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Prescription for ChangeThe Looming Crisis in Drug Development$
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Michael Kinch

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630625

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630625.001.0001

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Drama on the I-270 Tech Corridor

Drama on the I-270 Tech Corridor

(p.185) Chapter Nine Drama on the I-270 Tech Corridor
Prescription for Change

Michael Kinch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses upon one particular geographic region in suburban Washington, DC, which serves as a microcosm for the challenges and opportunities of the larger drug development enterprise. Our story begins with the efforts to sequence the human genome, an ambitious project that led to an increasingly bitter and highly publicized rivalry between the personalities of Craig Venter and Francis Collins from the private and public sectors, respectively. This same initiative gave rise to the dramatic growth in a cadre of biotechnology companies in suburban Maryland dedicated to exploiting the commercial opportunities associated with the human genome. The bubble would ultimately be burst as a result of various legal and executive decisions and in doing so, obliterated billions of dollars in wealth and effectively shudder an entire sector. All the while, another upstart biotechnology company, MedImmune, continued on a lower profile but ultimately more successful path to introduce innovative new medicines. However, this company would itself suffer a series of setbacks of its own making that resulted from the failed commercial launch of an improved influenza vaccine.

Keywords:   Human genome project, Human papilloma virus (HPV), Influenza vaccine

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