Volume 1, Issue 1

Chair’s Welcome

Practice Edge

• BioBlurb

•Claiming Pitfalls in Bioinformatics Patent Applications

• E-Tech Update

• Judicial Neuroscience Seminar

• SciTech Standards
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 The Section’s quarterly magazine features practical and timely articles on a diverse range of science and technology law issues. This issue focuses on the impact of bioinformatics.

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The SciTech e-Merging News is published quarterly as a Section member benefit. Click here to join the Section. The material published reflects the views of the authors and has not been approved by the Section of Science & Technology Law, the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the ABA. © 2008 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

PRACTICE EDGE

BioBlurb by Lisa M. von Biela

CONTRIBUTOR CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE:

Thanks to Becky Fe de Montreve-McMinn, Susan Ehrlich and Hugh Wellons for their contributions this week!

BIOETHICS ISSUES:

1. Wide disparity reported in health care by race and region.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/health/research/05disparities.html?
_r=1&ref=health&oref=slogin

or
http://tinyurl.com/3o278o
New York Times
, 6/5/08, via Becky.

2. New Evista ad campaign criticized. The one with the dazed-looking women
in the satin “togas,” for lack of a better description.
http://tinyurl.com/5t2a6x
IndyStar.com
, 6/1/08, via FDLI SmartBrief.

BIOTECH AND THE LAW:

1. Legislators to introduce bill against pre-emption.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/congressdaily/cda_20080604_4132.php
National Journa
l, 6/4/08, via FDLI SmartBrief.

BIOTECH IN CLINICAL MEDICINE:

1. Vaccine triggers immune response and prevents Alzheimer’s.
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/pr/news/story.cfm?id=1990
University of Rochester Medical Center, 5/19/08, via Hugh.

2. Canadian survey: hospitals reusing single-use devices without validated
cleaning. (I hope the MRSA’s didn’t read the article. I can just imagine them
organizing a road trip to Canada.)
http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jbTIw1_Ej8kAik5oN-AlFtlmIt4Q
Canadian Press
, 5/25/08, via Becky.

3. Bone drug Zometa helps women with early breast cancer avoid recurrence.
http://tinyurl.com/6dqfea
USA Today
, 6/1/08, via Becky.

4. Vaccine doubles survival of deadly brain tumor.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080602/hl_nm/cancer_brain_dc
Yahoo! News
, 6/2/08, via Becky.

5. Brighter lights and melatonin help dementia patients.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080610/hl_nm/dementia_light_dc;_ylt=AqzuBJU
Y6ZO9GZGIanPz5mTVJRIF

or
http://tinyurl.com/5f2n43
Yahoo! News
, 6/10/08, via Becky.

6. Virtual consults from Mayo physicians by email.
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/19649109.html?
location_refer=Homepage

or
http://tinyurl.com/6dmr2e
Mpls StarTribune
, 6/8/08, via Becky.

BIOTECH RESEARCH/SCIENCE:

1. Gum disease may raise cancer risk elsewhere in body. So, floss ‘em if you
got ‘em.
http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN2729954920080527
Reuters
, 5/27/08, via Becky.

2. Pillowy antibacterial polymers may be more effective in keeping bacteria
from adhering to medical devices. Nice, soft little polymers. Comfy.
http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/20841/
MIT Technology Review
, 5/30/08, via Becky.

3. Green tea antioxidant may help prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking
development of toxic protein.
http://tinyurl.com/5z4xxp
Yahoo! News
, 5/31/08, via Becky.

4. Neurologically impaired mice improve after receiving human neural stem
cells.
http://www.tjols.com/weekly_brief-2-260.html#reg
The Journal of Life Sciences Weekly Brief, 6/6/08, via Hugh.

5. The intestine alone contains numerous stem cell types. So this isn’t all so
simple, is it?
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aG8Uf7Hvty9w
Bloomberg
, 6/8/08, via Hugh.

6. Researchers close in on new melanoma gene.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/ttgr-rci051808.php
Genomics and Health Weekly Update, 5/23/08, via Susan.

COMMERCIAL BIOTECH APPLICATIONS:

1. ED triage via touch-screen kiosk. Hmmm . . .just struck me. Touch
screen. ER patients. Any issue with disinfecting it between uses? If the
staff hasn’t the time for personal triage, who is wielding the antibacterial
wipes? Ah, check out the story below on antibacterial wipes for more good
news.
http://include.nurse.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080519/NJ02/80515030
Nurse.com
, 5/19/08, via Becky.

2. Hospital uses scanner and barcoded patient wristbands to increase
accuracy of treatment. I’m torn over this one. Accuracy is critical, surely.
But somehow there is a certain dehumanization about this as well.
http://www.nvdaily.com/lifestyle/291835700850639.bsp
Northern Virginia Daily, 6/3/08, via Becky.

