blood pressure than did standard care. Another for heart
failure did not.
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Subcategory: Licensing Deals

Partnering for Success...and Survival
Ted Agres Drug Discovery & Development (06-Dec-11)
Biotechs will find it harder to obtain additional financing if their products are
tied up in exclusive deals with other partners. Big Pharma has tended to favor
partnering for products that have already been through at least some early
stage testing.
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Copyright 2012, Technology Management Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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