Biozona Weekly: Peoria approves bio incubator; Gordon to join CSS Institute; Scottsdale as treatment hub

November 22, 2011

By hammersmith

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Alzheimer’s study links countries
11/19/2011 | Arizona Republic | Ken Alltucker

It’s a scene that could play out anywhere: four 20-somethings laughing, munching on pizza and chatting about plans to go dancing in Scottsdale. But this group of young men and women at a Phoenix hospital last weekend were far from carefree. They know they each may possess a genetic ticking time bomb that has robbed generations of family members in their homeland of Medellin, Colombia. They are part of a bold experiment conducted by Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and doctors in Colombia that seeks to find ways to identify and treat people who will develop the disease before the first signs of memory loss.

Peoria City Council OKs 3-year plan for bioscience incubator
11/18/2011 | Sonu Munshi | Arizona Republic

Peoria will soon play host to bioscience startups, with the lofty long-term goal of becoming a bioscience hub focused on medical devices that would bring high-paying jobs to the city. The Peoria City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a partnership with BioAccel, a Phoenix non-profit that mentors startups, as well as Plaza Companies of Peoria, which would host the Peoria Incucelerator. The facility, expected to launch in March, would be the first in Arizona to focus on launching biomedical device startup companies.

‘Super committee’ could put Tucson’s bioscience industry at risk (op-ed)
11/18/2011 | Inside Tucson Business | Joan Koerber-Walker

Next Wednesday, Nov. 23, is the deadline when the Congressional “super committee” is supposed to present its cohesive cost-savings plan. Achieving this task could forever change the bioscience sector in Tucson. Talk of program cuts in an effort to ascend to the trillion-dollar-savings-mark has placed programs like Medicare and Medicare Part D at risk. An outcome that would be a serious set back to the bio industry in our state while hindering patient care and healthcare innovation.

Fighting cancer at 100 Gigabits per second
11/17/2011 | GigaOM | Derrick Harris

We often ascribe great, life-changing powers to high-speed Internet connections when it comes to how we communicate and consume content, but can they cure cancer? The newly formed Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health thinks so, and it’s investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a nationally distributed computing system to make it happen. At the core of its efforts is the National LambdaRail (NLR), a research network comprised of more than 12,000 miles of fiberoptic cable and capable of 100 Gigabits-per-second speed.

Phil Gordon to work for non-profit after term ends
11/17/2011 | Arizona Republic | Emily Gersema

Exiting Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is taking a job with a billionaire’s health-research, non-profit group that is in talks with city staff to redevelop and inexpensively rent two city-owned properties. Gordon and Bob Peirce, a senior vice president of Nant Holdings in Los Angeles, said Wednesday that Gordon’s new role with the non-profit related to Nant, the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health (CSS Institute), has not been fully defined and that they haven’t negotiated his salary.

Shea Corridor touted as destination for cancer care
11/14/2011 | Arizona Republic

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane joined local health-care leaders last week to tout the city’s emerging reputation as a destination for cancer care. Collaborate efforts in treatment and research between Scottsdale Healthcare, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have helped cement that reputation, Lane said, during a Mayor and City Council Breakfast held Tuesday. All are within a 5-mile stretch of Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Researchers Look to the Cloud to Develop Personalized Medicine for Kids With Cancer
11/10/2011 | Scientific American | Larry Greenemeier

When it comes to treating pediatric cancer a group of academic researchers, oncologists and pathologists believes that a more personal approach isn’t just more humane, it’s the key to survival. For members of the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC) this personal touch means using genomic analysis to develop highly targeted therapies to treat each individual tumor. Such analysis produces a lot of data, which means it holds a lot of potential for helping kids with neuroblastoma, an often aggressive malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue. It also means the researchers need access to some serious computer power to make sense of that data.

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Wants To Remake The U.S. Health Care System
11/10/2011 | Forbes | Matthew Herper

Patrick Soon-Shiong is a rarity. He is the only physician on the Forbes 400 list to have made billions in biotech. He developed a new delivery method to administer Paclitaxel, a widely-used breast cancer drug. His net worth is estimated at $7 billion, which he made by selling two drug companies within the past three years. Soon-Shiong has now turned his focus to something as complex and elusive as a cancer cure: The U.S. health care system.