Friday, March 31, 2006

Biotech News - GlaxoSmithKline and Pharmacopeia

GlaxoSmithKline and Pharmacopeia Enter Into Drug Discovery and
Development Alliance

Broad Alliance is First for GSK's Recently Established Center of
Excellence for External Drug Discovery

Pharmacopeia (Nasdaq: PCOP - News), an innovator in the discovery
and development of novel small molecule therapeutics, and
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK - News), a leading global pharmaceutical
company, today announced the formation of a new drug discovery and
development alliance. GSK, through its recently established Center
of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD), and Pharmacopeia
will collaborate to deliver clinically validated therapeutic
candidates to GSK's global research and development organization.

The aim of the alliance is for Pharmacopeia to discover active
molecules and bring them forward to clinical proof of concept,
yielding novel candidates in broad therapeutic areas. GSK will have
exclusive options to conduct Phase III clinical trials and to
commercialize pharmaceutical products from the collaboration on a
worldwide basis. Pharmacopeia will retain rights to programs for
which GSK does not exercise its option.

Maxine Gowen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of GSK and head of the
Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery at GSK stated, "The
Pharmacopeia relationship exemplifies a new collaborative model for
GSK. Through the CEEDD we will ally GSK's understanding of medical
needs with biotech innovation to bring new medicines to patients. At
the same time as GSK provides its broad experience, Pharmacopeia
brings its unique perspective that, consistent with the CEEDD's
mission, adds to our internal capabilities. We are very pleased to
be able to announce the Pharmacopeia alliance as the first new
collaboration for the CEEDD."

Under the terms of the agreement, Pharmacopeia will receive $15
million in cash payments from GSK. In addition, each drug
development program pursued under the alliance will be subject to
success-based milestone payments totaling up to $83 million for a
successful program and a double-digit royalty. In connection with
the alliance, GSK also receives warrants to purchase Pharmacopeia
stock at a 25% premium to the trailing 30-day closing price average
at the commencement of the alliance.

"The right pharma collaborators - and GSK is clearly one of the
best - can contribute exquisitely to our strategy of forward
integrating to clinical validation and managing the risks and
returns of drug discovery and development," said Les Browne, Ph.D.,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacopeia. "This new
alliance with GSK's CEEDD, which is unlike anything we have done
previously, is structured to leverage the existing capabilities at
Pharmacopeia for discovery as well as evolving our development
capabilities. Importantly, commensurate with our taking compounds
further along in the development pipeline, the economics of the
alliance reward us appropriately for success."

About The CEEDD

GlaxoSmithKline is enhancing the way it discovers and develops drugs
by creating a small dedicated team who will feed the GSK pipeline
solely through the efforts of its external partnerships. The CEEDD
(Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery) was formed as
further validation of GSK's strategy to create small, independent
and accountable R&D teams (Centers of Excellence for Drug Discovery
or CEDDs). In essence, the CEEDD will 'virtualize' a portion of the
GSK pipeline; namely, from Target to Clinical PoC, by forming
multiple risk-sharing/reward-sharing alliances. Capitalizing on the
speed and efficiency of its partners will allow GSK to deliver
pharmaceuticals products faster to patients.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based
pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving
the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better
and live longer.

About Pharmacopeia

Pharmacopeia is committed to creating and delivering novel
therapeutics to address significant medical needs using proprietary
technologies and processes. The Company is advancing multiple
internal programs towards validation in clinical trials.
Pharmacopeia's later stage portfolio currently comprises multiple
partnered programs that have been advanced into clinical trials with
further programs in late-stage preclinical development. The Company
also has several internal programs in advanced preclinical
optimization and multiple partnered programs in discovery that are
expected to drive the Company's clinical portfolio in the future.

Michio Soga
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(609) 452-3643

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the US Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the company cautions investors that
any forward-looking statements or projections made by the company,
including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and
uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially
from those projected. Factors that may affect the Group's operations
are described under 'Risk Factors' in the Operating and Financial
Review and Prospects in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for

This press release, and oral statements made with respect to
information contained in this press release, constitute forward-
looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements
include those which express plan, anticipation, intent, contingency
or future development and/or otherwise are not statements of
historical fact. These statements are based upon management's
current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties,
known and unknown, which could cause actual results and developments
to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such
statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not
limited to, statements about the successful implementation of
Pharmacopeia's strategic plans, Pharmacopeia's ability to
successfully perform under its new collaboration with
GlaxoSmithKline, the planned cessation of full-time employee funding
from Pharmacopeia's existing collaborations with Schering-Plough,
the continuation and funding level of such continuation of
Pharmacopeia's existing drug discovery collaboration with N.V.
Organon, Pharmacopeia's intentions regarding the establishment of
new drug discovery collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and
biotechnology organizations, Pharmacopeia's ability to build its
pipeline of novel drug candidates, through its own internally-funded
drug discovery programs, third party collaborations and in-
licensing, Pharmacopeia's expectations concerning the development
priorities of its collaborators and their ability to successfully
develop compounds, Pharmacopeia's ability to raise additional
capital, Pharmacopeia's anticipated operating results, financial
condition, liquidity and capital resources, Pharmacopeia's
expectations concerning the legal protections afforded by U.S. and
international patent law, additional competition, changes in
economic conditions, and other risks described in documents
Pharmacopeia has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
including its Report on Form 10-K filed on March 20, 2006 and
subsequent filings under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.
All forward-looking statements in this press release and oral
statements made with respect to information contained in this press
release are qualified entirely by the cautionary statements included
in this press release and such filings. These risks and
uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from
results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
press release. Pharmacopeia disclaims any undertaking to publicly
update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein to
reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any
change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such
statement is based.

Source: Pharmacopeia

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Biotech News - Researchers Identify New Childhood-Onset Epilepsy Disorder and its Genetic Cause

Researchers Identify New Childhood-Onset Epilepsy Disorder and its Genetic Cause

Finding may also shed light on cause of autism


Phoenix, AZ, March 30, 2006--Researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Clinic for Special Children (CSC) in Strasburg, PA, have described a new childhood-onset disorder characterized by severe epilepsy and autistic traits, and identified its genetic basis.

Epilepsies are a biologically complex group of disorders comprising many discrete genetic entities, and the majority of recurrent seizure syndromes remain unexplained. Most, if not all, epileptic disorders can be traced to abnormalities of brain structure or chemistry that alter the electrical activity of nerve cell networks. The children in this study have autistic traits, also thought to be caused by disrupted nerve cell networks.

The finding, which is published in the March 30th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, describes the newly discovered disorder called cortical dysplasia-focal epilepsy syndrome (CDFE) in a group of closely related Old Order Amish children from Pennsylvania.

