Archive for December, 2010



A Year in Books – These are a few of our favorite reads…

December 26th, 2010
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The Popper and Company team invests a great deal of time conducting literature reviews of scientific and medical journals and trade publications, but we also enjoy digging our heels in for varied reading experiences offered by great authors and great minds.
 
Following is a list of some of the best and most memorable books we’ve read this year. This list clearly provides a sense of our eclectic team and offers you an understanding of the broad perspective we bring to your life science business opportunities.
 

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. -- Charles W. Eliot

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Finding the Piece of Hay in the Haystack

December 20th, 2010
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I once read a blog about imprecise metaphors in which the author wrote that it’s easy to find a needle in a haystack, but immensely difficult to find a particular piece of hay in that haystack. Needle: Obvious. One piece of hay versus another: Not so obvious.
 
In these mercurial times in the life sciences and technology industries, attempting to identify information that is significant and useful can be as overwhelming as trying to find that one piece of hay.
 
Every day we encounter immense amounts of data and then we must pause for a moment to select what is essential and applicable to the topic at hand.
 
At Popper and Company, we keep a sharp eye toward emerging technologies whether it be in the development of point-of-care tests, regulatory and reimbursement issues, personalized medicine, the global expansion of mobile medicine or other areas of interest.
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Synthetic Biology: Onward and Upward

December 17th, 2010
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A recent article in The New York Times sheds light on concerns about synthetic biology, a field thus christened as the result of advances in DNA synthesis, bioinformatics, and protein engineering. In the article, journalist Andrew Pollack reports that President Obama’s bioethics commission found no need to temporarily halt research or impose new regulations on synthetic biology.
 
Synthetic biology – a new area of biological research that combines science and engineering in order to design and build novel biological functions and systems – has already been subject to much controversy and hype. Nevertheless, it is an area that holds great long-term promise for the creation of many novel human healthcare products: It is the ultimate realization of genetic engineering.
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Harnessing Change

December 13th, 2010
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According to staffers at The Scientist, “If developing interesting new technologies and products really is the lifeblood of economic health, then the life sciences industry is innovation’s beating heart.”
 
Are advanced technologies critical to the development of your new life science products and services, or to the companies in which you invest? If so, then you likely are aware of how quickly these technologies are changing and how hard it is to stay on top of these changes.
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Increasing Drug & Device Complexity: Impact on the U.S. Regulatory Review Process

December 8th, 2010
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Last week, PwC issued a report entitled “Improving America’s Health V—A survey of the working relations between the life sciences industry and FDA.” In a release announcing the report, PwC explained,  “Growing public demand for increased medical device and drug safety, as well as the need to develop medical products faster, is complicating the current regulatory approval process and relationship between the life sciences industry and its chief regulator, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
 
I certainly agree that the FDA as a resource is constrained. This is a somewhat predictable predicament, however, in that products being considered for marketing approval as well as those currently regulated by the FDA are more complex today than ever before. As complexity rises, the agency clearly needs more resources and augmentation in specific skill areas, such as informatics and genomics.
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Observations from the World Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Summit

December 6th, 2010
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The World Circulating Tumor Cell Summit occurred in Boston, Massachusetts from November 30 to December 1, 2010. My colleague Shane Climie and I attended, and here we share the top 10 ideas we took away from this important meeting, which focused on exploring the near-term commercial potential of many of the exciting new CTC technologies. Presenters and attendees at the meeting also discussed how CTCs might be utilized both in clinical trials and in clinical practice.
 
While the research community is still seeking to determine exactly what a CTC is, efforts to detect, isolate and characterize CTCs continue to increase.
 
Our Top 10 Takeaways:
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Channel surfing

December 2nd, 2010
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A year or so ago we at Popper and Company lumped Facebook and Twitter together when we thought about social media, just as many of you might have. What we knew is that these were two radically popular social media outlets. What we know now is that these are two very different types of social media channels.
 
As I see it, Facebook was and is an interesting way to reconnect with old friends and to stay in touch with family. I tend to have history or bloodlines in common with my Facebook friends. And, while I may indicate some of my interests by “liking” the Facebook page of a favorite sports team or musical artist, I prefer to tune in to Facebook to learn more about what the people I know are up to rather than to hear about broadsweeping policies, business interests, or global trends.
 
I see Twitter, on the other hand, as a way to connect not with people I know (necessarily), but with people whose interests I share. Facebook is like going to a family or class reunion; Twitter like attending an industry conference. I change the channel between these two social media tools depending on whether I’m in personal mode or in business mode. Read the rest of this entry »

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