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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, March 11, 2002

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find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb DoubleTwist Crashes and Burns; Assets Are Put on the Block

"After months of layoffs and near-death spasms, DoubleTwist has closed its doors.

"It was decided that the money wasn't there to continue operations," said Nicole Litchfield, a former spokesperson for the beleaguered bioinformatics company. "The plan is to sell intellectual property assets and anything else that they can get value out of. [The company] is looking for buyers.""

find related articles. powered by google. The Boston Globe No boom yet in analysis of drug data

"The emerging field of bioinformatics, the use of computers to analyze the inner workings of biology, is transforming an industry that just a decade ago relied on the manual labor of chemists and biologists. But even as it does so, bioinformatics is floundering as a business.

Shares of public companies that sell biological data or software are trading at a fraction of what they did two years ago. Dozens of companies have crowded into the field. Some have folded; others have survived only by morphing into drug-discovery companies.

''It's a hard market to build a business around,'' said Oliver Fetzer, a vice president at Boston Consulting Group."

redux [02.11.02]
find related articles. powered by google. MSNBC The Gene Bubble

"LIKE EVERY BUBBLE, this one had to burst. Stock prices of many bioinformatics firms have fallen sharply in recent years. LION Biosciences of Germany went public at $40 a share and now trades at about $13. Iceland’s DeCode is worth a fourth of its former high. Even Celera, the U.S. firm that helped decode the human genome, is off its peak.

Falling stock prices are a symptom of a greater disappointment in bioinformatics. A few years ago the laborious and quirky process of drug discovery seemed on the verge of giving way to new streamlined, data-driven methods. Some firms organized the blizzard of genetic data into databases that researchers could mine with search engines from still other firms. Software companies built computer programs that modeled what goes on in human cells and even whole organs. Many investors came to believe that bioinformatics would open a new avenue to the discovery of drugs. But this avenue simply hasn’t materialized. Says biotech analyst Earling Refsum at Nomura Bank in London: “Bioinformatics has not helped Big Pharma get more drugs into the pipeline.”"

redux [01.15.02]
find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Lion to Gobble NetGenics for $17M; Deal Would Marry Bio and Chem Data

"The deal, anticipated to close before April, gives Lion control of NetGenics' DiscoveryCenter platform, its 60 scientists and bioinformaticists, and a deal the privately held informatics firm has recently struck with Schering."

"The company, based in Cleveland, has been hurting recently: It earned $2.3 million during the first nine months of 2001 and spent $11.7 million during the same period."

"Its current cash position is "negligible," Glynias said in an interview, and Michael Clulow, who covers Lion for UBS Warburg, said that "NetGenics has an unhealthy balance sheet.""

redux [01.03.02]
find related articles. powered by google. WashTech.Com Low Fliers Behind the Drugs

"Inside the laboratories of the world's major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology start-ups, an emerging science is quietly transforming the drug industry. Bioinformatics -- the use of computers to analyze the inner workings of biology -- is helping researchers pinpoint the roots of diseases and design sophisticated medicines to treat them.

But even as it becomes a vital part of drug research, bioinformatics as a business is losing favor with investors. Shares of publicly traded firms that sell biological data and software tools are slumping, and venture capitalists are increasingly wary of investing in such companies.

find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Protein Pathways Bails on Bioinformatics Business Model, Chases Drug-Discovery Gold

"Don't call Protein Pathways a bioinformatics company. At least not anymore."

"In the "bioinformatics business model [there] is not enough money to interest venture capitalists," said Matteo Pellegrini, Protein Pathways' president and co-founder. "So to grow a company beyond a niche software company you have to move to drug discovery. We don't see the database software model as viable for us. We see informatics as internal to drug discovery.""

redux [12.18.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Signals Magazine Bioinformatics: Time to Morph

"There comes a point in the life cycle of every organism when it must change or perish. For bioinformatics, the time for metamorphosis is now. Though computational biology is already an intrinsic part of the drug discovery process, the business models adopted by most bioinformatics firms have failed to produce profits. Competition -- from the IT industry and big pharma itself -- is growing and investors, both public and private, are unimpressed. While some companies are hoping persistence pays off, many are pursuing new business models that should allow them to retain a bigger share of the profits they are helping to create."

redux [11.27.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Business Today `Bioinformatics' grows: Biotech computing is boon to investors

The bioinformatics industry - broadly defined as using computers in drug discovery - generated revenue of $1.38 billion in 2000, analysts at Frost & Sullivan figure. That number will reach at least $6.9 billion by 2007, analysts predict.

Although computers have been used by biotechnology and drug companies for at least a decade, the bioinformatics segment has taken off only in the last three years. And most believe it isn't anywhere near its potential.

``It's an exciting area, but it's an area that will come into its own in the next three to five years,'' said Brad Peters, Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst.

redux [11.20.01]
find related articles. powered by google. Fool.Com Bioinformatics Takeover Candidates

"A new Frost & Sullivan report augurs an explosion in the U.S. bioinformatics market from $1.38 billion in 2000 to $6.9 billion in 2007. The industry is full of players, and there's almost certain to be consolidation. The friendly capital markets of 1999 and 2000 allowed many to raise enough cash to hold out for the best bid."

redux [07.16.01]
find related articles. powered by google. New Jersey Online Despite hoopla, genetic information firms far from profitability

"A year after the deciphering of the human genome boggled the world, investors are realizing that manipulating genes to fight disease is still in its infancy -- and far from profitable."

Nowhere is that more clear than in the industry for genetic information, or bioinformatics."

redux [03.14.01]
find related articles. powered by google. ABCNews.Com The Next Bubble: Is Bioinformatics the Next Big Boom...and Bust?

"The story proclaimed in its lead, "Move over Information Age. Make room for the age of bioinformation." You could picture bleary eyes opening all over the Bay Area. The story went on to note that a San Jose consulting firm was predicting a 10 percent annual growth in the bioinformatics market for years to come; and that the National Science Foundation estimated that 20,000 new jobs in the field would be created in the field in just the next four years.

If that wasn't enough, the rest of the section was filled with page after page of biotech firms listing job openings - in powerful juxtaposition to the endless lists of dot-com layoffs just a few pages earlier. Picture Starbucks spit-takes from Marin to Santa Cruz.

Wow! Rewrite that resumé to emphasize that biology course you took in college. Roll your Aeron chair down to the nearest lab. Trade that black turtleneck for a white lab coat..."

[ 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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