Contributors

Contributors

Contributors

Thirty years as a physician and professor of medicine and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and several stints as chair of FDA advisory committees exposed Alastair Wood to the challenges and pitfalls of the drug development process. Today, as managing director of Symphony Capital, a private equity firm dedicated to the biotechnology industry, Wood spends his time working to

Editorial

Biotech: Solid to Spectacular?

Biotech: Solid to Spectacular?

What the industry can learn from the $2,500 'Nano' car.

Mail

Mail

Mail

Before Darwin Re: "Before Darwin," in which Eric Smith argues that simple metabolic processes likely explain how life emerged,1 Wächtershäuser also made an argument that the reverse citric acid cycle is similar to the first metabolic pathway to evolve.2 However, carbon dioxide fixation hardly is "one of the most conserved reactions throughout the biosphere," as Smith says. " Science will never have all the answers to any question — so what?

Notebook

Beta eye-lets

Beta eye-lets

Clusters of beta islet cells engrafted under a mouse's cornea, showing some vascularization of the implanted cells. Credit: Courtesy of Stephan Speier" />Clusters of beta islet cells engrafted under a mouse's cornea, showing some vascularization of the implanted cells. Credit: Courtesy of Stephan Speier Looking through the lens of his confocal microscope, Per-Olof Berggren peers at the colonies of beta cells

Guts to glory

Guts to glory

Kirsty Spalding never expected to start her biology postdoc standing in a Swedish slaughterhouse, dressed in white overalls and rubber boots amidst blood and gore and stink, while smashing the teeth out of decapitated horses' heads with a hammer. But that's exactly where the young Australian scientist found herself, every second Tuesday in 2002 for two months at the beginning of her postdoc in the l

Thick bones, big drug

Thick bones, big drug

It was 1994, and Scott Simonet of Amgen's molecular genetics department in Thousand Oaks, Calif., was looking at some strange X-rays. He had engineered five transgenic mouse lines to overexpress a mysterious secreted protein. The mice looked and behaved normally, but that ordinariness was only skin-deep. "On the X-rays, it was pretty obvious that the long bones had higher bone mineral density," says

Baiting Ebola

Baiting Ebola

Chimps testing the Ebola vaccine bait Credit: Courtesy of IDT Biologika. Credit: Andrea Schaenzler" />Chimps testing the Ebola vaccine bait Credit: Courtesy of IDT Biologika. Credit: Andrea Schaenzler At the Leipzig zoo's Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center last summer, a 3-year-old female gorilla named Kibara was going berserk. She had just been given a new type of food, deep-red colored candies with a rich mango scent. Kib

The Agenda

The Agenda

The Agenda

Credit: Courtesy of GE" /> Credit: Courtesy of GE ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GE! >> The Summer Olympics, in Beijing will feature world-class athletes and the subject of our profile GE. The company has partnered with the games to be the official supplier of healthcare equipment to treat athletes, as well as provide water filtration systems and other technologies. For more on the compa

Uncategorized

Presenting Her Majesty ...

Presenting Her Majesty ...

The Queen on the screen. Susannah Eliott (CEO of the Australian Science Media Centre) at the lectern, and the three scientists sitting nearby (l-r: John Long, Kate Trinajstic and Tim Senden). Credit: courtesy of Sarah Long" />The Queen on the screen. Susannah Eliott (CEO of the Australian Science Media Centre) at the lectern, and the three scientists sitting nearby (l-r: John Long, Kate Trinajstic and Tim Senden)

Slideshow: Baiting Ebola

Slideshow: Baiting Ebola

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Slideshow: The Inflection Points

Slideshow: The Inflection Points

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Financial Growing Pains of a Biotech

Financial Growing Pains of a Biotech

Financial Growing Pains of a Biotech Illustrations by Tomasz Walenta Large risks and high costs dominate the financial life cycle of a biotechnology company, but the potential payoffs are huge. By Sam Hall and Alastair J.J. Wood Illustrations by Tomasz Walenta Related Articles 2, legacy pharmaceutical companies typically pay biotech licensors a midpoint value of ~$220 million for Phase III drugs, compared with only ~$65 million for drugs in Phase I clinical

