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For an industry that's dependent on innovation, less money is being invested in US biotechnology research and development by venture capital and government sources, and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) revealed at its annual meeting in San Diego that R&D investment by its 31 members also has slipped to $48.5 billion in 2012 from $48.6 billion a year earlier and a high over the past decade of $50.7 billion in 2010.
Adamis Pharmaceuticals has appointed two new non-employee directors to its board: Kenneth Cohen, chairman of the biopharmaceutical company Pier Pharmaceuticals, and Karen Klause, managing director of EMEA for the biotech company Response Biomedical. Mr Cohen was co-founder, president and CEO of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals; he has also held roles at Synbiotics and Canji (Schering-Plough, now Merck). Ms Klause has held previous roles at Hybritech (Lilly), Digirad Corporation and CMP Media.
Not many healthcare product executives have resumes that can boast of having run both drug and device businesses the way Ron Mstricaria did at Eli Lilly. Not content with his success at Lilly, Matricaria took early retirement to embark on the challenge of directing St. Jude Medical's transition from a successful single-product firm to a major, multi-platform device company. At both companies, Matricaria endured tough times and critics questioning his strategies, but was ultimately vindicated through the success of each company. Matricaria is the recipient of this year's Phoenix Lifetime Achievement award and spoke with IN VIVO about his career and the current state of the medical device industry.
At a time when the pharmaceutical industry is desperately looking for ways to increase productivity and fatten pipelines, it would only seem sensible for drug companies to maximize their opportunities by creating substantial large molecule capabilities. But even with the renewed interest in monoclonal antibodies, there's little evidence that more than a few major drug companies have made a serious commitment to macromolecule drug discovery and development. Some industry observers contend that companies failing to make such a commitment do so at considerable peril. On the other hand, new technologies may help to make large molecules easier, cheaper, and thus more palatable for drug firms to work with. The question is whether those companies caught up in the small molecule paradigm will seize the opportunity before being left in the dust by those already focusing on macromolecules.
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