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Best of the Blogs, Biotech: Expect a Diabetes Drug Market Showdown


Plus, only 13% of publicly traded biotechs report a positive net income.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful biotech news from around the Web every Thursday.

Fierce Biotech
Link: Lilly, Novo Chase Sanofi With New Diabetes Drugs
"Expect a showdown in the diabetes drug market to break out in the coming years as Eli Lilly (LLY) and Novo Nordisk (NVO) advance experimental insulin treatments. As Reuters' Ben Hirschler writes, those two contenders are targeting a market for long-lasting insulin drugs that Sanofi (SNY) now has cornered with the blockbuster Lantus." (Also read Eli Lilly or Intel for Dividends? Long Term Analysis.)

Biotech Now
Link: Only a Few Public Biotechs are Profitable, but There Are More of Them Today
"Of the 294 biotechs trading on public exchanges today, 248 (84%) focus on drug development. Of these 248 in the biopharmaceutical space, 81, or 33% have a drug approved. Only 32 (13%) had both a product on the market and positive net income in 2011. However, this 13% represents a significant jump from the 7.5% with positive net income we calculated for 2009."

Link: House Under Pressure to Act on FDA User Fee Legislation
"All it took was the prospect of collecting some $6.4 billion in user fees to fund the Food and Drug Administration to halt the partisan bickering and bring Senate Democrats and Republicans together to quickly pass the FDA Safety and Innovation Act. The legislation, approved just before Memorial Day, reauthorizes hefty user fees from drug and medical device companies, along with a host of new requirements that will govern FDA operations over the next five years." (For related content, see Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto Should Be Given to More Patients, FDA Staff Says.)

Link: CMS Wants to Cut Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes
"After numerous disclosures that antipsychotics have been aggressively promoted to nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is trumpeting a plan to reduce usage in nursing home residents by 15 percent by the end of this year. Why? CMS data show that, in 2010, more than 17 percent of nursing home patients had daily doses exceeding recommended levels."

Link: 'Bitter Seeds' Film Exposes Epidemic of Indian Farmer Suicides
"Big agribusiness companies like U.S.-based Monsanto (MON) claim their genetically modified seeds offer effective solutions to feeding the globe's exploding population. But there's growing concern over such technological trade-offs. Even those of us who own iPhones have only to read the stories coming from the Apple (AAPL)/Foxconn plant in China to see that an easier life for us can come at great cost to the impoverished in the developing world." (For related content, see Commodity Trading Trends: Wheat Futures Soar.)

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