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Feb 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 3)

GEN’s Annual Wall Street Roundup

Experts Agree that Adaptability Is the Key to Long-Term Survival, Especially in Difficult Times

  • Survival of the fittest has governed life on Earth since the beginning of time, but it was first defined only 150 years ago by Charles Darwin. Today, it couldn’t be any more obviously at play, with economic turmoil necessitating a shakedown in the biotechnology sector.

    Biotech industry experts agree that financing will be tough in the short term. Smaller companies, in particular, will need to comb through their pipelines and rethink strategies. Additionally, political currents will buoy research and follow-on biologics, but could have an impact on big pharma and drug pricing. 

    GEN asked biotech analysts to predict what’s in store for the biotech industry in terms of the new political regime, as well as the current financial distress, and to provide some survival tips. Our respondents were Benjamin J. Conway, managing director with Johnston Blakely & Company, Nola E. Masterson, managing director of Science Futures, Viren Mehta, managing member of Mehta Partners, Jason Napodano, senior biotechnology analyst at Zacks Investment Research, Rod Raynovich, principal at Raygent Associates, and John L. Sullivan, director of research at Leerink Swann.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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