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Ten years later, Dolly is still making headlines

The lead researcher for the team who - 10 years ago - created the cloned sheep "Dolly," will kick off the 2006 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' (AAPS) National Biotechnology Conference in Boston, June 18-21. At the meeting, nearly two-thousand of the world's leading scientists will discuss a variety of critical issues affecting pharmaceutical biotechnology including Biogenerics, a field that is being hailed as the next revolution in healthcare.

"At AAPS, we are committed to tackling the latest issues ?even the toughest issues ?and exposing our members to disparate points of view so they ?as the most highly trained scientists in the world ?can draw their own conclusions," said John Lisack, AAPS executive director. "With topics like cloning and biogenerics headlining this year's event, there is no more exciting and challenging time to be in the field of pharmaceutical sciences than now."

The following topics will headline this year's meeting:

Creator of "Dolly" and world-renowned scientists share insight

Making his first U.S. appearance since his book, About Dolly, hit shelves earlier this month, Dr. Ian Wilmut, the lead researcher of a team of scientists who were first to successfully clone an animal, Dolly the sheep, ten years ago, will speak about his plans to clone embryos to alter disease genes in humans. Wilmut will be joined by two other leaders in biotechnology research, Dr. Kevin Eggan of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, where plans were just announced to create the world's first cloned human embryonic stem cells, and Dr. Burt Adelman of Biogen Idec, the company that produces the recently re-approved multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri. The Plenary Session is Monday, June 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Hynes Convention Center.

Biogenerics ?The next revolution in health care?

Generic biopharmaceutical drugs, or biogenerics, are widely available in Europe and Australia, but the first biogeneric was just approved last month in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This approval has opened a pandora's box of issues. Biopharmaceutical medications are some of the most expensive medicines on the market. Approving generic formulas, therefore, has the potential to put once inaccessible drugs within the reach of millions more people, but at what cost? At the Boston meeting, there will be an Open Forum on Sunday, June 18 from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the Hynes Convention Center to discuss the various regulatory, scientific and ethical issues surrounding generic biopharmaceuticals, as well as:

  • Why is the FDA slow to approve biogenerics?
  • What are the risks of a biogeneric drug, like a human growth hormone, being used for the off-label purpose of anti-aging?
  • With $20B of biotechnology-derived product losing patent protection over the next few years, how will the FDA handle this influx of legal and regulatory challenges?

National Biotechnology Conference

The AAPS National Biotechnology Conference is an annual event incorporating all aspects of pharmaceutical biotechnology and providing an open forum for discussion of industry topics. The conference will take place June 18?1 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Mass.


Source:American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

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