As big pharma’s product pipeline continues to wither, the role of genomics tools and data providers becomes increasingly uncertain. Will the pressure on pharma firms mean that genomic companies can expect an increase in new-technology orders? Or will pharma’s revenue woes mean increased spending becomes foolish?
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Not for Profit
Want to make money from open-source bioinformatics? As long as it’s not too much, you might have a chance. This was the verdict of a panel of academics and business executives who convened at Stanford University.
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Indian biotechnology companies, including those in the nation’s burgeoning bioinformatics sector, have enjoyed broad government support in recent years. Yet young biotechs in India are finding it exceedingly difficult to secure enough venture capital from risk-averse local investors, and tumbling stock markets in the US and Europe are hurting their chances of closing foreign private-equity deals.
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How to Beat the Big A?
In an effort to set themselves apart from Affymetrix, a number of companies poised to enter the gene expression chip market have promised to provide the “second generation” of microarrays. But what exactly does “second generation” mean? That depends largely on whom one asks. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers have a range of expectations.
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“The regrettable aspect is that [the statement] really does confuse an issue that had been worked out for quite a few years, which is what open source is.”
— Lincoln Stein, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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Beneath the wellspring of interest in proteomics, the question remains as to whether new entrants to the field really know what they’re doing. Scientists are searching for alternative means of acquiring skills in proteomics, and for the most part their options have been limited. But that may be changing thanks to training available through vendors, consultants, professional societies, and public-sector organizations.
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