The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: GE animals

Biotech Trends of 2009: Three Biggest Losers

When we started the blog almost a year ago, we identified what we thought would be key trends for biotech investors and companies to watch.  Most panned out, but a few turned out to be… not so trendy.  You can call them premature (if you’re feeling generous) or call them dumb (if you’re feeling mean); but you can definitely call them losers, since they clearly failed their appointed purpose (making us look smart informing you, the reader).

Without further ado, 2009’s three biotech trends that weren’t:

  • Genetically engineered animals.  Way back in February, the FDA released final guidance on GE animal approvals and approved ATryn (a drug produced in the milk of GE goats).  We thought 2009 would be a year of approvals and other successes in this area, but we’ve hardly herd (sic, sorry) from anyone since.  We’ll keep an eye out for ewe, but this is one trend that probably won’t be baaaaack.
  • Commercialization by Foundations.  Despite a late-breaking story on this front about creative approaches in ALS and Diabetes communities, this “trend” has been another loser.  When we kicked things off, we identified two driving forces behind this trend, and each has taught us a lesson: (1) never use the words “availability heuristic” in a blog post about biotech; and (2) a sinking tide sinks all boats.  The crappy economic environment in 2009 was really no better for foundations than for anyone else, but we look forward to more creativity and private enterprise in this area next year.
  • Patent Reform.  It huffed, and it puffed, but with S.610 still in committee, patent reform carries over to another year.  Maybe now that health care reform is almost done using up all the reform oxygen, the patent system will get another turn. Don’t hold your breath, though.

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