Bio Saga Headlines

Bio Saga

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pfizer pulls plug on two Ph III drugs

Pfizer’s primary care business unit has dropped two Phase III candidates, further reducing the drug giant’s product pipeline and raising more questions about its R&D decisions.

The firm said that that development of the compounds in question, esreboxetine for fibromyalgia and PD332334 for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), had been abandoned after a review of existing clinical data. Company spokeswoman Kristen Neese told in-PharmaTechnologist that the latest decision reflects both current market dynamics and the expectation that the dropped candidates would not have offered significant medical benefits over available products.

Neese went on to say that drugs currently in development for other indications would provide a better return for Pfizer’s clinical investment and added that the firm is “still on track to have between 24 and 29 candidates in Phase III development by the end of 2009.” In a press statement Pedro Lichtinger, president of Pfizer’s primary care division, said that the unit “continually review[s] our portfolio to ensure we are developing medicines in areas of unmet need and have found significant potential opportunities to bring more value to patients and our company.”

Lichtinger cited the developmental pain drug tanezumab and Lyrica (pregabalin) among the products likely to benefit from additional resources freed up by the move, although he did not say how much extra would be spent. Despite Pfizer’s upbeat tone, dropping the two drugs at Phase III has unavoidable negative connotations for the firm, especially given the pain it felt after halting the development of its heart disease drug torcetrapib at Phase III in December 2006.

While esreboxetine and PD332334 were abandoned for financial rather than safety reasons, and its last high profile failure Exubera was pulled after proving unpopular patients, questions are still being asked about Pfizer’s choice of candidates for late stage development. Abandoning esreboxetine and PD332334 may indicate that decisions made by Pfizer's R&D department are being affected by the company's focus on bolstering product pipelines via acquisitions rather than through increased internal investment.

One observer to raise such concerns was Caris & Co analyst David Moskowitz who told Reuters that dropping the two drugs “is just another sign that the Pfizer's research and development operation is not as effective as it needs to be."Moskowitz explained that: "If [Pfizer] are killing projects like this in Phase II it is understandable. If they are killing them in Phase III they need to go back and look at their decision process."



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  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Open Online Access To Scientific Papers May Not Guarantee Wide Dissemination

If you offer something of value to people for free while someone else charges a hefty sum of money for the same type of product, one would logically assume that most people would choose the free option. According to new research in the February 20 edition of the journal Science, if the product in question is access to scholarly papers and research, that logic might just be wrong. These findings provide new insight into the nature of scholarly discourse and the future of the open source publication movement.

To test this theory, James A. Evans, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and Jacob Reimer, a student of neurobiology also at the University of Chicago, analyzed millions of articles available online, including those from open source publications and those that required payment to access.

The results were surprising. On average, when a given publication was made available online after being in print for a year, being published in an open source format increased the use of that article by about 8 percent. When articles are made available online in a commercial format a year after publication, however, usage increases by about 12 percent.

"Across the scientific community," Evans said in an interview, "it turns out that open access does have a positive impact on the attention that's given to the journal articles, but it's a small impact."



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  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Only knowledgebase that updates its data content on a daily basis!

XTractor Knowledgebase


  • 722 Unique Drugs
  • 2227 Unique Diseases
  • 7538 Unique Proteins
  • 1400 Unique Biological Processes


  • Facts with Proteins : 110924
  • Facts with Diseases : 53002
  • Facts with Drugs : 12422
  • Facts with Biological Process : 31613
  • Facts with Relationships : 72412


  • Marker/Biomarker related: 1906
  • Drug- Disease related: 3908
  • Gene- Disease related: 47339
  • Gene- Drug related: 8751
  • Gene- Gene related: 37746
  • Knockout/Knockdown related: 8956
  • Mutation related: 11794
  • Pathways related: 8692
  • Gene- Process related: 25040



Be part of XTractor community.

  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Read Papers? I’d Rather Watch a Video

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is a new way to publish original methods in the areas of biological and biomedical science in a video format. The focus is on making demonstration of techniques and experimental approaches clear and easy to follow.

Articles published in JoVE are listed in Pubmed and MEDLINE so you can still get your paper cited by other authors. All submissions go through peer review and editorial review and the editorial board consists of 22 distinguished professors from Harvard, Princeton, NIH and other leading institutions in the US, Europe and Japan.

Do you want to know more?

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  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

150th anniversary of 'On the Origin of Species' & 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth

Darwin 2009 commemorations

Darwin Day 12 February 2009.

The year 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (24 November 1859) and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (12 February 1809). This page on Darwin Online aims to list the associated worldwide events and publications.