All affected children had relatively normal development until the onset of frequent intractable seizures in early childhood. Thereafter, they developed language regression and additional features of autism, possibly implicating this gene as a cause of autism in the general population. Physicians at the CSC isolated DNA from four of the affected children and their six parents and, in collaboration with TGen, identified a mutation in the gene that codes for a protein called CASPR2.

New GeneChip technologies for scanning the human genetic blueprint are powerful tools for rapidly identifying causes of disorders such as epilepsy in carefully selected families.

"The ability to rapidly decipher the genetic underpinnings of brain disorders through genetic technologies will allow the medical community to better understand disorders such as autism and epilepsy, and this understanding is the first step in developing effective treatments" said Dr. Dietrich Stephan, Director of the Neurogenomics Division at TGen, Scientific Director of the TGen/Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center's (SARRC) autism research program, and a senior author on the study.

The protein has a well-known role in maintaining physical contacts between neurons and neighboring glial cells in the mature nervous system, but this is the first evidence that CASPR2 is also important for early human brain development.

According to Dr. Erik Puffenberger, laboratory director at the CSC, "We were able to unequivocally map the disease gene to chromosome 7 and identify a pathogenic sequence variant in the gene CNTNAP2, which codes for the CASPR2 protein. Although these patients were from an isolated population, we anticipate that CASPR2 mutations will be found in children from other populations with mental retardation, seizures, and autism."

"Previous studies on CASPR2 in isolated cell cultures and genetic 'knockout' mice did not predict its fundamental role in human brain development or cortical electrical activity. The present findings are compelling evidence for such roles, and open new directions for epilepsy and autism research beyond the index population," said Dr. Kevin Strauss, a pediatrician at the CSC.

According to Dr. Holmes Morton, co-founder and medical director of the CSC, "The identification of the mutation in CASPR2 in our Amish patients has already allowed us to recognize affected newborns before they become symptomatic. Our hope is that early treatment and prevention of prolonged seizures in these infants will lessen the effects of the disorder upon the lives of children and their families."

# # #

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused on developing earlier diagnostics and smarter treatments. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen's research is based on personalized medicine. The institute plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.

About the Clinic For Special Children
The Clinic for Special Children was established in 1989 to provide early diagnosis, affordable laboratory services, and comprehensive medical and nutritional care for Old Order Amish and Mennonite children that suffer from genetic disorders. The clinic mission encompasses four aims: 1) Make high-quality medical care for special children accessible, affordable, and culturally effective; 2) Develop comprehensive methods of newborn screening and follow-up care for genetic disorders prevalent among the Plain people; 3) Develop practical clinical applications for modern molecular genetic technologies; and 4) Elucidate disease mechanisms for the purpose of improving patient treatment and outcome. Clinical work at the CSC is funded by private donations from individuals, foundation contributions, and an endowment fund established for this purpose. Many collaborating scientists and laboratories donate specialized services. The CSC receives no money from state or federal sources and is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable institution.


Biotech News - TGen and Collaborators Launch Multiple Myeloma Research Program

TGen and Collaborators Launch Multiple Myeloma Research Program

New initiative aims to speed discovery of therapeutic targets for incurable cancer


Phoenix, AZ¬—March 30, 2006—The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in collaboration with the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has announced the launch of the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative, a multi-million dollar research program designed to rapidly accelerate progress made against multiple myeloma by significantly improving the understanding of the biology of the disease. The Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative is the most comprehensive research collaboration of its kind that focuses on cancer genomics, opening a new front in the battle against multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cell, is the second most common hematologic (blood) cancer, representing one percent of all cancer diagnoses and two percent of all cancer deaths. Despite recent advances in treating myeloma, the five-year survival rate for multiple myeloma is only 32 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. Approximately 50,000 people in the United States are living with multiple myeloma and an estimated 16, 000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

"The Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative underscores the critical role that scientific advances and new genomics technologies play in the fight against myeloma This unprecedented research program will fundamentally improve our understanding of myeloma, which will prove invaluable in future efforts to develop better, more effective treatments for the disease," said Kathy Giusti, founder and chief executive officer of the MMRC.

The Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative's research and discovery programs hinge on the ability to study, analyze, and characterize a large number of untreated myeloma patient tissue samples in great detail. This kind of research has been made possible only recently with the development of the MMRC Tissue Bank, the only resource of its kind to house high-quality bone marrow aspirates and matching peripheral blood samples accrued under Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards. Today, with hundreds of patient tissue samples now accrued under GLP standards into the MMRC Tissue Bank, and ongoing accrual at sites nationwide, researchers for the first time have access to the critical mass of tissue necessary to start this important genomic initiative.

"We expect that findings from the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative will lead to the discovery of new druggable targets for myeloma and, ultimately, to the development of better, more effective therapies that are active against these targets," said Jeffrey Trent, PhD, president and scientific director of TGen.

"The MMRC has set a standard for all cancer research through its funding of this initiative and its unparalleled Tissue Bank of multiple myeloma samples," said Todd Golub, MD, director of the cancer program at the Broad Institute. "We can now build a molecular understanding of this disease, the critical first step towards effective treatment."

Accelerating the Pace of Myeloma Research and Discovery Bringing together the Broad Institute and TGen's computational biology and genomics technology capabilities -- ranked among the most powerful in the world -- with the MMRC's unrivaled expertise in the clinical and biological aspects of myeloma, the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative takes a collaborative, systematic approach to mapping the myeloma genome. Over the course of three years, the MMRC will coordinate and fund the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative's several related research and discovery programs that span the spectrum of genomic science.

These programs include gene expression profiling to determine what genes and molecular pathways play a role in the onset and progression of myeloma; genome copy number and loss of heterozygosity analyses to better understand of the biology of myeloma and how the disease behaves; and efforts to pinpoint the "Achilles Heels" of myeloma -- genes that are essential for myeloma cell survival and those which may represent therapeutic targets for myeloma.

Findings from the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative will be made accessible to the academic and commercial world via pre-publications and key learnings will be directly communicated to the scientific community to aid researchers pursuing genome mapping in other cancers.

# # #

About TGen The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused on developing earlier diagnostics and smarter treatments. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen's research is based on personalized medicine. The institute plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.

About the MMRC The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509a3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is comprised of the MMRC and ten member institutions: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, University of Chicago, St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York, Hackensack University Medical Center, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community, as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in accelerating drug development and explore opportunities in the most promising areas of myeloma research—genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit


Biotech News - South Dakota Biotech Association Announces Official Launch

South Dakota Biotech Association Announces Official Launch

Press Release

March 29, 2006 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota – The South Dakota
Biotechnology Association will host a press conference at 2:00pm on
Monday, April 3rd at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation office
located at 200 N. Phillips Avenue. South Dakota will become the 41st
State with an Affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization
with the launching of SDBIO. The new association will be a resource
for the emerging biotech industry in South Dakota. The association
will represent companies whose regular business activities involve
biotechnology or products derived from biotechnology. Primarily,
member companies will be directly involved with the medical science,
life science, animal science and plant science.

