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Drug Discovery in the News

A Postdoctoral Fellow position is available in the laboratory of Prof. Arnold at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is playing a vital role in shaping the future of Wisconsin. Just minutes from downtown Milwaukee, 29,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff and are located on a 92-acre campus in a residential neighborhood near the shores of Lake Michigan.For further information visit the University’s web site at http://www4.uwm.edu.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has 23 enthusiastic faculty members and 75 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Major mass spectroscopy and NMR instruments are part of two core facilities supported by the department. The position is connected to the Milwaukee Institute of Drug Discovery, which provides resources for discovery and development of new therapies with a focus on neurological diseases and disorders, cancer treatment and early diagnosis, and novel antimicrobials.

A Postdoctoral Fellow position is available for an individual with strong experience in medicinal chemistry and biochemistry in the group of Prof. Arnold. The project is focused on the synthesis of structural analogs of small molecules with the ability to inhibit nuclear receptor coregulator interactions. The generation of synthetic analogs will enable structure activity relationship studies and further investigations to discover the diverse biological functions of these unique transcriptional coregulators. Successful candidates should be familiar with organic synthesis as well as biochemical and cell-based assays. Candidates with experience in conducting patch-clamp assays are very welcome (www.arnoldgroup.org).

Requirements: Candidates with a PhD in organic chemistry or related field, good communication skills, and an interactive team-oriented attitude supportive of our diverse laboratory. Interested applicants should submit their CV, a brief statement of research skills, and contact information (email address and phone number) of three references to: Prof. Arnold (arnold2@uwm.edu).

FDA sets draft rules for biotech drug copies

(Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration's long-awaited guidelines for the sale of lower-cost versions of biotechnology drugs leave open the ossibility that some products might not need to be tested in humans. The proposed rules, issued on Thursday, require studies showing that the generic copies are "highly similar" to the originals, but there are several ways that might be proven. The worldwide market for copies of biotech medicines will grow to $3.7 billion by 2015, from just $243 million in 2010, as more than 30 branded biologics with sales of $51 billion lose patent exclusivity, according to market analysis firm Datamonitor. The FDA rules would set "an abbreviated pathway" to approval that would consider factors including a product's complexity, formulation and stability, the agency said.

See:http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-biotech-fda-idUSTRE81820B20120209

Collaborations Hold the Potential to Reinvent Drug Development

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) Big industry players are cutting their R&D budgets but cannot afford to stop R&D entirely. As big biopharma scrambles to survive the patent cliff, and startups struggle to find financing, companies in each segment have found an alternative in collaborations of several sorts. Traditionally, smaller companies join with the bigger ones to carry out R&D, preclinical work, or trials in exchange for research funding and development and sales milestones. In some alliances partners offer contract research or manufacturing capabilities to biopharma companies. And there are open-source collaborations in which, typically, the larger companies invite partners to tap into their expertise and facilities while pursuing their own R&D.

See: http://www.genengnews.com/insight-and-intelligence/collaborations-hold-the-potential-to-reinvent-drug-development/77899546/

VC Funding in Life Sciences Increased in 2011

(PriceWaterhouseCoopers) Venture capital (VC) funding in the Life Sciences sector, which includes the Biotechnology and Medical Device industries, increased 21% during 2011 that includes data from the Money Tree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data from Thomson Reuters. Venture capitalists invested a total of $7.5 billion in 785 life sciences deals during the year, topping 2010 performance despite a drop from the third to the fourth quarter of 2011.

See: http://www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/publications/moneytree-zigzagging-upward.jhtml