Twitter Twang – January 27, 2010

@eDougBanks: In biotech? Boston Irish Business Assn. has MassBio CEO Bob Coughlin talking about theindustry:

@matthiasfromm Oh, ‘Technology’ als “most trusted industry sector”, dann ‘Biotech/life sciences’ und ‘Health care’ (S. 9) #edeltrust

@CampusRXBio Emerging biotech industry says R.I. lacks job skills Faced with a lack of qualified workers, leaders in Rhode Island..

@biotechnology Bacteria Transformed into Biofuel Refineries: The bacteria responsible for most cases of food poisoning in the U.S…

@BiosearchTech New Blog Article! The Grand Ballet: Wine and Biotechnology

@Boston_CP Boston: State grants to target life sciences firms

@ilsoy_news Several themes starting to emerge from our meetings, conversations. They include #bioenergy#transportation,#sustainability and #biotech.

@iskraIP #USPTO webpage re. the Green Technology Pilot Program (accelerated examination of green tech. patent applications).

@smithsonian: The #iPad debuts the same day Edison received the patent for the light bulb (in 1880) (Via @LemelsonCenter)

Top News:

@joe_walston The Clown Union is outraged by the patent infringement of the #iPad

@Chris_Biele Patent pending: White eye patch that plays music…sell it as the iPatch.

@therealriley @ahugo68 I’m thinking “iPatent lots of IP”


Twitter Twang: January 26 2010

Here’s today’s Twitter Twang:

@Dialed_In Bio Ohio launches scholarship program…

@sanera09 A New Way to Look for Diseases’ Genetic Roots

@MassHighTech: Women to Watch winners list, virtual world startup top our most-read stories of the past week:

@SoCalBio Weekly Update (Jan 25, 2010) available now at

@jamie_love The German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR) was surprisingly cool at WIPO SCP this week.

@CharlieRoseShow Tuesday 1/26 -Harrison Ford discusses his film “Extraordinary Measures” / Actor Colin Firth discusses “A Single Man”

@IPLawAlerts JDSupra: FTC Chair Calls for Ban to Pay-For-Delay Settlements

@CropLifeFdn Maine farmers looking for how #organic and conventional farmers can work together to benefit all That’s the spirit!

@Family_Health FHI working w/ @foodforthepoor to distribute medical supplies, clean water to Haiti’s Fermathe hospital…

@worldresources Reading – Joint Statement by BASIC Group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) @ChinaFAQs –

Today’s Twitter Twang – January 25, 2010

Tweets on Pompe Disease & Extraordinary Measures:

@biocrowd What Do “Extraordinary Measures,” Genzyme and Pompe Disease Have in Common?

@DukeNews Extraordinary Measures: Movie depicts a fight against Pompe disease that began with Duke research

@medicalprogress Extraordinary Measures? Read the story behind the film – and the starring role of #animalresearch of Pompedisease

@sciam Ask the Experts: What Is Pompe Disease?

@caruanascott Pompe disease, the topic of Harrison Ford’s new film, shouldn’t B confused w/ S. pombe, a valuable model organsim

Otherwise, here’s today’s top Twitter news:

@COILifeScience Emory Will Partner with GlaxoSmithKline on Drug Research for Neglected Tropical Diseases

@CropLifeFdn How will we feed 9 bil in 2050? #ag

@travel_blogs Building Knowledge About Biotechnology in Africa: This is the first of a two-part series to Africa Harvest, …

@science_ip Nice summary of USPTO Motion in ACLU Gene case by Patent Docs.

@ipatents A myriad of gene patents – Joe Mullin profiles the Myriad patent story. The company’s seven patents have been…

@IAmBiotech Your Own Biotech TV Station:

@NIMHgov Science Update: From Neurons to Thought: Coherent Electrical Patterns Observed Across the Brain.

@dcexaminer Pew Research Center: Health Care Ranks Eighth on List of Public Priorities

@ncbiotech Come to the CED 2010 Biotech Conference. — Connect with hundreds of leaders in the biotech community –…

@BiotechMD New STEM Labs To Be Added To Arundel College #stem

Tomorrow Morning on NPR: BIO, ACLU Discuss Gene Patenting

Good afternoon IPers:  BIO’s Associate General Counsel for Intellectual Property, Hans Sauer, Ph.D., J.D.,  will participate in an hour-long segment on gene patenting on NPR tomorrow from 10-11am.

The host of On Point, Tom Ashbrook, will discuss gene patenting in the context of the ACLU/Myriad lawsuit with Hans and Chris Hansen, senior national staff counsel at the ACLU (

You can listen from your desk at  Callers will have the opportunity to ask questions after the first 20 minutes.

If you’re interested in the topic, you can find background material on gene patenting at and our amicus brief in the ACLU lawsuit is posted at

IP Professors: 12-Year Data Exclusivity a Win-Win for Patient Access & Biotech Innovation

David E. Adelman of the University of Texas School of Law and Christopher M. Holman of the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law recently published analysis on the “sideshow” of the data exclusivity debate in Washington.

Adelman and Holman use a cost-benefit analysis that incorporates the most important legal precedents and case law today in concluding that “policymakers should focus on mitigating the systematic barriers to entry that pose much greater and longer-term obstacles to lower-cost biotech drugs.”  Specifically, the draft paper provides solid analysis of the need for 12-year data exclusivity, which the authors describe as a right balance between providing access to important medicines to patients, and creating the incentives needed for investors and companies to prepare (and survive) the regulatory approval process for follow-on biologics.

Much like tort reform, the debate over pending legislation on biotech drugs—and particularly regulatory supplements to patent protection—has taken on a significance that dwarfs its impact on overall health care expenditures. Under the pending Health Care Reform legislation, Congress would enact two major reforms: First, creation of an abbreviated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process for follow-on biologics, which are the analogues of generics for conventional drugs. Second, establishment of a twelve-year “data exclusivity” period during which clinical testing data collected by brand-name producers could not be used by competitors to satisfy FDA testing requirements. While the abbreviated FDA approval process enjoys broad support, the data-exclusivity provision has been hotly contested, including strong opposition from the Federal Trade Commission.  (Paper Abstract)

The paper flies through data that’s been collected for over 20 years on intellectual property and biotechnology in a clear way as to make the longer data-exclusivity proposal an obvious non-issue for Congress in the health care debate. That is to say:

The economic studies used by critics of supplemental patent protection conclude that a twelve-year period of data exclusivity is essential to the profitability [and thus investment and research likelihood] of biotech drugs… data exclusivity could encourage development of clinically important biologics that would otherwise be abandoned because robust patents on the active ingredient are unavailable… the health care savings would be nominal, as drugs account for only about ten percent of total health care expenditures in the United States.

It’s important to understand the connection between health care and biotechnology, without “killing the goose” that lays the golden (innovation) egg. The authors note that “the successes of biomedical innovation are paradoxically  at the root of the health care crisis… limiting the term of data exclusivity could also be counterproductive for everyone…. safeguarding high short-term profits through a twelve-year data exclusivity term stands to mitigate the difficulties of balancing innovation and patient access.”

You can visit Chris Holman’s blog at