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Patents

+ - Patent Dispute Blocks Promising ALS Treatment->

Submitted by
klenwell
klenwell writes "The New York Times today is carrying a story about a family's desperate efforts to find a treatment for Joshua Thompson, a 34 year-old father of two, suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Once diagnosed, the best treatment Joshua's doctor could offer was a prescription for Rilutek, a drug which "typically prolongs life by a few months". Through online research, Joshua's mother discovered Iplex, another drug originally intended for helping childing with growth deficiencies that showed promising results for A.L.S. sufferers who had tried it. But the drug was initially unavailable due to a settlement arising from a patent dispute:

[T]he drug's maker, Insmed, lost a patent infringement lawsuit to a biotechnology firm that was already selling a drug for short stature that had similar properties. Iplex , however, was thought to be more potent for treating A.L.S. Insmed agreed to pull its drug off the market. Only the Italian Health Ministry, which had begun to distribute the drug to A.L.S. patients under a compassionate use program, could continue to buy it. Kathy dashed off a letter to the F.D.A.... But the agency could not weigh in until Insmed agreed to make the drug available. And Insmed's hands were tied by the settlement agreement.

Before lashing out at the drug companies involved, or the F.D.A. for standing in the way of experimental trials, make sure you read the whole article. In the end, an agreement between drug companies, and a reversal of course by the F.D.A., allowed Joshua to start treatment with Iplex as a "compassionate use" exception."
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Businesses

+ - Chasing it: What's the next market bubble? 1

Submitted by
klenwell
klenwell writes "During my adult lifetime, we've had the dotcom bubble (and collapse) followed now by the housing bubble (and collapse). With markets in disarray, now is perhaps the time to start focusing on the next bubble. For once the markets have readjusted themselves, there will be just as much loose capital as ever looking for a fix.

My money's (not literally) on energy:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87991822

A friend of mine with whom I was discussing this recently pointed out that it's not necessarily easy for most ordinary people to get into the energy — or energy futures — market. I noted that the same could have been said, to a large extent, of stocks and homes before the last two bubbles. Indeed, it was the financial and technological innovations allowing the general public to get in on the action that really freed speculation. And I imagine many of the world's sharpest minds are already at work coming up with a solution to whatever problems of access are holding down the next bubble.

What do you think will be the next speculative market bubble?

Tom"
User Journal

+ - The Internet Without Al Gore

Submitted by klenwell
klenwell (960296) writes "This is a question sure to stir up some reasoned debate, still I was wondering...

Al Gore takes a lot of flack in certain quarters for his (misquoted) title as "inventor of the internet". Nevertheless, he was crucial in the development of its infrastructure and its growth as a mass media platform. See for instance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore_controversies #Influence_on_the_Internet

Question: where do you think the internet and world wide web would be today if the current administration had been in power during its critical formative period in the early to mid 1990s?"

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst

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