"South Dakota is positioned to become a key player in the research
and development of biotech products and services, said Eddie
Sullivan, Board President and COO of Hematech. This new association
will assist in communicating the many opportunities and strong
support for biotech companies in South Dakota. Biotechnology has
allowed companies to gain more efficiencies in healthcare, livestock
production, crop production and in the processing of ethanol."

The purposes of the organization are to promote biotechnology within
the State of South Dakota through economic development and
developing the industry with start up companies with the state as
well as positioning the state for companies to move in. The
association will also be actively involved in educating South
Dakotans about biotechnology, its purposes and products. The
association will promote networking opportunities between interested
parties within the state and will also help companies to find
resources to continue to build and grow biotechnology.

Throughout the U.S., agriculture biotechnology has generated over
22,000 jobs and over $2.4 billion in revenues, including the
contributions of companies supplying inputs to the industry or goods
and services to employees.

South Dakota Biotechnology Association (SDBIO) will be hosting its
annual meeting and conference each fall. The conference is open to
members, media and interested parties. The 2006 theme is "Developing
a Bioscience Industry on the Prairie: Strategies and Partnerships."

SDBIO will also participate in national and international
conferences and tradeshows. These conferences will provide SDBIO and
its members with opportunities to promote South Dakota and our
biotech industry.

* * *

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Biotech News - Teflon all Over Again? - Urging Disclosure on Genetically Modified Organisms

Teflon all Over Again?

Christian Brothers Investment Services, Others Seek Support for
Dupont Shareholder Resolution Urging Disclosure on Genetically
Modified Organisms

Parallel Seen to Dupont's Teflon Debacle in Lack of Clear Safety
Findings for Food-Related Genetically Altered Agriculture, Sarbanes-
Oxley Disclosure Obligation Asserted.

Concerned that DuPont may be going down the same road that led to
its current woes surrounding Teflon, Christian Brothers Investment
Services, Inc. (CBIS) is urging DuPont investors to vote next month
in favor of a shareholder resolution calling on the company to meet
its Sarbanes-Oxley obligations to disclose any potentially material
risk or "off-balance sheet liability" that could be posed by its
manufacturing and distribution of food-related genetically modified
organisms (GMOs).

CBIS is the primary filer of the shareholder resolution to be voted
on at the DuPont annual meeting in late April 2006. A wide variety
of government, industry and scientific experts have raised concerns
about the lack of adequate testing and controls in place in relation
to the GMOs unleashed by DuPont and other firms. Recent reports also
have raised major health concerns -- including increased incidence
of allergies -- that could result from the introduction of GMOs into
agriculture and the food supply.

John K. S. Wilson, director of socially responsible investing at
Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc., said: "We are deeply
concerned that DuPont unknowingly may be sowing the seeds of risk
for its shareholders and the general public. A major issue here is
the lack of information regarding the safety of these products. We
wish to avoid a repeat of the Teflon controversy, which was brought
about when DuPont inaccurately asserted the safety of
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) over many decades. It is particularly
important that the company conduct independent assessments of GMO
products already in the market so that neither DuPont nor its
shareholders are surprised if GMOs fail to live up to DuPont's
preliminary safety and environmental claims. At a minimum, DuPont
has an obligation under Sarbanes- Oxley to start acknowledging to
its shareholders that there are valid concerns here about potential

In addition to citing recent health concerns and regulatory problems
with GMOs, the CBIS resolution states: "Disclosure of material
information is a fundamental principle of our capital markets.
Investors, their confidence in corporate bookkeeping shaken, are
starting to scrutinize other possible 'off- balance sheet'
liabilities, such as risks associated with activities harmful to
human health and the environment, that can impact long-term
shareholder value. SEC reporting requirements include disclosure of
environmental liabilities and of trends and uncertainties that the
company reasonably expects will have a material impact on revenues.
Public companies are now required to establish a system of controls
and procedures designed to ensure that financial information
required to be disclosed in SEC filings is recorded and reported in
a timely manner."

The CBIS resolution urges that DuPont's "board of directors review
and report to shareholders by the 2007 annual meeting on the
company's internal controls related to potential adverse impacts
associated with genetically modified organisms, including: reviewing
the adequacy of current post- marketing monitoring systems;
retaining an independent environmental expert to review the
effectiveness of established risk management processes; and
examining possible impact on seed product integrity."

Margaret Weber, coordinator of corporate responsibility, Adrian
Dominican Sisters and co-chair of the Water & Food Working Group of
the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), said: "In
contrast to some assertions that genetically engineered crops are
simply the next generation of crop breeding, this process is
actually a severe interruption of the ordinary natural process of
breeding. There is no global agreement that these products
are 'substantially equivalent.' Precaution would call, at a minimum,
for post market monitoring for early detection of negative health
effects. Yet that is not possible in the United States, the largest
producer of these crops, because they are not labeled as genetically
engineered. Consumers who are highly sensitive to allergens and
public health officials have no method of monitoring health impacts."

Leslie Lowe, director of ICCR's Environmental Justice and Water &
Food Working Groups, said: "The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed by
Congress in 2002, requires the CEO and CFO of public companies to
certify that the companies' financial statements 'fairly present'
their financial condition and results of operations. In order to
ensure that these certifications are meaningful, Sarbanes-Oxley also
requires that companies have appropriate 'internal controls' over
their financial reporting. Moreover, the Accounting Oversight Board
has made clear that these controls should include 'monitoring and
risk assessment' of areas where, given the nature of the company's
operations, actual losses are reasonably possible."

Lowe added: "Proponents of this resolution believe it is reasonably
possible that genetically engineered (GE) products could cause
significant losses for the company. DuPont (and other biotech firms)
should, therefore, establish post-market monitoring systems for
their GE products. This would enable the company to act at the
earliest moment should problems arise and it would reassure
investors that the company actually knows whether its operations
result in adverse impacts for which the company may be liable."

In outlining the potential risks surrounding DuPont GMOs, the CBIS
resolution notes: "'Gone to Seed' [from the Union of Concerned
Scientists] reports that genetically engineered DNA is contaminating
U.S. traditional seed stocks of corn, soybeans and canola, and that
if left unchecked could disrupt agricultural trade, unfairly burden
the organic foods industry, and allow hazardous materials into the
food supply ... Insurers in Germany, the UK and elsewhere are
refusing liability coverage for genetically engineered (GE) crops,
demonstrating heightened concern about the long-term safety of GE


Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.
( manages more than $4 billion, combining
faith and finance in the responsible stewardship of Catholic
financial assets. CBIS' combination of premier institutional asset
managers, diversified product offerings, and careful risk- control
strategies constitutes a unique investment approach for Catholic
institutions and their fiduciaries. CBIS strives to integrate faith-
based values into the investment process through a disciplined
approach to socially responsible investing that includes principled
purchasing (stock screens), active ownership strategies (proxy
voting, dialogues, and shareholder resolutions) and community
investment. The firm contributes a portion of all profits to support
the Church's educational and social ministry.

