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{bio,medical} informatics

Friday, March 02, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. Fortune Post-Genome, Celera Now Shoots for Profits
"Last year Celera Genomics and its president, J. Craig Venter, shook up the scientific world by successfully sequencing the human genome faster than anyone--even Venter--had predicted. But when the hype faded, investors were left with one big question: How could Celera turn its accomplishment into financial gain?

The answer wasn't immediately clear."

"Now Celera has turned its focus to a logical new business: drug development."
redux [01.11.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Fool.Com Do Biotech Data Deals Mean Real Money?
"Biotech deals announced in the last few days highlight the hottest debate in the biotech world: If and how bioinformatics companies -- the likes of Gene Logic (Nasdaq: GLGC), Incyte Genomics (Nasdaq: INCY), and Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA) -- can sustain long-term business success. Can they sell their information alone, obtain future milestone payments and royalties on drugs or diagnostics produced from their data, or must they become drug development companies themselves?"
find related articles. powered by google. Fool.Com: Message Boards Re: Are royalties the key?
"Currently, big pharma subscribers are paying several million dollars per year, for several years, on a non-exclusive basis. Now if we assume you are correct in that unvalidated targets are worth MUCH less than validated targets (and I'm correct in assuming that first generation genomics targets are evn more likely to be "low margin") then, considering the time it will take to bring an unvalidated target to market, Celera is ripping these guys off (well, that's a little extreme). There's absolutely no guarantee any of this data will yield blockbuster drugs and yet they can charge tens of millions of dollars for it on a non-exclusive basis. Why does pharma buy it? Because several million a year is pocket change for a lot of these companies. Why risk missing out? Suckers.;-)

I realize I'm taking an extreme stance, but it's only to make a point: Celera is making a lot of money from their subscribers. The big question is can they continue to sign companies up at a rate sufficient to fund expansion of an internal drug discovery platform. Here we may have a problem. The subscription rate has been, for most of us, disappointing. Either Celera is going to have to start validating targets (or annotating or value-adding) to attract more customers, or they are going to have to enter into significant collaborations. I think they're going to do both."

find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Celera Launches into Drug Target Sector
"Celera Genomics on Wednesday announced moves that signal the beginning of the company's foray into the drug target discovery sector.

"We are looking to identify new drug targets," Peter Chambre, Celera?s chief operating officer, said at a company presentation at the JP Morgan H&Q conference."
redux [06.29.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Forbes Celera's Worth Still Up In The Air
"Great discoveries do not necessarily make great businesses. Businesses have to sell something. Celera Genomics doesn't sell or make anything tangible. It hawks service and information. It sells access to lists of genes and computers that can sort through those messy lists. Samuel Broder, the company's executive vice president and chief medical officer, makes Celera sound like some kind of consulting company, or perhaps a library."

"In a market filled with companies that acquire knowledge and then use it to produce chemicals and drugs with immediate importance, Celera is charging an arm and a leg for a library with really nifty computers.

But the Human Genome Project, like the public library, is offering similar services for free. Certainly, its computers are less nifty. But it has a relatively good draft of the genome. A lot of companies and universities may pay for Celera's cleaner, clearer books, its faster computers, and its richer catalogs of where the genes are and what they do. But this all seems speculative. It would certainly be nice if they had an exclusive human genome to sell."

"Venter's quest could be a fable, with all sorts of morals about the power of capitalism and the importance of a single, brilliant, willful individual who used the market to shake the ivory towers of science. But those morals only hold if Celera succeeds, if business and science blend to propel the company into the future with breathtaking speed without rocketing it into the realities of the marketplace. Celera could become one of the great business success stories. It could also be a financial train wreck."

Right now, that makes it a very volatile stock."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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