Biogenerics, The Wall Street Journal, and the Big, Grey MALDITOF

The Wall Street Journal's excellent article on biogenerics (subscription only, unfortunately) yesterday, coauthored by Leila Abboud (of "Three-Story Blender" fame, whose 2004 article first brought drug manufacturing issues to the attention of the U.S. public)  described a visit to Pliva's laboratories in Croatia to interview chemist chemist Marko Velutic, whose job it is to see how generic versions of EPO match up against originals. Toward the end of the article, mention is made of  mass spectrometry and "a big gray machine dubbed the Maldi Tof" that sits in the center of the lab.  Although the article makes it sound like a Croatian nickname,  what that  stands for is "Matrix-assisted laser desportion/ionization" and "Time of Flight" mass spectrometer. Which points to the dizzying pace at which new changes are taking place in analytics and different technologies being combined.  The acronyms gave me and some of my colleagues a headache at Pittcon recently, but we will attempt to demystify them in April's issue, in reports on follow on biogenerics, new bioanalytical techniques that are being used to analyze them and their limits.  Stay tuned.