For over thirty years the Interfaith Center on Corporate
Responsibility ( has been a leader of the
corporate social responsibility movement. ICCR's membership is an
association of 275 faith-based institutional investors, including
national denominations, religious communities, pension funds,
endowments, hospital corporations, economic development funds and
publishing companies. ICCR and its members press companies to be
socially and environmentally responsible. Each year ICCR-member
religious institutional investors sponsor over 100 shareholder
resolutions on major social and environmental issues. The combined
portfolio value of ICCR's member organizations is estimated to be
$110 billion.

Source: Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc., New York, NY

CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell, +1-703-276-3266, or, for Christian Brothers Investment
Services, Inc.

Web site:

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Biotech News - BIO 2006 Program to Highlight All Aspects of Industry

BIO 2006 Program to Highlight All Aspects of Industry

BIO 2006 will draw 18,000 life science professionals from around the world to network and learn about the future of the industry through an expansive exhibit hall and a series of thought-provoking, educational programs. Sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the 14th annual international convention will take place April 9-12 at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center.

The BIO 2006 sessions will feature luminaries from the spheres of
science, finance, business, law, and government policy. The program
includes popular general overviews on the state of the industry as
well as expert panels focused on the Health, Food and Agriculture,
and Industrial and Environmental sectors. BIO 2006 packs a year's
worth of professional development into four days.

Among the highlights:

* "Bioethanol: From Fueling Cars to Driving the Biorefining
This session will provide an overview of state of the art grain-
and cellulosic biomass ethanol technologies. Other topics
include a
discussion on biobased material production in integrated

* "Who's Going to Pay for It?" Who is going to pay for the
medical devices and diagnostics you're working so hard to
Questions such as, how will payer reform (inpatient/outpatient)
the financial success of your device or diagnostic? What will be
impact of personalized medicine on payer decisions? At what
point do you
need to start planning for insurance coverage for your device or
diagnostic? And, who and how do you lobby for appropriate
A panel of experts including payer, company and financial
representatives will explore these and other questions.

* "Taking a Public Company Private: Going Private/Going Dark."
Since the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act was adopted in 2002, annual compliance costs
public companies in the U.S. have risen dramatically. This
session will
address the process of taking a public company private by
comparing and
contrasting the two most frequently applied methods, commonly
"going private" and "going dark."

* "The 2006 Finnegan Henderson Symposium on the Future of
Patent Law." Sweeping changes in the patent laws and rules appear
imminent in Congress and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
could significantly alter the requirements for obtaining and
biotech patents. The courts are increasingly tackling legal
issues that
will affect biotechnology patents. Industry experts will discuss
impact of pending legislation, pending patent office rule
changes and
the state of the law as expressed by the courts on the future of
intellectual property.

* "FDA Town Hall." Senior FDA leaders will discuss current hot
topics in
each of the centers for review of drugs and biologics, CDER and
Attendees will hear the latest on key organizational and policy
initiatives, as well as FDA's views on critical issues such as
safety and progress on important initiatives including
the "Critical
Path," and PDUFA performance goals.

* "What's in Store for the Future: The Next Generation of Biotech
Benefits." Researchers from the University of Maryland will
unveil the
results of a new study analyzing the nutritional and health
that could come from enhanced nutrient profiles of certain
foods. This
session will also include experts on public health and healthcare

For more information on the BIO 2006 Annual International
Convention, visit BIO's website at

Advance media registration for BIO 2006 is now available online.
Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the news
media. To register, please visit Only reporters and editors
working full-time for print or broadcast news organizations may
register onsite with valid media credentials. All freelancers and
online publications must register in advance by Friday, March 31,

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic
institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations
across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are
involved in the research and development of healthcare,
agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization

CONTACT: Kim Coghill of Biotechnology Industry Organization,

Web site:

Biotech News - Sangamo BioSciences to Present at the BioCentury Future Leaders in the Biotech

Sangamo BioSciences to Present at the BioCentury Future Leaders in
the Biotech Industry Conference

RICHMOND, Calif., March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sangamo
BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO) announced today that it will be
presenting at the BioCentury and Thomson Financial Future Leaders in
the Biotech Industry Conference at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on
Thursday, March 30, 2006 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New
York. Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's president and chief executive
officer, will provide an overview of the company's business strategy
and an update on the progress of Sangamo's therapeutic development

The presentation will be webcast live and may be accessed via a link
on the Sangamo BioSciences website in the Investor Relations section
under "Company Overview"
c=0938&p==irol-IRHome . The presentation will be archived on the
Sangamo website for two weeks after the event.

About Sangamo

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. is focused on the research and development
of novel DNA-binding proteins for therapeutic gene regulation and
modification. The most advanced ZFP Therapeutic(TM) development
programs are currently in Phase 1 clinical trials for evaluation of
safety in patients with diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery
disease. Other therapeutic development programs are focused on
macular degeneration, ischemic heart disease, congestive heart
failure, neuropathic pain, and infectious and monogenic diseases.
Sangamo's core competencies enable the engineering of a class of DNA-
binding proteins known as zinc finger DNA-binding proteins (ZFPs).
By engineering ZFPs that recognize a specific DNA sequence Sangamo
has created ZFP transcription factors (ZFP TFTM) that can control
gene expression and, consequently, cell function. Sangamo is also
developing sequence-specific ZFP Nucleases (ZFNTM) for therapeutic
gene modification as a treatment for a variety of monogenic
diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, and for infectious diseases,
such as HIV. Sangamo has established several Enabling Technology
Agreements with companies to apply its ZFP Technology to enhance the
production of protein pharmaceuticals. For more information about
Sangamo, visit the company's web site at

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on
Sangamo's current expectations. These forward-looking statements
include, without limitation, references to the research and
development of novel ZFP TFs and ZFNs, applications of Sangamo's ZFP
TF technology platform and clinical trials of ZFP Therapeutics.
Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking
statements due to a number of factors, including technological
challenges, uncertainties relating to the initiation and completion
of stages of the ZFP Therapeutic clinical trials, Sangamo's ability
to develop commercially viable products and technological
developments by our competitors. See the company's SEC filings, and
in particular, the risk factors described in the company's Annual
Report on Form 10-K and its most recent 10-Q. Sangamo BioSciences,
Inc. assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information
contained in this press release.

