This article by Denise Caruso of The Hybrid Vigor Institute discusses a lengthy list of potential risks, as well as broad scientific and social concerns,in the field of synthetic biology.

Cystic Fibrosis is an orphan disease with approximately 30,000 individuals suffering from CF in the United States, and another 60,000 in the rest of the world. It is believed that CF affects an average of 1 in every 4000 individuals, with the rate varying based on ethnicity. Two new options in the pipeline offer patients a more upstream therapeutic approach.

• Inspire Pharmaceuticals - Denufosol tetrasodium

• PTC Therapeutics - PTC124 Session Highlights:

Tracy Krughoff interviews Norman Scherzer, the executive director of the Life Raft Group, a non profit group that supports patients with rare form of cancer, GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor). Listen to the podcast.

Tracy Krughoff interviews Greg Simon, president of Faster Cures, on philanthropy as an investment. Listen to the podcast.

Tracy Krughoff talks with John Craighead about the BIO Investor Forum. Learn about the meeting and listen to the podcast.

Notes from David Thomas who is out in San Francisco at the BIO Investor Forum,

With these benefits increasing demand for industrial biotechnology products and processes, this study uses patent data, survey results, and technology and firm level data from emerging sectors of industrial biotechnology to paint a detailed picture of innovation in the field. 

From one of my colleagues, Joseph Colangelo at the BIO Investor Forum,

  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by hyper-synchronous electrical discharge in the brain. The disease affects approximately 1% of the U.S. population (3 million) with a slightly higher 1-2% worldwide incidence due to less consistent prenatal care. The incidence is also expected to increase in the U.S. due to the aging population.

Tracy Krughoff of BIO talks to Tricia Brooks, who heads BIO's alliance development activities, about patient advocacy groups' participation at the Seventh Annual BIO Investor Forum. For the first time, eight patient advocacy groups will be making presentations at the conference. Brooks also talks about venture philanthropy and its growing importance to the industry. listen to the podcast.

Tracy Krughoff of BIO speaks to Timothy Coetzee, PhD, executive director of Fast Forward. Fast Forward is the venture arm of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Dr. Coetzee tells us about his organization, future plans and participation in the conference. Listen to the podcast

Tracy Krughoff of BIO talks to Barry Greene, president and COO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) at the Seventh Annual BIO Investor Forum in San Francisco. Alnylam has developed a deep pipeline of drug products to treat a multitude of diseases through RNAi therapeutics. Listen to the podcast

Despite the market downturn, BIO is expecting a substantial increase in anticipated investor participation in the Seventh Annual BIO Investor Forum, taking place Oct. 29-31 in San Francisco, Calif. at the Palace Hotel. More than 240 venture capital and public market investors are expected to attend – representing a 40 percent increase in participation compared to 2007. A list of the companies of registered investors can be found at

Agricultural biotechnology is a science that allows plant breeders to make precise genetic changes to place beneficial traits – such as pest resistance, disease resistance or herbicide tolerance – into plants.

Pfizer and Eli Lilly have been noteworthy with respect to their efforts to produce responsible innovations this week.  Pfizer is advancing responsible stem cell research by currently focusing on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPs) and Eli Lilly is setting a great example regarding industry disclosures and increased transparency.