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January 7, 2011
Helping Chemo

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The success rate of chemotherapy hovers around 10%, but if you had to guess which technology has the potential to quintuple that in a few years, what would you say? Nanomedicine, of course.

Larry Tamarkin

Yesterday, we drove up I-270 to Rockville to talk with Cytimmune CEO Larry Tamarkin about how the drug (which doesn’t have a name, just a series of letters and numbers that we’ll spare you) helps chemotherapy destroy tumors. In a super-condensed nutshell, Larry tells us tumors are built like a balloon, with the tumor growing inside a protective layer. That layer is too thick for chemo to fully penetrate. What Cytimmune has done is use gold nanoparticles that can sneak in small openings in the protective layer, delivering a drug (TNF) that destroys that protection and lets chemo better work. Think a defensive line moving the offensive line out of the way, so the linebackers can sack the quarterback. (That metaphor and more in our new book, Stephen Hawking Coaches Football.)

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Larry Tamarkin

Larry says his company just passed the FDA’s phase 1 clinical trials and will be moving to phase 2 that will test how the drug works in relation to chemo. Larry says the hardest part is showing the TNF, a potent yet unstable drug in the body known to cause septic shock (that’s bad) can be controlled. “We’re going to show that our delivery system—the gold nanoparticles—can take the drug where it needs to go without any ill effects.” Larry says the changes could be dramatic: As developing companies like Brazil, India, and China increase living conditions, people live longer and have a higher chance of getting cancer. “This could dramatically reduce the number of surgeries needed to fight cancer and help healthcare costs as it keeps people from prolonged hospital stays.”

Oh Yeah, Those DoD Cuts
How about Secretary Gates' huge announcement yesterday about cutting $78 billion from the Pentagon's budget, including decreasing Army and Marine Corps personnel? Here are some things that jump out: The removing of IT infrastructures from a more enterprise-wide system that could save $10 billion annually (something we've often heard is needed); and contractor cuts to the OSD's policy arm and the acquisition, technology and logistics office, not to mention the Army TRICARE military health program and the Missile Defense Agency. Send your thoughts to techstories@bisnow.com on this topic and we'll run some Monday.

Internet Video Without Cats Can Still Be Fun
Today we are launching a new video series where we get Federal IT leaders to talk for 30 seconds about whatever is on their mind. First up is Mark Amtower, noted federal marketing guru, radio host, author, and knife thrower (his wife only lets him do it when the neighbors aren't home), who stopped by our intergalatic HQ this morning to talk about the 112th Congress.

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Bev Goodwin
A big move in the government social media space as Bev Godwin, left, founder of GSA's Center for New Media & Citizen Engagement, moved over to be new acting director of the Federal Citizen Engagement Center that runs USA.gov. Sheila Campbell will be taking over Bev's old post for the time being. Send Bev congrats on Twitter.
Cyber Bisnow returns next Friday. Send stories ideas, press releases, NFL picks and pictures of your dog to David@Bisnow.com
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