State of Research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2011 budget will be cut by $260 million in the budget that the House has just passed based on the last minute pact reached last Friday to avoid federal government shut down.
The NIH’s 2011 budget will be $30.7 billion, down 0.8% from its 2010 budget of $30.9 billion, according to news releases that can be found from various sources. Previously, the President proposed a $32.1 billion budget for the NIH and the House of Representatives allocated $29.4 billion to the agency. President Obama asked for a $1 billion increase for the NIH in 2012, which will be in new debate to start immediately. Chances are the 2012 budget for the agency will be less than what the administration wanted.
Combined with “the cliff effect” from the ending of the stimulus money the NIH has epically managed since 2009 to fund extra research projects, the negative growth of the NIH budget could mean less academic positions and tighter lab budgets ahead. Cutting-edge technology and cost effectiveness will be the key for survival of the fittest in the biomedical research jungle.
Promotion of the week: Save 10% on any purchase of feeder cells. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with offer code : FDST11
New Product of the week: Damage-free cloning kit for difficult cloning projects—get recombined plasmids or failed ligation? Your DNA is damaged by purification bugger and/or UV, ask us how to deal with it email@example.com
Pfizer’s R&D budget, $9.3 billion in 2010, will drop to less than $8.5 billion this year and to between $6.5 billion and $7 billion in 2012, and the company will stop funding research in internal medicine, allergy and respiratory diseases, urology, and tissue repair.
In fact, the pharmaceutical industry as a whole faces financial pressures, as companies are producing fewer new drugs than in the past. In these conditions, even highly promising research has gotten the ax; in November, Roche cut its RNA interference research unit after spending $400 million over 3 years.
Drug companies also seem less wary nowadays about outsourcing. Among other examples, Eli Lilly began outsourcing animal toxicology studies in 2008, and Wyeth (purchased by Pfizer in 2009) began out sourcing data management for its clinical trials in 2003. In 2007, AstraZeneca even decided to move the production of many active pharmaceutical ingredients—perhaps the core activity of a drug company—to China.
These downsizing events are not particularly caused by still depressed economy, they have more to do with industry-specific patent expiration and productivity issues with large pharmas. What does it all mean to current graduate students and postdocs? Perhaps an even tighter job market than now for starting researchers for some years to come until the next round of sea change comes around. Be aware of what’s going on in smaller, more productive, and focused biotech companies.
New Product of the Week 020711-021311: Lentivirus expressing Luciferase 5 vial package
Promotion of the week 020711-021311: 10% off Luc Assays
Allele Biotech has been marketing products previously offered by Orbigen since July of 2008. In the process, Allele Biotech has transferred the majority of the Orbigen products to its own product lines, and left out a few that were no longer in demand, under proper license, or in some cases replaced with newer and better versions.
The biggest class of Orbigen products now under the Allele Biotech brand name are the polyclonal antibodies such as anti-EDG1 EDG2… EDG8 (catalogue numbers: PABs 10626, 10619, 10628, 10630, 10496, 1063), anti-BMRPs (catalogue numbers: PABs 10536, 10537, 10538). Other popular polyclonal antibodies from Orbigen include PAB-10983, PAB-10216, PAB-10683, PAB-11651, PAB-11141, PAB-10241, PAB-10469, PAB-10778, PAB-11248, PAB-11665, PAB-10563, PAB-10774. Orbigen antibodies have been tested in hundreds to thousands of labs over more than ten years.
One key product group developed by Orbigen is the baculovirus system, which includes the viral Sapphire genomic DNA and pOrb transfer vector plasmid for efficient packaging. We have further developed the pOrb vector into a bicistronic vector for dual expression or mammalian infections.
Retrovirus packaging cells, on the other hand, have been obtained from non-Orbigen sources and are now called Phoenix 2 as products under a new product line, the Gryphon retrovirus system. These cells have similar functions but were built by different researchers and further selected at Allele Biotech. Like all packaging cells we have experience with, these cells do not attach well after a freeze/thaw cycle. It is absolutely essential to wash away DMSO and better seed them in high quality, attachment enhancing dishes such as our EcoCulture plates.
Products previously under the Orbigen brand name are now included in Allele Biotech’s brand new shopcart (now beta-testing at shop.allelebiotech.com). We hope the new functionalities at the new site combined with the relevant knowledge and information you used to enjoy at our current allelebiotech.com site will provide you with an improved shopping experience.
New Product of the Week 110810-111410:
Retroviral vector with drug resistance new version, ABP-PVL-IRES10P.
Promotion of the Week 110810-111410:
GFP-Trap beads-immobilized camelid antibody for GFP fusion pull down. 15% off ACT-CM-GFA0050, any number of vials ordered this week. Use code SP110810.
