Monday, February 06, 2006

The Giant Genome Fizzle -

This article presents what few in the biotech industry want to admit, and what few realize is incredibly impactful.

It turns out, that correlating a gene and a function (such as a role in a disease) is an incredbly imprecise science. (Or, perhaps, scientists behind breaking research can be sloppy, but that's another issue.)

All of those stories that say "Gene responsible for disease X is identified. We're closer than ever to a cure," are probably wrong, as few of these discoveries are standing up to scrutiny.

Now here's where it gets interesting:
There are thousands of applied and granted patents for specific genes and their functions. Some companies - like Incyte - are pretty much valued based on their gene IP.

There's been a long debate about whether genes should even be patentable (my opinion is that they shouldn't be), so taking these 2 points together says that many gene patent claims are dubious.

This is probably a great development for the biotech industry, except for the fact that several billion dollars were raised in 2000-01 to fund gene land grabs. So, some investors were creamed on fundamentally shabby business plans, but at least we've got the equipment and lab space to thank them for!

The Giant Genome Fizzle -

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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous