Archive for the ‘BioTech/Pharma’ Category

Herbal/Vitamin Supplement Industry – Good or Bad?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

On some interesting news I read a few months ago, Pfizer’s (a major pharmaceutical company) patent on its impotence drug Viagra has been partially rejected after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said it wasn’t different enough from a Chinese herb called yin yang huo (more popularly known as Horny Goat Weed).

Yin Yang Huo (Horny Goat Weed)

Yin Yang Huo (Horny Goat Weed)

(more…)

Twitt

Disease-causing agents – a potential source of medicine?

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

We can learn a lot from the world of parasites, which in general also includes bacteria, viruses and fungi. The medical profession has long focused on bacteria and viruses more-so than parasitic protozoa partly due to the fact of how causes of disease have traditionally been identified. A pathogen had to be shown to be associated with a particular disease. In this respect it had to be isolated, grown in a pure culture, and inoculated into a host which would then produce the disease. The organism in the host also had to be shown to be the pathogen that the host was inoculated with. Bacteria and viruses were easily characterized as disease causing agents within these set of rules, but protozoa, despite their ability to cause severe disease, never really fell easily into this category. Protozoa have an extremely complex process not only in terms of the biological sense but also in terms of survival and the means in which they infect their hosts. (more…)

Twitt

Helping the poorest of the poor fight disease

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Sufferers of sleeping sickness

Sufferers of sleeping sickness


Imagine living day to day in a place plagued by constant poverty and unimaginable disease. AIDS, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease), malaria, nodding syndrome, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are some of the most common diseases the people of southern Sudan have to live in constant fear of. Although some of the diseases widespread in southern Sudan such as AIDS and malaria are also found elsewhere, southern Sudan is also plagued by some of the more exotic diseases such as guinea worm disease, nodding syndrome, river blindness, and sleeping sickness that are almost entirely local to Sudan and neighboring African countries. (more…)

Twitt

Pharmacogenetics – The future of “Personalized Medicine”

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

PharmacogeneticsEuropean Americans are ten to forty times more likely than African Americans to get a very aggressive type of skin cancer called Melanoma. People of Asian descent are more likely to have the inability to process alcohol efficiently – exposing them to more toxicity. People of Northern European descent have a predisposition for Type 1 diabetes. High blood pressure is twice as common in African Americans than in the rest of the American population. Native Americans have higher rates of tuberculosis, pneumonia, and influenza. I’ll stop there; the list is rather large.

I mention the above statistics to bring the point home for the need for more targeted or “personalized” drugs within the Pharma industry. A “one size fit all” approach for every disease/disorder simply does not aim for maximum effectiveness. Clearly the above example and more importantly common sense points to the fact that every human being is not like every other human being when it comes to appropriate medical treatment and disease prevention. Individuals have different germlines based on many factors within the evolutionary track of a specific population. (more…)

Twitt

Pharma Mega-Mergers: When you can’t innovate, merge

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

In April of 2009, Pfizer agreed to buyout Wyeth for $68 billion; Pfizer’s market cap at that time was just around $100 billion. The following month Merck trumped the Pfizer deal with a $41 billion merger with Schering-Plough. What was Merck’s market cap at the time? – Roughly around $50 billion. Not to be outdone, Roche rounded-up the mega-mergers of 2009 (so far) with a $46.8 billion deal to acquire Genentech. However, it must be mentioned that Roche already had a majority stake in Genentech (55.8%), so we’re really talking about $46.8 billion for the remaining 44.2 % of Genentech it did not already own. (more…)

Twitt