Thursday, March 06, 2003

Lots of news today:
1.
The San Diego biotechnology company Diversa has received government approval to market a feed additive the company says will make poultry and swine waste less offensive, at least to the environment....

The enzyme allows the livestock to digest phosphorous that occurs naturally in feed but cannot be broken down in the animals' systems, Short said. If the feed is not treated with digestion-aiding enzymes, farmers often add a supplemental phosphorous that can be digested to the livestock's food.

But adding more phosphorous to the front end means more at the tail end....

Agricultural products such as Phyzyme XP can get to market much faster than pharmaceuticals, which can take more than a decade to develop and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Phyzyme XP made it to market eight months after the application was submitted to federal regulators.

[SDU-T via Corante]

2. In the continuing saga of of the WTO case against Europe over GM food, xenophobe trade rep. Robert Zoellick was badgered by the bigger rednecks on the Senate finance committee [FT]:

Charles Grassley, the Republican committee chairman, said he was "profoundly disappointed" that the administration had not brought a WTO case against the European Union's moratorium on approving new biotechnology products. US farmers say the ban costs them about $300m (�192m, �276m) in lost sales to Europe. "The status quo in this area is totally unacceptable," he said. "The administration must do something and do it soon."
[I have refrained from posting the endless non-stories on this for some time, because the case has been dead in the water for over a month, which various zealots and crazy people just can't seem to accept.]

3. University of Rochester lost a huge patent suit covering Celebrex, among other things [NYT; academic IP background below]

"While courts are comfortable with narrow patents, there is widespread interest among research universities in ensuring that our broader, more basic research work is likewise protected by the nation's patent laws," Thomas H. Jackson, the university's president, said in a statement.

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