Stories range from the firestorm surrounding patenting of genes, to the biggest acquisitions, clinical trial failures, and the hopes and misgivings under a new Congress.

This past year presented the biotech industry with a unique set of extremes. Big companies grew bigger, small firms either got squashed out entirely, gobbled up by a competitor, or had to sit on its thumbs, and mid-sized companies lingered in no-man’s land, struggling to make the most of their lead products with whatever money they had in their pockets. Indeed in relative terms the biotech industry wasn’t hit as badly as many others, but some may say that’s just a saving grace for those searching for a silver lining.

It was a busy and exciting year because of the economic crisis, and GEN’s looking back on what caught our readers’ eyes. Below is a listing of the 10 most popular stories we covered, starting with the firestorm surrounding patenting of genes and ranging to the biggest acquisitions, clinical trial failures, and the hopes and misgivings for the industry under a new Congress.

Myriad Genetics Comes under Legal Fire for Gene Patents
Lawsuit charges that these patents are unconstitutional and restrict healthcare options as well as research.

Pfizer Logs Another Misstep in Late-Stage Development
Trial evaluating sunitinib as a single agent in advanced breast cancer patients who failed previous treatment stopped.

Roche Shares Slide due to Avastin Failure in Phase III
Testing in early-stage colon cancer found that the drug would not reduce risk of recurrence.

Barack to Business in 2009
At least for the biotech sector, change is certainly here.

Genzyme Temporarily Halts Production at Plant in Massachusetts
A virus was detected at the Allston facility, affecting supply of Cerezyme and Fabrazyme.

Roche Wins Over Genentech with $46.8B Offer
Genentech’s board is recommending that shareholders accept the $95 a share deal.

Biotech and Generic Industries Lock Horns over Biosimilars
Points of contention include data exclusivity, interchangeability, and clinical trial requirements.

Final Stimulus Package Provides $21.5B for Research
Biggest winner seems to be the NIH, which will receive $8.5 billion for research grants.

Takeda Pulls MAA for Type 2 Diabetes Therapy
Additional clinical study planned, and revised submission is expected in 2012.

Roche Acquires Innovatis for $19.56M
Transaction will pad company’s cell analysis franchise.

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