Source: Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Wolffe, Ph.D., Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.,
+1-510-970-6000, ext. 271,; or Media, Justin
+1-212-213-0006,, for Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.

Web site:

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Biotech News - Samaritan is the Little Biotech That Could Be Remembered for Alzheimer's

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Samaritan is the Little Biotech That Could Be Remembered for Alzheimer's


  • Alzheimer's Expected to Claim 14M Lives by 2050
  • Analyst Predict Alzheimer's Market Could Reach $4B Annually by 2013

Samaritan Pharmaceuticals Inc.  a developer of innovative drugs, announced today, its Alzheimer's drug SP233, recently registered as Caprospinol, showed no toxic effects in standard preclinical assays used to evaluate its safety. This is an important finding for SP233's future as a possible life-saving, memory-saving, Alzheimer's drug. Samaritan has concluded a number of preclinical studies of SP233, in preparation to file an investigational new drug (IND) application, with the FDA.

While the jury is still out as to the exact cause of Alzheimer's, most researchers think a buildup of the protein beta-amyloid in the brain is what causes the disease. So far, each preclinical study has given Samaritan hope that SP233 holds promise to exert neuroprotective properties against beta-amyloid toxicity.

Dr. Greeson, CEO of Samaritan stated, "We are wrapping up the last preclinical study to file an IND with the FDA, it's been a complex process but we are almost there, it's exciting. We are cautiously optimistic the FDA will grant us an IND and if so, SP233 would be one of the few drugs to be tested in humans that could actually treat Alzheimer's, not just alleviate its symptoms."

Samaritan Pharmaceuticals: "We Save Lives."

Samaritan is a small-cap Biotech, driven to discover, develop, and commercialize, innovative therapeutics' for AIDS, Alzheimer's, Cancer and Heart disease. Look at Please register on Website so we can notify you of upcoming conference calls, news and events.


The company disclaims any information that is created by an outside party and endorses only information that is communicated by its press releases, filings and Website. This news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current beliefs about the potential for its drug candidates, science and technology. However, as with any biopharmaceutical under development, there are significant risks and uncertainties in the process of development and regulatory review. There are no guarantees that products will prove to be commercially successful. For additional information about the factors that affect the company's business, please read the company's latest Form 10-K filed April 15, 2005. The company undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

Samaritan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Gene Boyle, 702-735-7001 

Source: Samaritan Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Biotech News - New JMP(R) Software for Genomics Applications Integrates Statistical Analysis,

New JMP(R) Software for Genomics Applications Integrates Statistical
Analysis, Graphical Exploration of High-Throughput Data; Desktop
Analysis Helps Scientists Understand Genetics, Microarray,
Proteomics Data

SAS announces the release of JMP(R) Genetics, JMP(R) Microarray, and
JMP(R) Proteomics, three specialized genomics products for desktop
statistical analysis of DNA, RNA and protein data. The suite of
products provides an integrated environment for accessing,
subsetting, analyzing and exploring data patterns that can lead to
the identification of promising new drugs. The new products use JMP
software as a powerful and dynamic data visualization and
statistical analysis desktop client to SAS. More than 85 genomics
processes employ the JMP Scripting Language (JSL) to launch
customizable SAS(R) macro programs in the background, enabling
unparalleled data processing and statistical capabilities.

The suite of genomics products offers proven Design of Experiments
(DOE) tools for creating efficient and unconfounded experiments; a
wide range of input processes for popular genomic instrumentation;
deep and broad statistical methods that optimize tradeoffs between
sensitivity and specificity; and integrated links to many
bioinformatics annotation tools and Web sites.

JMP Genetics provides a rich class of methods for characterizing
genetic variability and evaluating its association with biological
phenotypes such as quantitative traits, chemical response or small
molecule expression. JMP Microarray offers an extensive and flexible
library of statistical capabilities for making transcript abundance
discoveries. JMP Proteomics facilitates the analysis of spectral
data and the identification of biomarkers associated with biological
effects such as disease or adverse events.

Early adopters have used the products since October 2005. "JMP is
the strongest statistical tool I've seen for exploratory data
analysis," said Dr. Jason Osborne, assistant statistics professor at
North Carolina State University. "For example, I can select a subset
of genes that exhibit significant expression across certain
conditions and then examine their behavior in a variety of different
graphs and plots to see if they behave similarly."

Osborne provides statistical support to life scientists worldwide.
With the new genomics products, he can run analyses, save the
sequence as scripts, and ship the scripts and data to researchers
anywhere. They, in turn, can launch the scripts with one mouse
click, rerun the analyses and explore the results on their own or in
collaboration with colleagues.

JMP Genetics, JMP Microarray, and JMP Proteomics are licensed
annually. For more information, visit

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business intelligence software and services.
Customers at 40,000 sites, including 96 of the top 100 FORTUNE
Global 500(R) companies, use SAS software to manage and gain
insights from vast amounts of data, resulting in faster, more
accurate business decisions; more profitable relationships with
customers and suppliers; compliance with governmental regulations;
research breakthroughs; and better products. Only SAS offers leading
data integration, intelligence storage, advanced analytics and
traditional business intelligence applications within a
comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has
been giving customers around the world The Power to Know(R)

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are
registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA
and other countries. (R) indicates USA registration.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Biotech News - Muscular Dystrophy Association Funds Large-Scale Gene Screening Project to Find

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Muscular Dystrophy Association Funds Large-Scale Gene Screening Project to Find ALS Clues


Biotech News 


TGen to Scan 1,000 Patient Samples in Year-long Study


TUCSON, Ariz., March 20, 2006 -- The largest screening of genes that may be involved in causing, exacerbating or increasing vulnerability to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) has been funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), the organization announced today.

MDA will provide $650,000 to the non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, to scan the genomes of 1,000 patient samples collected from several clinical sites around the country to identify ALS-causing genes.

The one-year project is focused on identifying regions in the human genome that harbor genes that predispose individuals to sporadic ALS. Much insight has been gained into other forms of ALS, but there is still little understanding of the common causes of ALS, which occur with no prior history.

"We are optimistic that this study will enable us to identify those genes that contribute to sporadic ALS. That knowledge will bring us a step closer to developing a diagnostic test and hopefully improved therapeutics for battling ALS," said Dr. Dietrich Stephan, head of TGen's Neurogenomics Division and project director.

ALS is a progressive, degenerative disease of the nervous system that usually begins in middle or late adulthood, causes total paralysis, and most often leads to death within five years. It's called Lou Gehrig's disease after the famed New York Yankees baseball player who died of the disease in 1941. Since 1993, scientists, many of whom have received funding from MDA, have uncovered a few genes that, when flawed, can directly cause ALS, and have suspected several others of increasing vulnerability to the disorder or accelerating its course.

