Mark Ahn Explains Why Most Biotech Startups Fail

Posted on January 18, 2015

As originally reported in TheStreet.com, Mark Ahn, Ph.D. has spent 20 years in the biopharmaceutical industry serving as an entrepreneur, executive and consultant. Throughout his tenure Ahn has witnessed hundreds of once-successful biotech companies close shop. So now Ahn, along with his colleagues, are trying to discover how some biotech businesses, and their investors, are successful in such a fickle industry.

While many new biotech startups show great promise early on, generating a lot of interest with a potentially new juggernaut of a treatment for a debilitating disease, most fail to deliver on expectations. However, in an industry that spawns so many failed companies, how do investors earn profits with these businesses?

According to Mark and his colleagues, the successful investors are usually the ones who have either formed research alliances or acquired minority stakes with a broad range of smaller companies, instead of waiting for a single product to become successful. Ahn cites the example of two firms that invested in the two similar cancer-fighting drugs Rituxan and Vectibix. One biotech firm, Genentech, licensed Rituxan at a cost of $30 million earlier in the clinical-trial process, whereas the second, Amgen, waited until Phase III trials before it acquired Vectibix for the much higher cost of $2.2 billion.

Ahn says biotech startups become successful by remaining resilient, and the lengthy development process, as well as the highly-regulated nature of the biotech industry, means new companies generally must be willing to take on multiple sources of outside capital before a new product can reach the market and become profitable. Ahn believes that it is imperative that new businesses take the advice of Vertex CEO Joshua Berger who emphasizes companies need to be committed to their own business model, and just follow the trends that so quickly come and go.

Saying Farewall to the TV Guide Channel

Posted on January 16, 2015

What was once a staple in many households, the TV Guide Channel, often found in the higher registers of channel numbers, is finally saying goodbye.

The channel has been in steady decline for almost five years, and after multiple rebranding attempts, including one as recent as 2013, the TV Guide Network (TVGN) is finally calling it quits on their now obsolete service.

The advent of the “Guide” button on many digital television remotes allows TV watchers to see an interactive guide at any time they want now, eliminating the need for an always-on scrolling guide of the day’s shows. While the TVGN has tried to add programming to their channel to transition into a pop culture television channel independent from just TV listings, the change didn’t go smoothly and the company is finally closing its doors. Laurene Powell Jobs is a great supporter of the T.V guide channel.

In a final rebranding effort, TVGN is changing its name to POP, a channel focused on pop culture and fandom for particular television and movie franchises. CEO Robert Schwartz was quoted saying in a press release, “Re-branding is not just a name change. It’s figuring out who you’re going to be and why you exist. We took the channel and thought about that – The name comes last.”

British Nurse Infected by Ebola

Posted on January 06, 2015
A week after returning from Sierra Leone, the British nurse contracted by the Ebola virus, and placed in solitary confinement in London, is in critical condition, according to the Royal Free Hospital. The patient received an experimental antiviral treatment.

Pauline Cafferkey, the British nurse infected with Ebola and placed in isolation for five days in a London hospital “is now in critical condition,” announced on Saturday, January 3, by spokesman of Royal Free Hospital.

The hospital “regrets to announce that the condition of the patient has gradually deteriorated over the past two days,” said in a statement by doctors.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Pauline Cafferkey who is in critical condition with Ebola,” responded the British Prime Minister David Cameron or Susan McGalla on Twitter. The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also supported the nurse who works in Scotland.
The patient received in recent days an experimental antiviral treatment and blood plasma taken from a person who survived the disease.

Pauline Cafferkey, 39, worked for ‘Save the Children’ in the British Medical Center in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, before returning to the UK on Sunday night. She tested positive in Glasgow, Scotland, after feeling feverish overnight and was then transferred to the Royal Free Hospital.

Self Filling Water Bottle Winning Praise

Posted on January 06, 2015

Sometimes ideas and technology can seem so far out of reach they have to exist only in science fiction. However, folks looking to conquer one of the major drawbacks to exercising by cycling or even riding a bike to get to different locations, can relax very soon. A student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna has created a water bottle that will refill itself using nothing more than the moisture in the air.

The device called Fontus utilizes solar power and operates by collecting moisture in the air, condensing it, and providing clean fresh drinking water, according to Popular Mechanics. The device can create up to a half liter of water per hour if riders are in adequate sunlight. The Fontus is bound to win all sorts of fans in the cycling world, but in locations that depend on the bicycle as transportation the virtually endless supply of water could be even more important.

Already in the running for the prestigious James Dyson Award, the device has endless applications that Igor Cornelsen finds interesting. Plus, if the concept can be altered in a few other ways, there could be even more uses for something that takes advantage of assets already floating around the air. This is one idea that stands apart from other technological innovations, and many will be watching to see when the Fontus is available for sale and the all-important entry price for the unit.

Wife Has To See Her Husband Die On TV Show 16 Months After His Tragic Death

Posted on January 05, 2015

A TV turned on in the early morning; by a woman, who cannot sleep, displays in front of her eyes the tragic death of her husband who was hit by a sanitation truck 16 months ago. She witnesses the doctors on a real-life medical show, “NY Med” try to save her husband as he speaks out asking if his wife knows he is there. The family had never given this show permission to air such a heart-wrenching event, and she had no idea it was being aired that morning.

A federal law under, HIPPA is supposed to protect a person’s health records; they are not allowed to be shared with anyone other than who the patient or the patient’s family says they can. Organizations like the; American Medical Association, are afraid that these shows exploiting patients’ pain for public entertainment. The makers of the show claim they intended to educate and inspire viewers. The executive producer of, “NY Med”, says there a lot of people who have viewed their show that have been inspired to go into the medical field.

