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Where Are They Now?: May 1, 2003


In Genome Technology one year ago, we looked at pharmacogenomics and how it was being integrated into the pharma pipeline. George Poste, former chief science and technology officer at GlaxoSmithKline and current CEO of Health Technology Networks, graced the cover as the first pharma exec to sign a major genomics deal, back in 1993 with Human Genome Sciences.

Poste argued that pharma had not done a convincing job bringing in pharmacogenomics — but that PGx vendors had done just as badly at making their instruments and techniques clearly valuable. A year later, the same problem still plagues pharmas and genomics firms, though the outlook is more promising. Genome Technology sister publication SNPtech Reporter notes that Johnson & Johnson, for one, plans to use pharmacogenomics to study the adverse effects of its drug erythropoietin; other pharmas seem willing to consider the technology for cancer therapeutics. And the field may get a push when the FDA issues guidelines for pharmacogenomics; in a January interview with SNPtech, the agency’s Larry Lesko expected the guidelines to roll out by last month.

A news story last May featured an international team of scientists using genomic technology to study microorganisms in Antarctica’s Dry Valley. In the time since, work like that has gotten more support: the National Academies’ Polar Research Board recommended that the NSF create a “Polar Genomic Science Initiative” for continued studies of Arctic and Antarctic organisms using genomic methods.


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