Archive for November, 2005

BIOCOM Science Education Network Kickoff Meeting

Written by on Saturday, November 26th, 2005

The BIOCOM Science Education Network Kickoff Meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at Biogen Idec, 5200 Resarch Place, San Diego, CA 92122. The Science Educations Network will be a series of quarterly meetings designed to bring together those educators who are involved in the advancement and promotion of scientific education (from all academic levels- K-12, Community College, 4-year College and beyond) with representatives from San Diego’s Life Sciences Community.


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CHI’s 13th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

The Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 13th International Molecular Tri-Conference will be held February 21-24, 2006 in San Francisco, CA at Moscone North Convention Center.


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Third Annual Global Bioexcutive Program

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

Module One of the Third Annual Global Bioexecutive Program entitled Managing Risk in Development & Commercialization will be held February 8-10, 2006 at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The course will address the R&D and Pre-Clinical Testing Phases, the Clinical Testing Phases, and the Commercialization Phases in drug development.


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International Symposium on Stem Cell Collaboration

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

The Women’s Technology Cluster will be sponsoring the International Symposium on Stem Cell Collaboration on February 7, 2006 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at the University of California San Francisco, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco, CA. Panel topics for the symposium will include building a common language; who must be at the table for the successful creation of the industry; the role of advocacy and nonprofit organizations; who must participate for the successful commercialization of research; an international review and perspective; and breakthrough research.


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Licenses in Bankruptcy

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

The Silicon Valley Chapter of LES will host the event Licenses in Bankruptcy on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 from 11:30 p.m -1:30 p.m. at Mariani’s, 2500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. The speaker will be Larry Engel of White & Case LLP.


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LabAutomation 2006

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

The Association for Laboratory Automation is sponsoring the event Lab Automation 2006 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California from January 21-25, 2006. This event will focus on emerging laboratory technologies, and will feature such plenary speakers as Kurt Wurtrich, Ph.D., Professor of Biophysics, Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland and Cecil H. Ida M. Green Professor of Structural Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA USA; Harold Craighead, Ph.D., Professor of Applied and Engineering Physics, Charles W. Lake, Jr. Professor Engineering, Co-Director, Nanobiotechnology Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; William S. Rees, Jr., Ph.D., Program Manager of HSARPA’s Chemical Countermeasures Programs; Ruth West, Director of Visial Analytics and Interactive Technologies, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego, CA; and E.L. Kersten, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Despair, Inc.


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BIOCOM Monthly Breakfast

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati will be sponsoring BIOCOM’s Monthly Breakfast at the La Jolla Marriott on January 25, 2005 from 7:30-9:00 a.m.


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Power Tools to Maximize Career Success: A Workshop to Promote Professional Development

Written by on Friday, November 25th, 2005

The San Francisco Association for Women in Science is sponsoring the event Power Tools to Maximize Career Success: A Workshop to Promote Professional Development on Saturday, February, 26, 2005 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Genentech Corporation, Genentech Gateway Campus, Bldg 83, Rm 1A, 611 Gateway Blvd, South San Francisco, CA. Dr. Gail Schechter will be the speaker.


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Genzyme to Buy San Diego Manufacturing Facility of Cell Genesys

Written by on Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Genzyme Corp. has agreed to acquire the San Diego manufacturing operation of South San Francisco-based Cell Genesys, Inc. The 47,000 square foot manufacturing facility was sold for $3.2 million.

The sale for Cell Genesys is part of a restructuring plan by Cell Genesys to focus its resources on the development of its most advanced and most promising products, which resulted in a decision to reduce the company’s manufacturing capabilities in the viral product area. The San Diego team has been conducting work in advancing the production of oncolytic virus therapy and gene therapy products. The majority of those employees will now become part of the Genzyme workforce.

Genzyme’s interst in the manufacturing facility, on the other hand, is to utilize the new assets and facilities to support the growth of its gene therapy program and strengthen its ability to manufacture quantities of both Adenovirus vectors and Adeno-Associated virus vectors, which are used to deliver genes to the appropriate cells in patients. Genzyme is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for Ad2-HIF-1 alpha in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Genzyme’s therapy is designed to promote the growth of new blood vessels and improve circulation in patients’ limbs.

The agreement between Cell Genesys and Genzyme provides for Cell Genesys to have the opportunity of having its lead oncolytic virus therapy product, CG0070, manufactured under contract with Genzyme. CG0070 is currently in a phase 1 trial for recurrent bladder cancer.

The purchase comes six years after Genzyme terminated a $350 takeover offer for Cell Genesys following the withdrawal of support for the offer by the Cell Genesys board on the grounds that the offer failed to reflect the increased value of its nineteen percent stake in Abgenix, Inc., which had increased by $240 million since the announcement of the merger. Cell Genesys paid a $15 million break-up fee to Genzyme, when it backed out of the deal.


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Gilead Sciences Resolves Dispute with Roche

Written by on Monday, November 21st, 2005

Foster City-based Gilead Sciences, Inc. has resolved its dispute with Roche, which arose out of the companies’ 1996 Development and License Agreement for the flu drug Tamiflu. The settlement, which resulted in an amendment to the 1996 Agreement, provides for Gilead to accept a revised royalty structure, with a co-promotion option, and $80 million in additional royalty payments for prior Tamiflu sales. The new royalty rate will be 14% for the first $200 million in Tamiflu sales, 18% for the next $200 million, and 22% for sales above $400 million.

The dispute arose in June, 2005 when Gilead delivered a notice of termination to Roche for the 1996 Agreement, seeking to gain back all rights to Tamiflu. The biotech company had alleged that Roche had failed to pay Gilead some $18 million in royalty payments incurred pursuant to the 1996 Agreement. The companies had entered into arbitration proceeding to resolve the dispute.

As a result of Gilead’s resolution of this dispute, Forbes reports that Gilead may look for an acquisition for the pulmnology, pediatric, or specialty infectious disease markets. Forbes author Kerry Dolan wrote in today’s article Biotechnology: Gilead’s Half-Empty Pipeline :

[T]he Foster City, Calif., company also has a problem shared by much of Big Pharma–an awfully thin pipeline. . . . For Gilead to keep growing between now and then, several analysts are betting that it will make an acquisition–either of a whole company or of specific drugs in development from other companies. . . . The challenge here: Gilead competes not with biotech companies but with deep-pocketed Big Pharma. So it may have to pay richly for any acquisition it undertakes.

Clearly, the challenge for Gilead in the coming months will be how to enhance its current pipeline that has very new products on one end of the spectrum and massive products on the other. Thanks to this settlement, Gilead now has new funds to take its pipeline to the next level–the real test will be what Gilead will be able to do with its windfall.


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