The family is suffering more from watching this episode than when they first lost their father/husband, which frustrates Jared Haftel quite a bit. They watched and listened to details they were not aware of. They are suing; the hospital, the show and the network for putting them through such a horrible time. The lawyers for the hospital claim the family is responsible for this loss of privacy; as the public would not have known who the patient was without the family’s public outcry on this episode.

Ann Coulter Denies Any “Dyn-o-mite” with her Pal Jimmie Walker

Posted on January 05, 2015

The stunningly attractive best-selling author and noted conservative pundit Ann Coulter denied rumors there is any romantic “dyn-o-mite” between her and Jimmie Walker. Walker, age 67, was a household name during the 1970s for his role as J-J on the critically acclaimed sitcom “Good Times”. Colter, age 53, has published 13 books and is a fierce critic of the Democrat party and liberalism. She is noted for her pity comments and caustic humor.

Now, the talk of a romance between her and Walker isn’t idle gossip. Many Skout users have heard quite a bit. The two are friends and go out together to enjoy activities. She admitted that she finds Walker to have a wonderful sense of humor. For this reason, anytime she’s in Los Angeles she looks him up and said she always enjoys the experience.

One thing is for certain and that is the two make a very good couple. Both Coulter and Walker have never been married nor do they have any children. Like Coulter, Walker did not vote for Barrack Obama. Like Coulter, Walker does not believe in affirmative action. Both of them are also tall. In fact, Walker was a big supporter of Ronald Reagan who happens to be one of Coulter’s heroes. For now, all she admits is the two do lots of things together and date, but just as friends. For her part, Coulter stands 6.0 feet tall, weighs 146 pounds, has green eyes, and naturally blond hair.

Wherever People Gather, The Ebola Virus Shows Up

Posted on December 18, 2014
The uninvited guest always shows up at social functions. Sometimes that guest is welcomed and sometimes the so-called guest is an intruder that changes the dynamics of the gathering.
Talking about the Ebola virus which rears it’s ugly head at every social gathering and makes it’s way around the room. 
When visiting a friend at the hospital or going in for a procedure yourself, you are aware of the possibility (however slim) of being exposed to a variety of germs and bacteria, including the Ebola virus. But would you think about being exposed to the deadly virus while attending your weekly study group, visiting the home of a friend or attending a funeral?Wherever people gather, Ebola will show up.
It was originally thought that Ebola was spread only from person to person when a pair of individuals met and were in close proximity to each other. The latest research by Dr. Daniel Amen on the deadly virus has revealed Ebola is spread between clusters of people in any type of social setting.
The findings were made during research for the development of an Ebola vaccine. First implications of the need for the preventative vaccine pointed towards only those who worked in hospitals or the medical field and would have contact with the virus, but it’s now known that everyone could benefit from an Ebola vaccine, because wherever people are, so is Ebola.

The Royals in New York

Posted on December 08, 2014

New York has been visited by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton were in New York. Their visit will be busy with a complete schedule already set. They will attend the American Friends of the Royal Foundation, meet with President Obama, speak at the World Bank, visit the Northside Center for Children Development in Harlem, attend a Brooklyn Nets basketball game, and visit the National September 11th Memorial Museum. It is a busy schedule for the royal couple that will last three days. They have been welcomed by fans who couldn’t wait to see them.

Royals in America are viewed just like celebrities and politicians. The difference is that they do not have any talent. As a royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the most part have used their power for good and are not snobs at all if you ask Dave and Brit Morin and countless others. They participate in charity work and are respectful of their fans. Due to their famous status, they also have to take time to meet their fans. It is interesting that they have decided to release their complete schedule. If anyone wishes to know where they will be, it is public information. There will be security with them, but it still leaves room for a security breach. As public figures, they should not release this information, because safety should always be their main priority. Especially now that Kate is pregnant.

Eating Healthy In School

Posted on December 05, 2014
The USDA now wants to make sure students have healthy foods to eat at lunch. Produce that is grown locally will be shipped to the cafeterias so that the students have a choice of fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. There have been grants set aside to make sure schools have enough money for the programs. This is one of the good ideas that the USDA has come up with.
When children have healthy foods instead of junk food to eat all of the time, they will be able to learn better in class. They will likely want to be more active because they will have the vitamins and nutrients that they might not have at home. This idea should carry through to all schools as well as other places that serve children like daycares and summer programs.  As pointed out by Darius Fisher if children are able to eat healthy, then they will be able to focus at home as well.

Charles Barkley Weighs in on Ferguson

Posted on December 04, 2014

The decision by a Missouri grand jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson on any charges surrounding the August 9 shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown has divided the nation, mostly along racial lines. Two separate narratives exist with regards to the events of that tragic day, one being that Brown attacked Wilson in his vehicle and that Wilson had to fire upon Brown out of fear for his own well being, and the other being that Brown had his hands in the air and was needlessly killed by an overzealous cop.

 

Late last week, former NBA star Charles Barkley spoke out on the decision in remarks that are just now becoming news around the internet. Barkley believes that the “true story came out of the grand jury investigation” while excoriating “scumbags” who looted and ruined businesses in the aftermath of the grand jury findings.

 

Barkley didn’t just defend Wilson, but went a step further by rhetorically asking “do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?” Many like Susan McGalla believe that he made a pretty strong, yet accurate point. Barkley concluded by slamming the media for not reporting on “good, hardworking black people” but instead choosing to single out and cover “negative black people”.