Projects funded by MDA that are smaller in scope have provided researchers with several hunches concerning biochemical pathways that are likely to contribute to ALS, but this is the first project that will scan the entire human genome (full set of human genes) for variants that may be more common in the ALS population than in the general population.

"Identifying such variants is likely to provide leads to additional biological pathways involved in the disease and provide targets for drug development," said Sharon Hesterlee, MDA Director of Research Development. "This is a very powerful approach that should yield results."

MDA's financial support was made available through Augie's Quest, an aggressive campaign aimed at raising funds for ALS research that will lead to treatments and a cure for the disease that affects more than 30,000 Americans.

"TGen is uniquely suited to leverage the information in the human genome to accelerate the development of novel diagnostics and smarter treatments for patients with ALS," said TGen's president and scientific director, Dr. Jeffrey Trent. "We are pleased to be partnering with MDA to identify susceptibility genes for this devastating disease."

# # #

About MDA
MDA (, founded in 1950, is a voluntary health agency working to defeat more than 40 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.

About Augie's Quest
Fitness pioneer Augie Nieto started Augie's Quest ( in conjunction with MDA's ALS Division. Nieto is co-founder and former president of Life Fitness, and chairman of Octane Fitness. He and his wife, Lynne, serve as co-chairpersons of MDA's ALS Division. Nieto received a diagnosis of ALS in March 2005.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused on developing earlier diagnostics and smarter treatments. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen's research is based on personalized medicine. The institute plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.



Bob Mackle

Director of Public Information

Muscular Dystrophy Association

(520) 529-5317

bobmackle @

Amy Erickson

Translational Genomics Research Institute

(602) 343-8522

aerickson @



Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Biotech News - Pharma & Biotech Partnering Conference Attendee List Published in Final Announce

Pharma & Biotech Partnering Conference Attendee List Published in Final Announcement Before March 27-29 Gala Event in La Jolla, CA

LA JOLLA, Calif.,  Business development executives, CEOs, and investors from around the world will gather in two weeks to attend the "11th Annual Pharma & Biotech Licensing Deal-Making Summit." The organizer, Strategic Research Institute, is pleased to publish the evolving list of attending companies, which appears below. Hundreds of high-level executives are slated to attend, including delegates from:

3M Abgenix Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc Allos Therapeutics Altana Pharma US Altea Therapeutics Global Licensing, Amgen Amylin Pharmaceuticals Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Arizona State University Arizona Technology Enterprises ARYx Therapeutics AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP Bausch & Lomb Baxter AG Bayer HealthCare LLC - Animal Health Div. Bioavailability Systems Biogen Idec Inc. Biolexis BioScience Ventures Bristol-Myers Squibb Brown Rudnick LLP Campbell Alliance Capital Royalty L.P. Catalyst Pharmaceutical Research, LLC Celgene Corporation Chelsea Therapeutics CHL Medical Cleveland Clinic Daiichi Medical Research Daiichi Pharmaceutical Corporation Darier Discovery Partners International Eli Lilly and Company Endo Pharmaceuticals Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center Fenwick & West, LLP Flamel Technologies Fortress Investment Group FSC Laboratories Genzyme Corporation Gilead Sciences H.I.G. Capital Henry M. Jackson Foundation Idenix Pharmaceuticals Indevus Pharmaceuticals InterMune ISU ABXIS Co. J.P. Morgan Partners Johnson & Johnson Keck Graduate Institute Ligand Pharmaceuticals Lilly Ventures Louisiana State University Medical College of Wisconsin Research Foundation MedImmune, Inc. VMerck & Co. Merck Research Laboratories MTB Investment Advisors Novartis Pharma AG Ovation Pharmaceuticals Paddock Laboratories Pennside Partners Pfizer Inc Pharmacyclics PLx Pharma Praecis Pharmaceuticals Quintiles Transnational Corporation RCP Diagnostics LLC Roche Molecular Systems sanofi-aventis Group Schering-Plough Corporation SCOLR Pharma, Inc. SGX Pharmaceuticals Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc. SR One, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline Stanford University School of Medicine TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. The Dow Chemical Company McNerney & Partners University of New Mexico Vital Therapies Vrije Universiteit Brussels Watson Pharmaceutical Inc. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals ZS Associates

Speakers include business development executives and investors from Genzyme, Merck, Indevus, sanofi-aventis, Bayer, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer, Schering Plough, Celgene, Abgenix, MedImmune, BiogenIDEC, Amylin, Ligand, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, TAP, Wyeth, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.

To request the agenda and/or the preliminary list of attendees, contact the organizer, Mark Alexay of Strategic Research Institute, at malexay @ or at 212.967.0095, extension 251. Executive level Pharma, biotech, diagnostics, technology, medical device, and investor personnel are welcome to attend.

Source: Strategic Research Institute

Biotech News - Community colleges groom Arizona's bioscience workforce

Community colleges groom Arizona's bioscience workforce
Kate L. Petersen, the Flinn Foundation



Since the fall of 2003, when educators and bioscience industry leaders completed the Arizona Bioscience Workforce Strategy, community and technical colleges around the state have been developing new programs and innovative ways to train more workers to meet the needs of Arizona's growing biosciences sector.

In the fall of 2003, Arizona educators and government leaders were handed a daunting missive through the Arizona Bioscience Workforce Development assessment: to go forth and train lab techs.

The report, drawn up by the Columbus-based Battelle Memorial Institute and commissioned by a range of educational, nonprofit, and government institutions across the state, found that Arizona, while pursuing a promising industry in the biosciences, was not currently capable of generating the workforce needed to support that growing industry.

Full Story 


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Flinn Foundation: Bioscience Roadmap

Flinn Foundation: Bioscience Roadmap

Welcome to the Roadmap, a compilation of resources and information for Arizonans interested in the biosciences. Here you will find a growing collection of progress reports, PowerPoint presentations, and other useful resources on Arizona's Bioscience Roadmap and local bioscience endeavors. Whether you are a member of the Arizona's biosciences community, or an interested layperson, we hope that you will find the resources presented here to be relevant, useful, and informative.

Arizona's Bioscience Roadmap
Arizona Bioscience Workforce Strategy
Arizona's Bioscience Roadmap Media Workshop Presentation
Positioning Arizona as a Bioscience Leader

Biotech News

The Business Journal: Biotech Progress Report - 2006-03-13

The Business Journal: Biotech Progress Report - 2006-03-13

Biotech Progress Report
The Business Journal of Phoenix - March 10, 2006

According to the Flinn Foundation's Arizona Bioscience Roadmap, there are four main strategies the state needs to focus on to develop a strong bioscience hub. Here are those strategies and how Arizona fared in the first quarter of 2006.

Biotech News

Biotech News - Arizona Bioscience Education

Arizona Bioscience Education


Jim McPherson at the Flinn Foundation has recently started a weblog about Arizona Bioscience Education.

