October 16, 2006 |
Fourth-generation farmer Greg Massa was in the middle of the rice harvest and he was dirty, angry and depressed. The price of the gasoline that powers his water pumps and rice harvester has never been more expensive. A late planting season, hot summer and rising expenses had ensured a less-than-stellar harvest, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasting a 13% drop compared with last year.
September 30, 2006 |
Biotechnology company Amgen Inc. said Friday that it would buy privately held Avidia Inc. for $290 million in cash and additional milestone payments. Avidia, a biopharmaceutical company, is developing a class of therapeutics called Avimer proteins. The deal gives Thousand Oaks-based Amgen a lead product candidate for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune diseases, currently in early stage clinical trials.
September 28, 2006 |
Amgen Inc. won U.S. approval of its cancer drug, Vectibix, marking the biotechnology company's entry into the $28-billion market for tumor-fighting medicines. The Food and Drug Administration cleared Vectibix as a treatment for advanced colon cancer, the agency said Wednesday in a statement. Vectibix, also known as panitumumab, is the first from a lineup of more than half a dozen cancer drugs under development at Thousand Oaks-based Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company.
July 24, 2006 |
In a sneak peek of what could be fashion's future, leggy models draped in dresses by designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Versace strut their stuff on the runway. But this is no Paris or New York fashion show. Rather, the scene is a Toronto biotechnology conference and the dresses are made from a new fiber called Ingeo, made largely from genetically engineered corn.
April 19, 2006 |
Amgen Inc. on Tuesday posted a $1-billion profit for the first quarter, a 14% increase driven by strong demand for its anemia-fighting drugs. The biotechnology company, the world's biggest by sales, said it earned 82 cents a share in the quarter ended March 31, compared with $854 million, or 67 cents, a year earlier.
April 16, 2006 |
Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist, has stumbled on a discovery of earth-shattering importance. It is the arrival of "singularity," and according to him it will happen in 2045. "Gradually," he writes at the beginning of "The Singularity Is Near," "I've become aware of a transforming event looming in the first half of the 21st century ... the impending Singularity in our future is increasingly transforming every institution and aspect of human life, from sexuality to spirituality."
March 1, 2006 |
An Amgen Inc. drug that spurs the production of bone marrow cells didn't help repair cardiac tissue damaged by heart attacks or hasten patient recovery, a study found. Researchers in Germany used Thousand Oaks-based Amgen's Neupogen in a technique that in previous studies had improved the cardiac function of heart attack patients. The latest study compared patients who received the drug to those who didn't.
February 13, 2006 |
The key to kicking what President Bush calls the nation's oil addiction could very well lie in termite guts, canvas-eating jungle bugs and other microbes genetically engineered to spew enzymes that turn waste into fuel. It may seem hard to believe that microscopic bugs usually viewed as destructive pests can be so productive. But scientists and several companies are working with the creatures to convert wood, corn stalks and other plant waste into sugars that are easily brewed into ethanol.
December 5, 2005 |
Two years ago, as fears of a SARS pandemic spread, a San Diego biotech company aided by federal dollars speeded a promising vaccine out of the lab and into human testing. But when Vical Inc. and the government wrap up the 15-person test next year, the drug is expected to end up on the shelf because the dreaded global epidemic never panned out. Bird flu has now passed SARS as the No. 1 feared global death threat.
June 23, 2005 |
Faced with patent expirations on highly profitable drugs, big pharmaceutical firms are turning to small biotechs to restock their medicine chests. The latest example came last week, when Pfizer Inc. agreed to buy Vicuron Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1.9 billion. Vicuron, based in King of Prussia, Pa., worked on antibiotics and drugs for fungal infections, key areas for Pfizer. The acquisition followed one in April by GlaxoSmithKline, which agreed to buy Corixa Corp.