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Biogen Inc. Message Board

  • Big_green_eyes_1997 Big_green_eyes_1997 Dec 5, 1997 4:18 PM Flag

    News coverage

    Can anyone explain to me why there has not been alot of main stream media coverage about Rituxan? I would think this kind of information should get more coverage.

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    • The approval of Rituxan was covered by the New York Times. I think it was also covered in the Wall Street Journal.

      • 1 Reply to pharmarobot
      • SAN DIEGO -- Here at the annual American Society of
        Hematology meeting, it's ground zero for Idec's
        (IDPH:Nasdaq) transition from "biotech" to company.

        Idec got its first round of venture capital in September 1986
        and went public in 1991. It pushed its drug Rituxan for
        non-Hodgkin's lymphoma into the clinic in March 1993,
        setting aside its lead compound. That was when monoclonal
        antibodies those magic heralds of the biotech revolution --
        had come up bust.

        For years, the stock drifted, hitting a low of 2 1/8 in early
        1995, unloved, trading "damn near cash," recalls Chairman
        and Chief Executive Bill Rastetter at an informal breakfast
        here. Elsewhere in the room, analysts and company
        scientists huddle together over lousy bagels and wonderful
        fruit, exchanging tidbits of data and doing research on the
        opposition, just out of range of the El Nino rainstorm that
        has Easterners cursing their fate. "I came to California for

        Despite the spectacular flame-out of several biotechs'
        monoclonals, Idec managed to sign a deal with Genentech
        (GNE:NYSE) in March 1995 and began to turn around.
        Gradually, monoclonal antibodies came back as the
        science advanced. The targets improved, the drugs were
        engineered to be less likely to cause immune system
        reactions, the manufacturing got cheaper. "They were trying
        to have home run indications for which nothing works," says
        Nabil Hanna, the head of research and pre-clinical
        developent at Idec, recalling the monoclonal mistakes in
        solid tumors and sepsis. "It was not a problem with the
        antibodies, it was a problem of the disease."

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