The Cell Game: Sam Waksal's Fast Money and False by Alex Prud'homme

By Alex Prud'homme

It all started with a promising melanoma drug, the brainchild of a talented researcher, and grew into an insider buying and selling scandal that ensnared one among America's such a lot winning girls. the tale of ImClone platforms and its "miracle" melanoma drug, Erbitux, is the critical enterprise saga of the past due Nineteen Nineties. It's the tale of massive cash and cutting-edgescience, star, greed, and slipshod enterprise practices; the tale of biotech hype and desire and each form of excess.

At the guts of all of it stands a unmarried, enigmatic determine named Sam Waksal. a super, mercurial, and desperate-to-be-liked entrepreneur, Waksal used to be hooked on the trimmings of wealth and status that collected to a darling of the inventory marketplace and the overheated surroundings of biotech IPOs. on the top of his stardom, Waksal hobnobbed with Martha Stewart in long island and Carl Icahn within the Hamptons, hosted events at his extraordinary art-filled loft, and was once a fixture within the gossip columns. He promised that Erbitux may "change oncology," and might quickly be making $1 billion a year.

But as Waksal partied past due into the evening, determined melanoma sufferers languished, anticipating his drug to come back to industry. while the FDA withheld approval of Erbitux, the fascinating scientist who had continuously stayed only one step sooner than financial ruin panicked and desperately attempted to profit his inventory ahead of the undesirable information hit Wall Street.

Waksal is now in prison, the 1st of the Enron-era white-collar criminals to be sentenced. but his melanoma drug has proved tougher than his evanescent gains. Erbitux continues to be promising, the best instance of a brand new approach to struggle melanoma, and sufferers and traders wish will probably be to be had quickly.

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Extra info for The Cell Game: Sam Waksal's Fast Money and False Promises--and the Fate of ImClone's Cancer Drug

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In some of them there is a well elaborated counselling team which offer both genetic counselling and fundamental research. Until now most of the patients find their way to those university centres for human genetics by referral from their physician, by one of the patient associations or by referral from smaller hospitals. Everyone may freely ask for genetic counselling and patients only have to pay a small part (£7) of the real costs (£200) for the genetic tests. In principle there are no special conditions or any barriers for consultation and diagnosis.

The gene frequency of cystic fibrosis in Eastern and Southern Europe is slightly lower, which means that there is a weaker case for cystic fibrosis screening. As we understand the genetics of multifactorial diseases there will be an exponential increase in genetic testing. For example 1 in 12 women in the UK develop breast cancer at some point during their lifetime: in 1989 there were 27,768 women were registered as being diagnosed with malignant neoplasm of the breast and in 1995 there were 12,543 deaths from breast cancer.

Gene therapy', BMJ, 317, pp. 1289-92. , 1994. ', Journal of Medical Ethics, 20, pp. 12-18. , 1993. 'Inside-out, back-to-front: a model for clinical population genetic screening', Journal of Medical Genetics, 30, pp. 580-582. , 1996. J. ), When to screen in Obstetrics and Gynecology, WB Saunders Company Limited, London, pp. 87-99. , 1996. ), 1996. When to screen in Obstetrics and Gynecology, WB Saunders Company Limited, London. Standing Medical Advisory Committee, 1990. 'Blood Cholesterol Testing: The cost effectiveness of opportunistic cholesterol testing', HMSO, London.

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