This item is about The Maricopa County Fair Science Fair.

Bill Austin

Scientists discover new ways to protect IP

Scientists discover new ways to protect IP

The Business Journal: Scientists discover new ways to protect IP - 2006-03-13

Scientists discover new ways to protect IP

The Business Journal of Phoenix - March 10, 2006
by Angela Gonzales

Jim Poulin/The Business Journal
Ribomed research associate Joanne Hunt documents, dates and signs her findings in a research notebook. Documenting intellectual property can be crucial to a successful patent application.

Scientists learn early on that protecting their intellectual property is crucial to their success.

Because the minute they get a patent, they're fighting to protect their exclusive right to use technology covered by the patent.

But patents aren't the only way a company can protect its intellectual property. They can follow in the footsteps of The Coca-Cola Co. and keep the information as a trade secret, guarding a secret formula from potential copycats. Sometimes, a simple copyright or trademark can help protect intellectual property.

A few years ago, local biotech companies looking for savvy attorneys to help protect their intellectual property headed to the East Coast. But now that Arizona's biotech market is beginning to blossom, several local law firms are luring these top IP attorneys to the Valley.

"For most companies that are in any kind of technology, intellectual property is often their most critical and most valuable asset," says Susan Stone Rosenfield, a registered patent attorney with the law firm of Fennemore Craig in Phoenix. "Oftentimes, it is their only asset. It really is necessary to make sure they take the appropriate steps to protect that technology."

More Here

Biotech News

Monday, March 13, 2006

Biotech News - TGen Survey Sheds Light on Cardiovascular Health of Avondale Residents

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TGen Survey Sheds Light on Cardiovascular Health of Avondale Residents

Education and intervention key to reducing risk for heart disease and diabetes


Phoenix, AZ, March 8, 2006-As part of the Healthy Avondale Partnership, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) released data today that helps shed light on cardiovascular disease in Arizona. The partnership was formed to address chronic disease and promote healthy lifestyles in Avondale, particularly among the Hispanic community, which comprises 46 percent of Avondale residents.

In January 2005, TGen researchers visited Avondale residents to conduct a comprehensive survey of medical and family histories, eating and exercise behavior, and to measure lipid and glucose values to identify risk for cardiovascular disease. All individuals were invited to join an intervention program to reduce their risk of heart disease. Individuals whose behavior or laboratory values were consistent with heart disease or diabetes were referred to health care providers for follow-up medical treatment. Dr. Johanna Wolford, head of TGen's Diabetes and Obesity Research Unit, is leading the Avondale study, which is a component of her wider research interest to uncover the complicated genetic and environmental connections that cause an increased risk in cardiovascular disease in ethnic populations.

High body weight and blood pressure are well-known risk factors for heart disease. Results from the TGen survey indicate that 79% of Avondale adults who were surveyed are overweight, or obese, indicating that a substantial portion of the population is at an increased risk for the development of heart disease. Similarly, although nearly 26% of Avondale adults had been previously diagnosed with high blood pressure by a physician, the TGen study identified an additional 62% of the community had abnormally high blood pressure readings.

Diabetes is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. For people with type 2 diabetes, the death rate from a first heart attack is two to three times the death rate of patients without diabetes. Among the individuals surveyed, over 14% were currently being treated for type 2 diabetes. An additional 25% of study participants had glucose levels normally seen in diabetes or in individuals at high-risk of developing the disease.

"This information is critical because it points to a need for increased preventive healthcare strategies for the medically underserved in this community," said Dr. Wolford. "The study has benefited members of this community by identifying cardiovascular disease and diabetes as major public health problems and now we can begin providing culturally sensitive educational programs to address issues such as proper nutrition, smoking cessation and physical activity programs to decrease the risk of developing these diseases."

Another component of the Healthy Avondale Partnership focuses on education and intervention. The City of Avondale carried out several activities and events that focused on physical activity, healthy choices, healthy eating and preventive screening to promote positive lifestyle changes.

"The mission of Healthy Avondale 2010 is to help each other lead healthier lives," said Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers. "The partnership with TGen is helping us to take a proactive role in ensuring healthier lifestyles for all our citizens. By identifying what health disparities are out there in our community, we are better prepared to tackle them in the future."

If the effects of the Healthy Avondale project are positive, this approach may serve as an example for community-based interventions for chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Because there is a high degree of family history for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, long-term plans may incorporate family studies to identify genetic factors that contribute to the higher rates of these diseases in this population.

"The fact that Latinos suffer from disproportionately high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, coupled with the lack of health insurance and an occasional language barrier, underscores the need for immediate and effective interventions," said Maria Portela, TGen's Program Coordinator for the Avondale Project. "The work TGen is doing in Avondale is crucial to improving the lives of this community."

The partnership includes the City of Avondale's Healthy Avondale 2010 initiative, TGen, Sun Health, a non-profit health care provider, and the American Heart Association's Halle Heart Center. Healthy Avondale 2010, is part of a lager effort called Healthy Arizona 2010 and Healthy People 2010, which aims to reduce obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses by 2010. This is the first time the statewide chronic disease plan has been implemented successfully in Arizona.

Funded by an award from the Arizona Department of Health Services' Chronic Disease Fund stemming from the approval of Proposition 303, TGen is now conducting follow-up surveys for Avondale residents in order to determine whether community intervention efforts made by the City were effective in reaching Hispanic residents. Concurrently, TGen researchers are in the process of generating data about health disparities to find out which barriers are impeding this population from living healthier lifestyles.

For more information about the partnership and the free services provided to participants, contact Maria Portela at (602) 343-8825.

# # #

Media Contact:
Amy Erickson-TGen (602) 343-8522

About TGen
The mission of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen is focused on personalized medicine and plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.

Bill Austin  Chief Technology Officer


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ex-Beatle urges Napolitano to block biotech firm

Ex-Beatle urges Napolitano to block biotech firm

Ex-Beatle urges Napolitano to block biotech firm
The Arizona Republic Mar. 8, 2006 03:30 PM
Sir Paul wrote to Governor Janet.In a letter mailed from his London offices and signed by the former Beatle, Paul McCartney asks Gov. Janet Napolitano to intervene in Chandler and stop a drug-testing company from building in the city. A spokeswoman in McCartney's London office confirmed the letter's authenticity.Covance, a global biotech company, has announced plans to build one of its largest facilities near Price and Queen Creek roads, a move that has drawn protests from animal-rights activists worldwide. The firm tests drugs for pharmaceutical companies and uses animals in some of those tests.


