NanoPundit -Where Society, Science and the Law get really, really small.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More on Abraxane

NanoPundit’s one and only Instapundit link was related to Abraxane, the instalanche accounts for about half of my traffic to date. Business Week provides an update on Patrick Soon-Shiong’s quest to bring Abraxane to market.

Business Week Online provides the backstory of American Pharmaceutical Partners (APPX ) ten year struggle to bring Abraxane to market. Abraxane is essentially Taxol which is reduced to nanosize and bonded to albumin (a protein found in egg whites). The process avoids the use of solvents which cause adverse reactions in cancer patients and limits dosage.

The story sounds like it could be a made for TV movie with twists and turns including:
strike suits from investors (no word if Bill Lerach was involved)
attacks by short-sellers
fraud accusations

APP stock almost doubled when the FDA approved Abraxane and analysts expect revenues to increase 50%, to $609 million, this year and profits to double, to $120 million.

Helping cancer victims and making big bucks, isn’t that what high technology is all about.

Nano Fabrication

Bent nanotubes, yes it’s a big deal. Follow the link for a cool picture.

Researchers at UCSD have made carbon nanotubes bent in sharp predetermined angles, a technical advance that could lead to use of the long, thin cylinders of carbon as tiny springs, tips for atomic force microscopes, smaller electrical connectors in integrated circuits, and in many other nanotechnology applications. In a paper published in the April 7, 2005, issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Sungho Jin, a professor of materials science at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering, reported a technique to create bent nanotubes by manipulating the electric field during their growth and adjusting other conditions.

Joseph AuBuchon, a graduate student in Jin’s group, exploited the strong alignment of nanotube growth with the direction of electric field lines. After growing an aligned array of straight nanotubes, AuBuchon switched the orientation of electric field lines 90 degrees to make L-shaped tubes. He then made more orientation changes to make zigzags.

The simple fact is that nobody knows what uses these may have. The list of possible uses includes cantilevers for
atomic force microscopes, and compliant nanocircuit interconnects. The importance of this work is that it adds another technique to the, small but growing, nanofabrication toolkit. Mankind took hundreds of years to learn how to manipulate iron. The first person to learn to bend iron did not contemplate the horseshoe, the bearing or the internal combustion engine but understanding the technique enabled all of them.

NanoOpto Closes Series C

NanoOpto closes series $12M C funding with a cool mil from Itochu Corporation. This is the latest in $43.5 million in funding with $3.3 million in August2004. Other Series C investors include: leader First Analysis, and previous investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Gotham Ventures, New England Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, and U.S. Trust.

Nano Litigation?

Nano-Proprietary files Declaratory Judgment Action against Cannon. Whether this related to nanotechnology cannot be determined by the press release but this may be the first big time nanotech lawsuit

Nano-Proprietary is seeking a declaratory judgment that new SED color television products, scheduled to be manufactured by Canon and/or Toshiba beginning in August 2005, are not covered under a 1999 patent license agreement between Canon and Nano-Proprietary. Nano-Proprietary alleges that Canon is improperly using Nano-Proprietary's patented technology to produce surface conductor electron emitter display screens (SED) for a new generation of flat screen color televisions.

Nano-Proprietary also asserts that a joint venture formed by Canon and Toshiba Corporation to produce the SED display screens, SED, Inc., is not a licensed subsidiary under the 1999 agreement and that Canon is improperly transferring its license rights under Nano-Proprietary's patents to the joint venture and Toshiba. Nano-Proprietary also alleges that Canon's representation to the industry that it is licensed violates federal false advertising statutes.

The Nano-Proprietary portfolio includes 3 US Patents and 13 published US Patent Applications. Marc Eller, Chairman and CEO of Nano-Proprietary refers to this as "a very strong and pervasive patent portfolio that applies to several multibillion dollar industries, of which this is one." As I have noted before it is difficult to determine the true size of a patent portfolio because patents may be licensed in or assigned without showing up in the Patent Office database.

Nano-Proprietary, Inc. is a holding company consisting of two wholly owned operating subsidiaries. Applied Nanotech Inc. is a premier research and commercialization organization dedicated to developing applications for nanotechnology with an extremely strong position in the field of electron emission applications from carbon film/nanotubes. Electronic Billboard Technology, Inc. (EBT) possesses technology related to electronic digitized sign technology. Neither Applied Nanotech nor Electronic Billboard Technology is listed as assignee of any U.S. patents.