Expose the Lies: Is Haiti truly the "poorest" in the
Western Hemisphere? With Gold, Copper, Natural Gas, Iridium, Coltran,
et al,; with its unparalled underwater treasures, an unmatched
cultural heritage, its own authentic Kreyol language, Vodun spirituality
and psychology, even the soil is more
valuable than elsewhere in the World.....(See,From
Soil in Haiti, hopes for antibiotic)
The US/Euro economomic powers spread lies about Haiti with the
complicity of a racists mainstream media, spread disinformation
in order elevate white privilege, deny the Haitian warriors their
historic victories over Euro/US enslavement and colonization,
fleece Haitians of their country's resources and contained Haiti
in debt, dependency and foreign domination. Spread the truth,
The Neoconlonialist inciting political
instability in Haiti is Haiti's main problem. Haiti is underdeveloped
in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations
and despots (the Internationals -Neocolonialists) in Haiti dressed-up
as peacemakers and police "cleansing" Haiti of crime
by Ezili Dantò, Haitian Perspectives, January, 2006
soil in Haiti, hopes for antibiotic
Local biotech firm gets $70m in venture funds as 'superbug' fears
rise By Stephen Heuser,
Globe Staff, February 9, 2007
With doctors increasingly worried about "superbugs,"
deadly infections that can defeat most known drugs, a small Cambridge
biotechnology firm has won $70 million in venture capital money
to develop a powerful antibiotic from a microbe discovered in
Reflecting the renewed importance of antibiotics, once spurned
as a low-profit sideline in the drug industry, the venture investment
is the biggest in a New England biotech company in nearly a year,
and one of the largest nationwide.
"We're in a very dire situation in the antibiotic business,
where nobody really knows where the next good antibiotics are
going to come from," said Eric Gordon, a venture capitalist
and former antibiotic researcher who helped finance the Cambridge
company, Targanta Therapeutics Inc.
Targanta's drug is still experimental, but it joins a series of
new efforts to attack strains of bacteria that kill thousands
of people each year.
The past several years have seen a handful of small biotechnology
companies emerge to develop new intravenous antibiotics, including
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Lexington. Its drug, Cubicin, won
approval in 2003, and the company sells about $200 million worth
of the treatment annually. Two other drug firms have applied for
approval to sell similar antibiotics.
Targanta Therapeutics hopes to be next in line. But the path to
develop its drug, oritavancin, has been anything but a straight
line from its roots in Haiti.
The drug was discovered not by Targanta in Cambridge, but by scientists
at Eli Lilly & Co. in Indiana during the 1990s.
At the time, Lilly's department of antibiotic researchers was
one of the most respected in the country. In analyzing bacteria-rich
samples of tropical soil, the researchers noticed one type of
bacteria in a sample from Haiti appeared to be extremely effective
at fending off attacks from rival bacteria.
"You've got the Darwinian battle going on under the ground
in Haiti," said Targanta chief executive Mark Leuchtenberger
. "Somehow, this became the don't-mess-with-me microbe."
Following a standard path in antibiotic research, Lilly researchers
isolated the microbe's bacteria-killing chemical and tweaked it
repeatedly, finally creating a new drug more effective against
bacteria and less toxic to patients.
Instead of developing the drug further, however, Eli Lilly exited
the antibiotics business. Because antibiotics are prescribed for
only a matter of days, they promise smaller long-term sales than
many other pharmaceuticals.
Lilly's leaders decided to focus their research on mental-health
drugs, such as its blockbuster, Prozac, and sold its prospective
new antibiotics piecemeal to
One of the substances, daptomycin , was licensed to Cubist in
1997 and eventually became Cubicin. Another drug, oritavancin,
was licensed in 2001 to a California firm called InterMune Inc.,
which sank millions of dollars into human trials, but ultimately
decided to sell the rights to oritavancin rather than invest the
money needed to bring it to market. A year ago, the drug changed
hands again, this time going to Targanta, a 10-year-old research
company founded in Montreal .
"The smaller companies are doing what the bigger companies
should have been doing, which is bringing these things to market,"
Superbugs have become an especially dangerous and expensive problem
for hospitals in the United States as more patients each year
develop bacterial infections that resist not only penicillin and
other common pills, but newer and stronger antibiotic treatments.
