There are several important reasons why induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have stolen the thunder from human embryonic stem (ES) cells, including the very real potential to reduce the cost of bringing safe and effective drugs to market. As the new Obama Administration gets set to alter the course of human ES cell research, WTN’s Steven S. Clark reports on the promise of iPS cells.
Richard S. Schifreen, a former biotech executive at Mirus Bio and Promega Corp., has been named president and CEO of Platypus Technologies, a Madison-based developer of nanotechnology-based products for the biotechnology and sensor industries. Schifreen was brought on board Dec. 10 and succeeds former CEO Jeff Williams, who has left Platypus to pursue opportunities in molecular biology.
Just how worthwhile was the discovery of how to grow human embryonic stem (ES) cells? While there have been no therapies yet to come from the discovery, there is little doubt that it could transform the practice of medicine and drug development, and the Age of Obama is likely to remove political constraints on the Food and Drug Administration to approve ES-based clinical trials.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that medical technology companies fared well during the 2008 Elevator Pitch Olympics, an annual staple of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. But although medical technology is a Wisconsin strong suit, the winning entrepreneurs still had to convince investors that their young companies have what it takes to establish a sustainable market advantage.
For several election cycles, Big Pharma has been delivering the mother’s milk of politics, namely money, to the Republican Party, but 2008 is different. In this edition of Biotech Takes, columnist Steve Clark notes the pharmaceutical industry has made a dramatic, not to mention pragmatic shift toward Barack Obama. What will it buy them if Obama, as expected, is elected President?
Columnist Steven S. Clark, commenting on the controversial financial rescue plan, says we’ve got Congressmen and women right where we want them – running for re-election after voting to pass an unpopular bailout bill. In this edition of Biotech Takes, Clark also wonders what the fiscal fallout of the bailout will be, especially on the important work of the National Institutes of Health.
A group of recent Wisconsin college graduates, armed with nothing but tech savvy and big dreams, hope to build the next mega dot.com business, according to WTN columnist Steven S. Clark. Hardin Design & Development may have started in the basement of a home, but its young and driven owners want to elevate it to the penthouse.
Remember Jurassic Park—the Steven Spielberg sci fi flick in which a greedy businessman and his mad-scientist minions reached inside prehistoric amber to extract, and ultimately clone, dino DNA that had been sucked up by a sap-trapped bug? Seem far fetched?
Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holdings is continuing its Madison buying spree by acquiring Madison-based Mirus Bio for $125 million. In this update: Mirus’ funding model — no venture capital — the significance to Wisconsin’s biotech industry, and Roche’s possible intention to become the biggest biotech in the world.
In 2004, the nation took notice as California and Wisconsin independently announced major investments in stem cell and biotechnology research. Four years later—as a comparison to California, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey shows—Wisconsin clearly has room to realize a better return on its investment.
One of the great promises of embryonic stem cell research is being able to use human cloning to derive stem cells that carry genetic defects associated with myriad maladies, writes columnist Steve Clark, who explains recent scientific developments and raises some ethical questions.
Mediocre therapeutic results against a cancer that no other therapy has shown much success against does not mean that RNase-based therapies, such as the one being developed by Madison’s Quintessence Biosciences, will not be effective against other types of cancers. In this edition of Biotech Takes, columnist Steve Clark says Quintessence is nowhere near ready to give up on its own drug candidate, QBI-139, which is similar to the competitive therapy that failed in a recent clinical trial.
While some bemoan any hype surrounding human embryonic stem cell research, the truth is that we’re fast approaching the day when stem cells will be used in experimental threrapies of human diseases, notes columnist Steve Clark. In this edition of Biotech Takes, Clark updates Wisconsinites on the near- and long-term potential of groundbreaking stem cell research being conducted by prominent University of Wisconisn-Madison scientists.
As exciting as the stem cell science was at Promega Corp.’s third annual Stem Cell Symposium, there remain problems to resolve before stem cells are used in the clinic. In this edition of Biotech Takes, columnist Steve Clark took in updates from the likes of stem cell researchers Jamie Thomson and Clive Svendsen and got a sense of the work that still needs to be done.
Quintessence Bioscience, a Madison-based biotechnology company, is the latest in a long line of businesses to realize that it’s better to be a settler than a pioneer. While it may yet prove to be even more pioneering than its chief competitor in developing an effective cancer treatment, columnist Steve Clark reports that Quintessence will need to look beyond Wisconsin’s borders for a partner.
Okay investors, you have a choice of placing your venture capital bet on one of two companies, each developing a promising therapy for prostrate cancer. Which do you choose? WTN columnist Steven Clark offers an example of how a good scientific understanding of emerging biotechnology can help investors make the best possible business decision.
What’s an investor to do when assessing the prospects of a promising new biotechnology? In this WTN guest column, former University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and medical researcher Steve Clark provides the right question to ask, and it has more to do with assessing risk than with trying to calculate the prospects for success. It also has to do with not putting too much stock in how much researchers rave about their own technology.