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A Bet on Biotech

This week, John Carroll at Fierce Biotech rounds up this year's "Fierce 15" — those "private life sciences companies [that are] out to do something truly exceptional, looking to pioneering technology and innovative business models to improve odds that, let's face it, would make most mortals cringe," he says. So, which firms made the cut? "A biotech billionaire with his own revolutionary dream for synthetic biology, startups out to make a name for themselves riding the wave of next-gen antibodies, a couple of companies that are into late-stage programs and several still in the pre-IND phase," Carroll says. View the complete 2011 Fierce 15 list, here.

Over at Xconomy, Luke Timmerman is making "Fantasy Football, uh, I mean Biotech, predictions for the season ahead," comparing top biotech and drug firms' expected performances with National Football League team match-ups. He says Vertex versus Merck face-off in the pharma world is akin to the Green Bay Packers taking on the Chicago Bears, saying that just as those two teams "have the oldest and one of the most intense rivalries in football … in the battle between Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Merck in the hepatitis C field, but this has the elements of a great rivalry: Vertex has superior data for its drug from clinical trials, but Merck’s drug is also a big step up over the old hepatitis C regimen, and it has money, manpower, and sales history with doctors that can’t be dismissed." Check out the rest of Timmerman's Fantasy Biotech predictions, here.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.