Part ll on roles of government/private sector public health

Hat tip to Laura Wright at On Earth magazine and NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) for the following link:

CuraGen offers toxigenomic screens.

CuraGen’s industrialized Predictive Toxicogenomics Screen enables inexpensive cellular screening of thousands of compounds annually, and provides results on nine different modes of liver toxicity. Evidence of liver toxicity is one of the primary reasons that drug compounds fail during preclinical development. Nearly 75% of pharmaceutical research and development expenditures are devoted to developing drugs that never reach the market. Detailed information generated by this screen can be used by scientists to prioritize compounds based upon their potential for toxicity, in order to avoid work on compounds that are likely to fail in safety tests later in development.

CuraGen and Bayer scientists developed this unique assay by analyzing more than 100 known toxic compounds and identifying marker genes whose activity correlates with specific modes of liver toxicity. These genes have been subcategorized into
marker sets predictive of nine specific liver histopathologies, including cholestasis, necrosis, or hypertrophy, and have been affixed to gene expression microarrays for use in high-throughput comparative analysis. Drug compounds under review are applied in extremely small quantities to primary hepatocyte cells in vitro. The cellular activity of these dosed compounds is then evaluated against the proprietary toxicity markers. The results of this comparison provide scientists with a rank-ordered list of compounds based upon their potential for toxicity, which can be used in determining which compounds have the highest likelihood for successful clinical development.

CuraGen Corporation has been a pioneer in the field of pharmacogenomics, which includes the study of how drugs work, why drugs fail, and which characteristics are indicative of drug toxicity. CuraGen’s expertise stems from pharmacogenomic research conducted with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies in prioritizing portions of their drug pipelines.

CuraGen Corporation (NASDAQ: CRGN) is a genomics-based pharmaceutical company.

More thoughts:

1) Is there a moral obligation of private companies to invest in public health as part of their own product development? If the current regulatory structure is not even knowledgeable about the issue as part of the public forum, is this wise?

2) In light of the US experience with Chinese products and safety, is it useful to wait for the EU regulations on cosmetics to take effect in the US instead of being more pro-active? Revlon and L’Oreal have volunteered to comply with EU rules and also sell the same to the US, but other companies have not, so known toxins remain in the market.

3) How do you see the balances of interests happening in the future?

More thoughts?