Detailing the biotech life cycle

Detailing the biotech life cycle

Detailing the biotech life cycle. The inflection points of the drug development process Phase Discovery Preclinical Phase1 Phase 1b/2a Phase 2b Phase 3 FDA Review Marketed Drug Typical Cost ($mm) $5 $5-10 $5-10 $10-15 $15-25 $40-100 $5 $100s Sources of Capital Seed Venture Venture Seed Venture Seed Venture Growth Venture Growth Public Venture Growth Venture Public Growth Public The capital required for each

Common Pitfalls

Common Pitfalls

Common Pitfalls By Sam Hall and Alastair J.J. Wood Illustrations by Tomasz Walenta Common Pitfalls Concept and gestation: Scientific founders can sometimes forget that they are running a business and not a lab. It is important to use the seed capital to drive the enterprise, and not just the science, forward. Conversely, it is possible to rush a compound from discovery into the next phase - preclinical and expensive IND- (investigative new drug) enabling s

Picking the Right Exit

Picking the Right Exit

Picking the right exit By Sam Hall and Alastair J.J. Wood Illustrations by Tomasz Walenta Attributes that support an IPO exit: • Proof-of-concept clinical data on lead drug candidate - typically robust Phase IIb or later data that provide substantial evidence of efficacy and safety. • Legacy pharmaceutical partner to provide validation. • Defined near- to intermediate-term news flow, with clear data points and events that will drive stock price ac

Slideshow: Images behind the search for ligands

Slideshow: Images behind the search for ligands

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Hooked on a Hunt

Hooked on a Hunt

Hooked on a Hunt Arguably the biggest fishing expedition in the history of cell biology is drawing to a close. What have we caught? By Andrea Gawrylewski Related Articles 1 The receptor showed a remarkable homology to the seven-transmembrane receptor rhodopsin, involved in nighttime light perception, and the only receptor known at the time to act through a G protein. The new beta 2AR genomic sequence suggested that a new family of receptors might ex

Bringing Good Things To Life (Science)?

Bringing Good Things To Life (Science)?

Bringing Good Things To Life (Science)? Infiltrating ductal carcinoma tissue labeled with both H&E (hematoxylin and eosin) staining and clinical biomarkers. Image courtesy of GE Global Research A series of purchases is turning General Electric, the world's second largest company, into a major supplier of life sciences equipment. By Brendan Borrell Related Articles Vaccine Dreams Gee Whiz, that's GE! Seeing faster, seeing smar

Slideshow: Medical Images from GE

Slideshow: Medical Images from GE

GE lights up life science Slideshow: Medical Images from GE A first-hand look at what happens when the second largest company takes on science var so = new SWFObject("http://images.the-scientist.com/content/images/slideshows/biotech_start_up/slideshow.swf", "gallery", "600", "461", "6", "#ffffff"); so.addVariable("file", "http://images.the-scientist.com/content/images/articles/54901/ge.xml"); so.addParam("wmode", "transparent"); so.write("flashcontent");

Vaccine Dreams

Vaccine Dreams

Vaccine Dreams GE and NovaVax team up to create a portable vaccine factory that is faster, cheaper By Brendan Borrell Related Articles Bringing Good Things To Life (Science)? Gee Whiz, that's GE! Seeing faster, seeing smarter Slideshow: GE lights up life science Each year, a new strain of seasonal influenza is born in Southeast Asia and sweeps across the globe to North America and Europe, infecting between 3 million and 4 million people annual

Going to the Dogs

Going to the Dogs

Elaine Ostrander was a cell biologist at the top of her game. Then she discovered her true passion, and really took off running.

Opinion

More Women at the Top

More Women at the Top

One program's success in preparing and sustaining women for leadership in the sciences.

A Head Start

A Head Start

How an undergraduate internship helped a student from the projects explore his love of science.

Column

Big Biology is Here to Stay

Big Biology is Here to Stay

Why R01-funded biologists should throw their support behind large-scale research projects.

Books etc.

Restructuring Human Variation

Restructuring Human Variation

Investigators put deletions on the map of human genetic variation.