Submissions for this list should be emailed to Dr John van Wyhe jmv21@cam.ac.uk in the form: 'day month year title. Sponsor/venue. Link.'

Items are loosely grouped into 'Events', 'Publications' and 'Films and documentaries'. Although this list is currently very far from comprehensive, it is probably the largest list of worldwide Darwin events in 2009.

Many more such events lots of excitement this week on blogs all around and other fans of reality. Darwin Day in the Blogosphere.


Be part of XTractor community.

  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

EPO Gets Access to India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)

The ambitious traditional knowledge digital library (TKDL), successfully completed by CSIR (under VK Gupta's stewardship) is now accessible to the EPO, thanks to an agreement signed recently between the Indian government and the EPO.

Radhika Pandeiya and Jacob Koshy of The Mint broke this story (online) today, including myriad comments on what this means for India in terms of the much bandied about TK misappropriation debates (turmeric patenting etc). And what ought to the future policy direction in relation to this database and its potential access to non governmental entities.Here are some excerpts from their story titled "Ginger can’t be patented in Europe now"

"India’s traditional knowledge—such as medicinal properties of neem and turmeric—could now become more difficult to patent for drug makers in Europe. The European Patent Office, or EPO, will consult an Indian database that lists traditionally known drug formulations before granting patent rights. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, or CSIR, India’s largest state-managed research agency, will begin sharing the home-grown catalogue with EPO later this month. CSIR and EPO recently signed an access agreement to this effect. This will likely result in at least 40 patent filings in Europe getting rejected, which could have otherwise passed muster.

The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, or TKDL, has been created by the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, or Niscair, a CSIR body, and contains a 24-million-page searchable database that translates text from Sanskrit into English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese. A CSIR official said that though 2,000 existing patents can now be challenged, there were no plans to initiate litigation. “This is meant as a deterrent, though technically we can initiate litigation saying that these patents are based on well-known formulations, it would be too expensive and long-drawn,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“This is a very positive step for us in protecting traditional knowledge. It’s a big achievement,” Samir Brahmachari, director general of CSIR, said over the phone. The next step is to take this initiative to the US. India did fight successfully the revocation of patent on wound healing property of turmeric at United States Patent and Trademark Office and (a) patent on anti-fungal properties of neem at European Patent Office,” Niscair director V.K. Gupta, who is also lead coordinator for the project, said in a 2006 report. “However...(a) legal battle on revocation is extremely expensive and time consuming.”

For anything to be granted a patent, the applicant must prove that it is novel and not previously known. “Indian traditional knowledge is prior art, which means it is already known publicly. Hence, once TKDL opens out to EPO, anyone applying for a patent on which we hold traditional knowledge will not be successful,” said Elizabeth Varkey, an advocate at the Kerala high court.

EPO, however, is unsure of the extent to which TKDL will be applicable. “Many cases affected by aspects of traditional knowledge are occurring in the field of medicinal preparations. We estimate that at the EPO, about 100 patent applications per year are related to such aspects, but not all of them relate to subjects covered by TKDL,” Osterwalder said.

There is an argument that the database be used other ways too. “The government should also think about negotiating access rights (to TKDL) to private parties and other non-governmental entities. Given that the new chemical entities pipeline is drying up, innovators need to focus more on traditional knowledge that offer potentially unique insights for new drugs,” said Shamnad Basheer, professor of intellectual property law at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. “Also private parties could then challenge patent applications that misappropriate Indian traditional knowledge.”

  1. Visit http://www.tkdl.res.in/tkdl/langdefault/common/home.asp?GL=Eng. This is a collaborative project of CSIR and Department of Ayurveda Yoga & Naturopathy Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH).
  2. “Ginger Can’t Be Patented in Europe Now”, February 6, 2009 http://www.livemint.com/2009/02/05214415/Ginger-can8217t-be-patented.html
  3. Visit IPPro’s database at http://www.ipproinc.com/usefulinformation_links.php?sub_id=54 to know more about “Traditional Knowledge”.
  4. Section 3 (p) The Patents Act, 1970 “an invention which, in effect,is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components”, is not considered an invention under the Act.”
  5. Also read "Prevention Is Better Than Cure-CSIR Moves To Protect Traditional Knowledge In Europe!"

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  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Thursday, February 5, 2009

A cool ready reckoner on Drugs, Dieases, Proteins & Processes

XTractor now has a ready reckoner on Drugs, Diseases, Proteins & Processes along with sample manually annotated sentences form PubMed available on each of those Drugs, Diseases, Proteins & Processes listed there. This is really going to be handy for any bench scientist.

Be part of XTractor community.