For current graduate students, postdocs, and holders of other “in-transient” positions in bioscience-related fields today, a persistently resounding question on our minds is “What path should I follow at the end of a long and ragged journey of training?” Interestingly in our industry, like downhill skiing you see in the Winter Olympics, once you start one path it is not an easy switch to get on another.
Many of the Ph.D.s in biomed share the general view that an independent research position typically at an academic institute or non-profit organization such as San Diego’s local Salk, Scripps, or Sanford—Burnham, is the goal of the many years of training. Others soon realize that there are numerous research jobs at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that will make good use of their expertise, experience, and unique background knowledge in a particular field. And of course there are those who “defect” to different industries that may or may not directly relate to their extensive experience in wet labs, such as working in intellectual property laws, clinical trial management, biomedical sales, business development and management.
Research in major pharmaceutical companies (big pharma) normally focuses on a project with set goals, milestones, and layers of monitoring and management. That is how a large team can function together and get the tasks done in a timely manner. Working in smaller biotech companies can be much more flexible, researcher-initiated, and in many ways fun. On the other hand, you will be required to do much more than reading papers, designing experiments, obtaining and interpreting results. Starting a small biotech company is by no means an easy path to take, but if done correctly with some luck and a lot of determination, it can be a very rewarding career. You will get to utilize to the maximum extent of all your intelligence, knowledge, vision, and personal relations. You also have the opportunity to do real cutting-edge research in various areas, and see the fruits in journal publications, grant awards, as well as in the wild wide market.
The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) was founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs in order to provide a voice for the early stage technology startup, to encourage new entrepreneurs, and to sponsor networking and educational events that help develop the skills necessary to bring funding and business to the San Diego area.
The inaugural SDEE event to be held Wednesday March 10th at 5pm. It will help answer some of the questions you may have been thinking about regarding starting or working in a startup biotech company. Allele Biotech’s founder and CEO Dr. Jiwu Wang will be among the speakers. Ten years ago Dr, Wang was a postdoc at UCSD with an NIH fellowship, right before he started Allele with a number of NIH small business innovative research grants. He will talk about the ultimate “academic freedom”–doing any research you want but completely at your own risk– as the reason to start a technology-focused company, and the lessons he learned the hard way about running a lab vs organizing a business. Other speakers include CEOs from a number of San Diego biotech companies with great stories to share with postdocs and others. The talks will be brief yet informative, and on-site interactions are encouraged. The Sanford-Burnham building 12 is outside the main campus, with plenty of free parking. Click here for more details about the event. http://www.allelebiotech.com/allele3/SDEE-First-Event-Announcement.pdf (at AlleleNews). Let us know if you are coming by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
New Product/Service of the Week 02-15-10 to 02-21-10: Viral shRNA design and packaging services, packaging 2ml virus at 10e8 TU/ml for less than $1,400.
Promotion of the Week 02-15-10 to 02-21-10: FREE spreading beads (ABP-CE-CCCSB100, 500) to go with any competent cell order.
This year our President and CEO, Dr. Jiwu Wang Ph.D., will be presenting at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting in San Diego, December 5th through 9th. Dr. Wang will be presenting results of two studies that involved the Allele Biotech Fluorescent Proteins and iPSC product lines:
Monomeric photoconvertable fluorescent protein variants produced by directed evolution for brightness and efficient photoconversion – a collaborative effort with the Campbell lab at the University of Alberta
Increased efficiency and speed of reprogramming of human cells into induced stem cells using high-titer lentiviral vectors encoding cell cycle progression and survival genes – a collaborative effort with the Chang lab at the University of Florida
In honor of this prestigious occasion Allele Biotech is having a Spotlight Promotion on all Fluorescent Protein and iPSC Products! The promotions, which will vary from product to product, will include 10% and 20% off price reductions, FREE shipping, and even “Buy 2 get one Free” deals!
Products eligible for the Spotlight Promotions begin with:
To qualify for these promotions you must be attending the ASCB meeting in San Diego and provide us with a copy of your registration form or be one of our loyal facebook, twitter, or myspace friends. Any questions can go to email@example.com
Call for details and ask for info on the Spotlight Promotions! Offers good now through December, 9th 2009!
New Product of the Month 11/23-29/09: ThermoExp500 PCR machine (thermocycler) $4,250.00, with almost twice as fast temperature ramping as MJ’s TC1000, and more reliability.
- Allele Mail Bag
- Camelid Antibodies, Nanobodies, VHH
- Customer Feedback
- Fluorescent proteins
- iPSCs and other stem cells
- Next Generation Sequencing (NextGen Seq)
- NIH Budget and You
- oligos and cloning
- Open Forum
- RNAi patent landscape
- SBIR and Business issues
- State of Research
- Synthetic biology
- Viruses and cells
- You have the power
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- October 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008