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In a recent interview with Forbes' Matthew Herper, Dendreon's retiring chief scientist, David Urdal, weighs in on the lack of new drugs in the past few years. When Herper asks him why the drug business is "in such a profound innovation drought," Urdal says the dynamics of drug innovation have changed from when he began to work in the biotech industry. Decades ago, it was much easier for a small company to get venture capital funds to develop a new drug, but now, Urdal says, "you need to be to the point of having complete clinical validation before you can expect an IPO to go out." So, he asks, if the bar is being constantly raised for a company looking to get funds to develop a drug, how does it get funded in its early years in order to be able to do the work and get the sufficient data needed to please a venture capital firm? "I worry a lot who's going to be developing the drugs that are going to be of benefit for my granddaughter, they need to start now because it's going to be 30 years down the road," Urdal adds.

The Scan

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.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.