  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Opening at AstraZeneca for Senior Statisticians

AstraZeneca is searching for 10 qualified statisticians with experience in delivering statistical impact - one or two of these positions will be located in Lund, SE. A strong technical capability combined with well-developed communication, consultancy and influencing skills are essential pre-requisites to successfully perform these roles. Application deadline: February 12, 2009.

Be part of XTractor community.

  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
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Opening for Scientist (Bioinformatics)

Designation: Scientist (Bioinformatics)

Qualifications: M.Sc/ PhD

Experience: M.Sc 3+ years / PhD 1+ years

The role offers an exciting opportunity to work alongside molecular biologists and experimental scientists on cutting edge platform technologies and customer projects. The primary role of the Scientist will be to assist in the analysis of gene expression data & genomics. Extensive knowledge of genomics and statistical analysis methods, as well as a solid foundation in biology, are therefore necessary. The role requires actively help, capture and refine requirements pertaining to specific customer's scientific use cases. Successful candidate will also be given freedom and encouragement to publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals, to further develop statistical techniques for data analysis, lead in-house product development programs and propose new initiatives.

Requirements:

  • Candidates will have strong knowledge using—and coding functionality that interacts with—public nucleotide and protein sequence databases, sequence alignment software, and related computational genomic resources
  • Strong background in sequence analysis, genome annotation, analysis of gene or protein expression, protein structure or docking prediction, comparative genomics is a must. A broad knowledge of statistics and statistical methods used in analyzing genomics data is preferred
  • Others:

Able to work independently
Excellent interpersonal skills
Outstanding communications skills
Strong team spirit and commitment to success of all team members

Desirable:

  • C# under the .Net Framework as well as Perl
  • Knowledge of the R programming language
  • Strong background in multi-univariate and Bayesian statistics, and some experience in machine-learning techniques (SVM, NN)
  • We welcome expertise in Python, Ruby, Java, C++/C, and Matlab
  • Understanding of scientific workflows, laboratory instrument interactions and scientific data
  • Ability to discuss informatics software specifically, bioinformatics, chemo informatics, LIMS, SDMS, other Life Science analytical applications, at varying levels of detail
  • Ability to gather market / prospect requirements and scientific use cases and contribute to effective implementation of scientific use cases in complex data environments
  • Writing research papers, posters, participation in conferences seminars

HOW TO APPLY:
Qualified applicants should send their CV and have three references

Send it to Ms. Shilpa Ramdurg (preferably by e-mail) at shilpa.r@polyclonebio.com.

Address:
Polyclone Bioservieces Pvt. Ltd.

#47, 25th cross, 4th main,
Karesandra, BSK 2nd Stg,
Bangalore – 560070


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  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Monday, February 2, 2009

GlaxoSmithkline to axe 6,000 jobs

British drugs company GlaxoSmithKline is set to announce about 6,000 job losses when it posts results on Thursday, the 'Sunday Telegraph' newspaper said. The cuts by Glaxo, the world's second largest drugs company after U.S. group Pfizer, are part of Chief Executive Andrew Witty's strategy to meet the challenges facing the industry, including increased competition from generic drug makers, the British newspaper said.

The company, which employs about 100,000 people including 18,000 in the UK, has failed to get as many new drugs to market as investors hoped when it was created via a merger eight years ago. Witty has tried to shift Glaxo's center of gravity away from blockbuster prescription drugs, like top-seller Advair for asthma, and toward non-prescription consumer healthcare products.

A Glaxo spokesman said the company has a restructuring program but he declined to comment on specific job cuts. Rival AstraZeneca announced 6,000 job losses on Thursday after posting weaker than expected fourth-quarter sales.



Be part of XTractor community.

  • XTractor the first of its kind - Literature alert service, provides manually curated & annotated sentences for the Keywords of your choice
  • XTractor maps, extracted entities (genes, processes, drugs, diseases etc) to multiple ontologies
  • Enables customized report generation. With XTractor the sentences are categorized into biologically significant relationships
  • The categorized sentences could then be tagged and shared across multiple users
  • Provides users with the ability to create his own database for a set of Key terms
  • Users could change the Keywords of preference from time to time, with changing research needs
  • XTractor thus proves to be a platform for getting real-time highly accurate data along with the ability to Share and collaborate


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Life Science and Informatics

What is this?
is this a new industry?
or a old wine in a new bottle?

Well Life Sciences and Informatics can be anything form computational biology, all omes and omics, core bioinformatics to curation and literature mining, database creation, in the area of biology, chemistry , bio-chem space.

There are number of companies in India and bangalore is the forefront as a major bio-cluster with 20 to 30 companies in this sphere.

now how good are these companies doing?
how good are they in terms of the international markets and how profitable is their business?
what do they do?
their clients?

These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

Tag It