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Turning a Profit

The biotech industry was able to make it through the economic downturn, and even perform well last year, since "the world's established biotech centers [reached] profitability for the first time in history," says an Ernst & Young report. However, Ernst & Young's Glen Giovannetti predicts a tough funding environment for biotech, notes Donald Zuhn at Patent Docs, who adds that Giovannetti's assessment agrees with a MoneyTree report that found that between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, biotech venture funding fell by 24 percent. "The report's silver lining concerns its finding that companies in the industry's established biotech centers of the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia posted an aggregate net profit of $3.7 billion in 2009, which constituted a $5.5 billion increase over the $1.8 billion net loss these four markets suffered in 2008," Zuhn writes.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.