The Business Journal: Stardust donates $7.5M to Arizona bioscience research efforts - 2006-03-10

The Business Journal: Stardust donates $7.5M to Arizona bioscience research efforts - 2006-03-10

Stardust donates $7.5M to Arizona bioscience research efforts
The Business Journal of Phoenix - 11:37 AM MST Friday
by Angela Gonzales
The Business Journal
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As if pledging a donation of $100 million toward Arizona's bioscience effort isn't enough, The Stardust Foundation is donating $7.5 million to several local powerhouses to further research efforts.
Scottsdale Healthcare is getting $5 million, Translational Genomics Research Institute, TGen, is getting $1.5 million, while the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center is getting $1 million.
Scottsdale Healthcare will use the money for cancer research and treatment at its Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center. TGen will use the money to fund research in bipolar disease and to help expand its overall infrastructure, including computational resources.
SARRC will fund the Bisgrove Autism Research Center, naming the center after Stardust's founder, Jerry Bisgrove.

Arizona Biotech

biotech news - IPIFINI's Founder to Present on Starting a Biotech Without Venture Funding

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biotech news - IPIFINI's Founder to Present on Starting a Biotech Without Venture Funding at IBC's DRUG DISCOVERY TECHNOLOGY(R) Europe Conference
Friday March 10, 10:00 am ET

IPIFINI, Inc. announced today the Company will present at IBC's DRUG DISCOVERY TECHNOLOGY® Europe conference. Tod Woolf, Ph.D., President, will provide a case study describing the founding of his prior company, Sequitur, entitled, "$20,000 and a Dream: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Starting a Biotech Without Venture Funding."

The presentation will begin at 10:30 AM (GMT) on Wednesday, March 15, 2006.

Dr. Woolf founded Sequitur in 1997 in Natick, Massachusetts. Sequitur grew sales to over $5,000,000 a year with $20,000 in total equity financing and was profitable for seven years as an independent company. Sequitur was acquired by Invitrogen in 2003. The hiring strategies, contract manufacturing, systematic R&D methodologies and business development strategies that permitted this organic growth will be discussed.

About IPIFINI, Inc.

IPIFINI is a Massachusetts-based technology development corporation founded in 2003. IPIFINI provides technology and business development advisory services focusing on the biomedical and consumer products areas. IPIFINI employs its award winning Innovation Engine(TM) idea generation software to generate Intellectual Property (IP) for new products. IPIFINI's clients include technology-driven companies such as Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Signet Laboratories and Invitrogen.

IPIFINI is a registered Service Mark and Innovation Engine is a trademark of IPIFINI, Inc.

Web site:


Source: IPIFINI, Inc.


Biotech News - Gene Express Signs Strategic Agreement With VWR International

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Gene Express Signs Strategic Agreement With VWR International

Arizona Biotech 

 Gene Express, Inc. today announced that it has signed a strategic agreement with VWR International, Inc. to resell and distribute Gene Express' SEM Center™ (Standardized Expression Measurement) services to biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as clinical research organizations (CROs).

Gene Express's SEM Center™ process is a high throughput gene expression assay process using automated equipment and proprietary software that ensures that all assays are setup, performed and analyzed with minimal human intervention. The SEM Center uses Gene Express's proprietary StaRT-PCR™ (Standardized Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) process to provide quantitative, reproducible, sensitive, standardized gene expression measurement.


Biotech News 


The three-year North American agreement gives VWR a strong gene expression addition to its Bioscience service portfolio, while offering Gene Express the strength and reach of VWR's sales organization.

"We are very pleased to be working with VWR," stated Gerald Vardzel, CEO of Gene Express. "This agreement represents an important endorsement of our technology and services, which now will gain exposure to a larger customer base. VWR is well positioned in the markets we are pursuing and we look forward to a fruitful relationship."

"Quantification of gene expression is critical to targeted therapeutics and diagnostics," noted Dr. Zishan Haroon M.D., Ph.D., General Manager and Senior Vice President of VWR Bioscience. "Gene Express provides a service that not only quantifies gene expression, but does so under FDA guidance characteristics. We are delighted to have Gene Express as part of our CRO platform and are confident that customers will share our enthusiasm and excitement about their offering."

"Our strategy is to partner with market leading companies such as VWR, that are on the forefront of innovation," added Mr. Vardzel.

As part of the agreement, Gene Express presented at the first annual VWR BioSciences Sales Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the team described its StaRT-PCR™ technology and related SEM Center™ services, the differentiating value of StaRT-PCR™ data and the target market.

About VWR International

VWR International, Inc. is a leader in the global research laboratory industry with worldwide sales of over US $3.0 billion. VWR's business is highly diversified across a spectrum of products and services, customer groups and geography. The company offers more than 1,000,000 products and services, from more than 5,000 manufacturers, to over 250,000 customers throughout the world. VWR's primary customers work in the pharmaceutical, life science, chemical, technology, food processing and consumer product industries. Other important customers include universities and research institutes; governmental agencies; environmental testing organizations; and primary and secondary schools. VWR International affiliates operate in 20 countries and employ approximately 6,000 people. The company's mission is to deliver excellence in the distribution of scientific supplies. The VWR International Group is headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania. For more information about VWR visit the VWR web site at

About Gene Express, Inc.

Gene Express, Inc. accelerates and enables drug development by providing standardized genomic data. The Company's proprietary and patented StaRT-PCR™ (Standardized Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) platform technology for measuring gene expression levels in cells, tissue and blood is being used by numerous pharmaceutical concerns, as well as leading academic centers. The Company's $3 billion focus market for licensing and contract services includes the drug development, academic and molecular diagnostics segments. Additional information is available on the Company's website at

Any forecasts, plans, projections and other information contained in this press release describing events or results that may occur in the future are "forward-looking statements" as defined in the United States Private Securities litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and important factors that are beyond the control of the Company that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from the results presently anticipated or projected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and any such forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to this cautionary statement. All forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this release and are based on current expectations. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE:  Gene Express, Inc.


Biotech firm launches massive Alzheimer's drug trial

Rutland Herald: Rutland Vermont News & Information

Biotech firm launches massive Alzheimer's drug trial

March 11, 2006

By PAUL ELIAS The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — It's tragedy enough that Pat Williams' mother has Alzheimer's disease. But Williams is also terrified because her chances of inheriting the disease are much better than average.

So Williams, who lives in Boston, eagerly enrolled her 90-year-old mother last year in a massive, 1,600-patient, 18-month clinical trial testing an experimental drug made by the biotechnology company Myriad Genetics Inc. The drug, called Flurizan, slowed the mind-robbing disease in some of the 128 patients with mild Alzheimer's participating in a smaller test.

Based on those results, the company has gambled millions of research dollars on the largest-ever Alzheimer's drug trial. It aims to win an intense, international race among several biotech companies to find the first effective treatment to at least slow the disease's progression in the 4.5 million Americans who suffer from it.

Biotech News