Hot Paper

Apoptosis at bay

Apoptosis at bay

Credit: © Dr Gopal Murti / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Dr Gopal Murti / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: M. Certo et al., "Mitochondria primed by death signals determine cellular addiction to anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members," Cancer Cell, 9:351-65, 2006. (Cited in 116 papers) The finding: Anthony Letai's team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Autophagy to the ER

Dr. Autophagy to the ER

Credit: © Professors Pietro M. Motta & Tomonori Naguro / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Professors Pietro M. Motta & Tomonori Naguro / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: T. Yorimitsu et al., "Endoplasmic reticulum stress triggers autophagy," J Bio Chem, 281:30299-304, 2006. (Cited in 48 papers) The finding: Universit

Microbes to the max

Microbes to the max

Credit: Courtesy of Jed Fuhrman / University of Southern California" /> Credit: Courtesy of Jed Fuhrman / University of Southern California The paper: M.L. Sogin et al., "Microbial diversity in the deep sea and the underexplored 'rare biosphere,'" Proc Nat Acad Sci, 103:12115-20, 2006. (Cited in 81 papers) The finding: In 2006, Mitchell Sogin of the Marine Biological La

Scientist To Watch

Pieter Dorrestein: Small molecules, big goals

Pieter Dorrestein: Small molecules, big goals

Credit: © Max Dolberg" /> Credit: © Max Dolberg Pieter Dorrestein went to Northern Arizona University primarily for the rocks. The rocky landscape made it the obvious choice for an aspiring geologist, and the rock climbing was just as appealing. In 1997, as a sophomore, Dorrestein heard that chemist John MacDonald was looking for a climbing partner. Once they'd paired up, the two hit it off and Dorrestein became fascinated with MacDonald's work in molecula

Lab Tools

Modifications Abound

Modifications Abound

How to conduct your next large-scale epigenetic analysis

ChIP-on-chip

ChIP-on-chip

Researcher: Richard Young, member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Mass. Project: Mapping transcription factor binding across the yeast genome. Problem: Chromatin immunoprecipita

Enrichment HELP

Enrichment HELP

Credit: Courtesy of John Greally, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and PLoS ONE" /> Credit: Courtesy of John Greally, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and PLoS ONE Researcher: John Greally, associate professor of Molecular Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY Project: Comparing ep

ChIP-Sequence

ChIP-Sequence

Credit: © 2008 Illumina Inc. All Rights Reserved." /> Credit: © 2008 Illumina Inc. All Rights Reserved. Researcher: Steven Jones, head, Bioinformatics, Genome Sciences Center, British Columbia Cancer Research Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada Project: Mapping transcription-factor binding in interferon-gamma-stimulated and unstimu

Single-base detection

Single-base detection

Credit: Courtesy of Matteo Pellegrini, University of California, Los Angeles" /> Credit: Courtesy of Matteo Pellegrini, University of California, Los Angeles Researcher: Matteo Pellegrini, assistant professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles Project:

Recognizing RNA

Recognizing RNA

Credit: Courtesy of Phillip Zamore, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Science." /> Credit: Courtesy of Phillip Zamore, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Science. Researcher: Phillip Zamore, Gretchen Stone Cook Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester Project:

Tips for wide-scale epigenetic detection

Tips for wide-scale epigenetic detection

1. Try orthagonal approaches Every assay has strengths and weaknesses, so it's a good idea to try more than one, if possible. ChIP-on-chip is significantly cheaper than ChIP-Seq, but unless you tile the entire genome, you will miss any region not represented on your chip. HELP probes only a fraction of the genome, but a genome's worth of testable HpaII fragments will fit on a single array, making analysis relatively inexpensive. (Greally now uses a 1.32-million element Nimblegen array.)

BioBusiness

Success from Failure

Success from Failure

John Prakash was once denied a job because of the way he looked. Now he spends his career talking about why diversity is crucial to drug development.

Pulse Oximeter

Go Online to Get Your Job On

Go Online to Get Your Job On

Online job tools you've likely never heard of, and tips for making the most of them.

Foundations

The Mendel-Nägeli letters, circa 1866-73

The Mendel-Nägeli letters, circa 1866-73

Samples of the correspondence Credit: Courtesy of the Mendelianum, Brno, Czech Republic." />Samples of the correspondence Credit: Courtesy of the Mendelianum, Brno, Czech Republic. On New Year's Eve, 1866, Gregor Mendel wrote to the prominent Swiss botanist Carl Nägeli to tell him about his now classic experiments with Pisum peas. In the margins of the letter, Nägeli scribbled a note: "only empirical and not rational."