3. Antibacterial wipes used in hospitals may actually spread those superbugs.
Another one of those delightfully comforting stories, right?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24952312/
MSNBC.com
, 6/3/08, via Becky.

4. Word/Logic Bank to help build “thinking” machines for complex applications,
including biomedicine.
http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=sa&id=1277
Internet Business Law Services
, 6/3/08, via Becky.

5. Automated drug dispensing improves care at nursing homes.
http://tinyurl.com/4x22gc
Dallas News
, 6/11/08, via Becky.

6. RFID technology helps hospitals keep track of medical devices, and could
also save lives.
http://tinyurl.com/59csjb
Boston.com
, 6/9/08, via Becky.

7. Health Information Technology, as practiced at the Cleveland Clinic.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1812085,00.html
Time, 6/5/08, via Becky.

FINANCIAL/COMPANY NEWS:

1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute expands research funding as government
funding lags.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2008/05/27/AR2008052701014.html
, via Hugh.

2. Takeda Pharmaceutical inks another massive deal. (All right, full disclosure
here. I once did a commercial for Takeda Vitamins, which I believe was part
of this corporation. It only aired in Japan. I was the one playing Frisbee in
the background. No kidding. Funny world, eh?)
http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1096898
Boston Herald, 5/28/08, via Hugh.

3. Icahn demands shareholders vote to replace three Biogen board members.
http://www.forbes.com/markets/2008/05/27/biogen-icahn-biotechnology-
markets-equity-cx_cg_0527markets28.html
, via Hugh.

LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY DEVELOPMENTS:

1. HHS to provide grants to boost public health preparedness.
http://www.washingtontechnology.com/online/1_1/32915-1.html
Washington Technology, 6/4/08, via Becky.

2. Dual-Use Research Awareness. This story was hot off the press today!
http://www.scienceprogress.org/2008/06/dual-use-biosecurity/
Science Progress, 6/11/08, via Susan.

PATENT/IP ISSUES:

1. GPC Biotech announces grant of European patent to Satraplatin for
treating tumors resistant to taxanes.
http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080612/20080612005381.html?.v=1
Yahoo!
Finance, 6/12/08.

2. Mylan claims win in patent dispute appeal with AstraZeneca.
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/06/10/ap5101655.html
Forbes.com, 6/10/08, via FDLI SmartBrief.

REGULATORY MATTERS/FDA ACTIVITY:

1. Sentinal Initiative will allow FDA to use Medicare claim information to
assess risks of newly marketed drugs sooner than it can now.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/23/washington/23fda.html?
_r=2&ref=health&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

or
http://tinyurl.com/6r8way
New York Times, 5/23/08, via Hugh.

2. Biologics manufacturers (on average) spend 88 hours annually filing and
maintaining Adverse Experience Report information.
http://fdanews.com/newsletter/article?issueId=11613&articleId=106994
FDA News, 5/23/08, via Hugh.

3. FDA official sees some delays over safety. Oh, my. Really?
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2739064620080527
Reuters, 5/27/08, via Becky.

4. Drug companies drain scientific brains from FDA. Oh, great.
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2008-06-03-drug-companies-
fda_N.htm
, USA Today, 6/3/08, via Hugh.

5. Auction websites and the sale of prescription drugs. FTC, FDA, alphabets
are involved here.
http://tinyurl.com/56epx2
Internet Business Law Services, 6/11/08, via Becky.

6. CDRH explores recommendations for gender-specific cardiovascular studies.
http://www.medicaldevicestoday.com/2008/06/cdrh-explores-r.html
Medical Devices Today, 6/9/08, via Becky.

7. FDA seeks to reclassify full field digital mammography systems from class
III to class II.
http://www.healthimaging.com/content/view/11132/118/
Health Imaging News, 6/10/08, via FDLI SmartBrief.

WEIRD NEWS:

1. Day of admission dictates length of stay for heart failure patients. Time
your illness, if you can.
http://tinyurl.com/6q7at6
Forbes.com, 5/20/08, via Becky.

2. Robotic woman gives birth at Valley View Hospital. No, I am not kidding. I
don’t make these things up.
http://www.postindependent.com/article/20080527/VALLEYNEWS/328301676
Glenwood Springs Post Independent, 5/27/08, via Becky.

3. Tap dancing helps nursing students learn ECG rhythms. I’m all for
whatever learning technique works, but this one just puts up a bizarre image
in my mind for some reason.
http://tinyurl.com/66wn89
Nurse.com, 6/2/08, via Becky.

This is an excerpt from a publication is sent weekly to Section of Science & Technology Law Biotechnology Law Committee members. Click here to learn about this committee.

 

Lisa M. von Biela is a student at the University of Minnesota Law School and Student Representative to the SciTech Biotech Law Committee. She can be reached at vonb0038@umn.edu.