Volume 2, Issue 3

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Practice Edge

bioblurb by sofya bakalova

Greetings, dear readers! Below please find the latest issue of the BioBlurb. As always I encourage attorneys, law students, and industry professionals to submit biotech-related stories of interest to my e-mail address. In this issue, find out about the most recent Leukemia treatment breakthrough, Australia's new genetic info disclosure guidelines, and the latest developments on U.S. healthcare bill!

Thank you,

Sofya Bakalova
sb4711@students.law.miami.edu

CONTRIBUTOR CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE:

Great thanks to Hugh Wellons for his story contributions this week!
_______________________________________________________________

BIOTECH BREAKTHROUGHS, NEW RESEARCH DIRECTIONS & APPLICATIONS IN CLINICAL MEDICINE:
"Stem Cells Become Functioning Neurons in Mice." Transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells were able to form proper brain connections in newborn mice, according to Yahoo Health News (January 19, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/yfmr4sw

"Gene Discovery May Help Guide Breast Cancer Care." Researchers discovered that an abnormality in two genes can make a common class of chemotherapy drugs used to fight breast cancer less effective, according to Reuters (January 24, 2010).
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60N1KD20100124

"UW-Madison Team's Collagen Find Could Help Treat Arthritis." Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, developed artificial collagen that could help heal wounds and treat conditions such as arthritis, according to Wisconsin State Journal (January 18, 2010)
http://tinyurl.com/yf6bh4b

"Leukemia Cell 'Breakthrough' Offers Treatment Hope." Scientists believe they have made an important breakthrough in attempts to treat a form of childhood leukemia, according to BBC News (January 22, 2010).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8472628.stm

INTERNATIONAL BIOTECH NEWS:
"St. Jude Device Receives Japanese Approval." Japanese regulators granted approval to St. Jude Medical for its Genesis neurostimulator - an implantable device that disrupts pain signals' transmission to the brain by electrically stimulating the spinal cord's epidural space, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (January 18, 2010)
http://tinyurl.com/ygjn33x

"AUSTRALIA: New Privacy Guidelines for Health Practitioners on Disclosing Genetic Information." The National Health and Medical Research Council, in cooperation with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, released new guidelines to assist health practitioners in making decisions about disclosing genetic information to their patients' genetic relatives, according to IBLS (January 17, 2010).
http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=sa&id=1830

BIOTECH INDUSTRY NEWS:
"Venture Capitalists Reawaken." While funding for start-up investment has plunged to its lowest level since 1997, the end of 2009 saw a surge in new funding and an increase in number of deals, according to Boston.com News (January 22, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/yg326gz

"Asian Drugmakers Rise on U.S. Health Plan Speculation."Asian drugmaker shares posted the biggest gain as a group in the region on speculation U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul the health-care system will be derailed after Democrats lost a key Senate seat, according to Bloomberg (January 20, 2010).
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=a2lVqca09i8o

LEGISLATIVE, POLICY & REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS:
"Stem Cell OK Should be Law, Backers Say." National stem cell research advocate argues that President Barack Obama's 2009 executive order that lifted some stem cell research restrictions should be codified into law so future lawmakers cannot undo it, according to STLToday.com News (January 24, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/yhaat4q

"Pelosi: Mass. Election Won't Stop Health Bill." Republican victory in the Massachusetts would not mean the death of health reform, according to The Yew York Times (January 18, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/yc3jg2p

"Governors Protest Obama's Move on Generic Drugs." Six states are asking President Obama to maintain a provision in the health reform bill that would give 12-year market exclusivity to brand-name biotech drugs, according to The Hill Blog Briefing Room (January 19, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/yftwdme

"Beyond Healthcare's Big Tuesday, Money to be Made." Participants at the 28th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in CA expressed positive views on health care reform, according to The Market Watch Health Matters Blog (January 19, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/yek6deq

BIOTECH & SOCIETY: CURE OR ENHANCEMENT?
Stem cell treatments clearly have potential to cure debilitating diseases, but the recent trend in using regenerative technologies for human enhancement raises a set of interesting social, legal, and ethical questions.

"First Regenerative Cell Breast Augmentation Surgery Performed Through Stem Cell Assurance Physician Network." Arthur Handal, MD., F.A.C.S. has performed the first regenerative cell breast augmentation through in Boca Raton, Florida, according to WXVT Local News (January 20, 2010).
http://www.wxvt.com/Global/story.asp?S=11850981&nav=menu1344_8_6

"Stem Cellutrition, a Division of Stem Cell Assurance, Inc., is Pleased to Introduce Their Exclusive Regenerative Skincare Brand of Cosmetics." Stem Cellutrition, a pioneering clinical-grade skincare and cosmetics company, has launched its state-of-the-art skincare product line formulated to restore elasticity, radiance and smoothness to aging and damaged skin, according to Red Orbit News (January 25, 2010).
http://tinyurl.com/ydjqle3

Sofya Bakalova
University of Miami School of Law
J.D. Candidate - Class of 2010
sb4711@students.law.miami.edu

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