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Something New: Apr 12, 2011

The biopharma industry is facing some tough times, says Forbes' David Shaywitz. Old products' patents are expiring and new products are hard to come by. But the pharma industry isn't entirely to blame for this lack of innovation — academia is also coming up short, Shaywitz says, adding, "My sense is that if scientists from both universities and industry had been able to better characterize and more deeply understanding the fundamental basis of most dreadful diseases, then more effective drugs would certainly have been forthcoming." While both academia and industry have their problems, an "emerging hope" is taking shape, he says. One of the problems standing the way of innovation is that researchers don't communication with each other. What's needed is collaboration and "open innovation," which could help find new uses for existing medications, Shaywitz says. "First, the research highlights the value of open innovation, of permitting those with the best understanding of 'the problem to be solved' to actually solve the problem," he adds. "Second, it also highlights the role of the inquisitive physician, and emphasizes the impact an impassioned physician can have in the development of new medical therapies."

The Scan

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.