Monday, April 14, 2008

While You Were Augmenting Your Wardrobe

Congratulations to South African Trevor Immelman who held off the field at Augusta to win his first Masters' championship and claim the green jacket (it always fits!). We had money on Tiger knew he could do it. We're by no means avid golfers, though we enjoy watching the majors and very occasionally swing the sticks ourselves. But when you think about it, golfing's a lot like blogging. Golf, blog, both four-letter words. Both addictive hobbies. Both require minimal physical conditioning, and both go better with a few beers. Both rely heavily on links. And both provide ample opportunity to break out one's Bill Murray impersonation.

In sporting news closer to our hearts, the Flyers split the first two games of their best of seven conference quarterfinal series with the Capitals, largely by keeping the superhuman Alexander Ovechkin in check for about 114 out of a possible 120 minutes. This blogger is sticking to his Flyers-in-5 prediction.

On to the industry news where a few tidbits have begun trickling out of AACR, more news outlets are picking up on the newly infamous Vytorin "minutes", and the New York Times is running a front page story about a new pricing system for expensive medicines that is quickly becoming popular with insurers. Not so much with patients, whose co-payments are skyrocketing under the new system. Says the Times: "The system means that the burden of expensive health care can now affect insured people, too." Moving on ...

  • Woe is UK biotech, repeats the Telegraph, which recounts some of the sub-sector's sadder stories. For companies to succeed they'll need new sources of finance, the piece points out--Plethora's Paul Capital deal (DOTW'd here) is the latest example of such creativity.
  • Reuters notes that although inhaled insulin might be dead (or if you're Mannkind, not quite), but plenty of firms are still interested in inhalation delivery of other proteins. Maybe so, but chances are the safety hurdle for such therapies just got a bit higher, and post-marketing surveillance could be onerous.
  • Plenty of news out of the big AACR meeting in San Diego. Amgen presented data on some preclinical anti-angiogenesis compounds; Introgen presented preliminary Phase III data for its Advexin head and neck cancer candidate; Infinity presented preclinical data on its IPI-926 Hedgehog antagonist. Follow all the news here.
  • So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Masters photo from flickr user John Trainor used under a creative commons license.

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