One family of bacteria alone causes 90,000 serious infections
annually, about 17,000 of them fatal.
"These are rather scary organisms, and as of the moment we're
not even sure how they're spread," said Dr. Robert Moellering
, an infectious-disease specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center, who is a scientific advisor to Targanta.
The prevalence of new bacterial strains, especially within hospitals,
means patients admitted for medical treatment can sometimes contract
an unrelated infection that leaves them fighting for life. The
most common superbug, a drug-resistant strain of staphylococcus
, can cause a range of conditions from painful skin abscesses
to deep infections of the bones or heart valves.
Treatment can take weeks, and even then may not be effective.
Hospitals spend about $800 million a year on drugs to treat such
infections, usually with potent antibiotics delivered through
an intravenous line. For years, doctors have reserved one antibiotic,
vancomycin , as a "last line of defense," but researchers
are reporting that some new bacteria can survive vancomycin treatment.
Targanta's drug has been tested on about 1,500 patients with serious
skin infections, and has shown encouraging results. The company
sought new investors to help fund its application for federal
approval and to begin testing the drug against a broader range
"There are a lot of so-so drugs that people have dragged
out of the closet, but we recognize this one as something that
was medically important and would
fill a need that's growing," said Gordon.
His firm, Skyline Ventures of California, joined with several
other investors in the $70 million financing round.
To bring oritavancin to market, Targanta hired biotechnology veteran
Leuchtenberger as chief executive in September and moved its headquarters
to Cambridge. Only five employees work there, with the rest in
Indiana and Montreal.
In a sign of how quickly fortunes turn in biotechnology, the Indiana
office is staffed with a number of former Lilly scientists who
worked together during the Midwestern company's days as an antibiotic
Meanwhile, Leuchtenberger didn't have far to look for office space
in Cambridge. His previous company, Therion Biologics, suffered
a clinical setback and filed for bankruptcy last year. The Therion
office was still empty, so Leuchtenberger simply moved back into
his old suite. Earlier this week he hired a former Therion colleague
to be his finance chief.
"It's unusual to be sitting in the same office," Leuchtenberger
said of his return, "but sitting with the same people? That's
pretty common." Stephen Heuser can be reached at email@example.com
*Nou se roz, nou pliye nou pa
kase: Strong winds may bend the bamboo tree all the way
down to the ground, but it snaps right back up. It doesn’t
break, no matter how strong the wind. So, Haitians have a saying
– “Nou se rozo. Nou pliye, nou pa kase “ - like
the bamboo tree, we bend but we don’t break; like the flexible
bamboo tree we-Haitians use even the momentum of our falls to
stand back up.
plan starts with mass firings
20 July 2007 |AHP
At least 500 Teleco workers received termination letters on July
6 as part of the government’s announced plan to privatise
There were approximately 2800 workers remaining after the first
wave of mass firings, as the government works to reduce the total
number of employees to 800, according to several sources. These
mass dismissals, which were expected in the wake of numerous statements
by President Rene Preval and Teleco director general Michel Presume,
came 10 days after the end of a three-week strike organised by
the union of telephone workers, initially to demand a dialogue
with Presume, and subsequently calling for his departure.
The workers ended their strike after the president of the Communications
Commission of the Haitian senate, Jean Hector Anacacis, asserted
that dialogue between the union and the Teleco director general
As the first series of letters were sent out on July 6, several
police units as well as MINUSTAH officers were called to the perimeter
of the Teleco facility to neutralise any possible protesters.
Teleco workers found this decision insulting “after so many
years of service to the company”. “We have never been
against privatization; we are simply asking for what we deserve”,
said one of those dismissed. He noted that workers who have been
terminated have been invited to go to a teller at the National
Credit Bank to receive their legal services and a severance bonus
equivalent to 12 months’ wages. The workers were demanding
compensation equivalent to seven years of wages.
The president of the union of the National Telecommunications
Company, Jean Mabou, whose name appears on the list of sacked
workers, termed the dismissals illegal and arbitrary. According
to several employees, the selection of workers to be dismissed
was based on a desire for revenge, and the choice of workers who
are being kept in their positions was based on favouritism. “What
is the common sense behind the dismissal of 14 out of the 17 trainers
at the training centre, while bogus consultants who only go to
the office to collect their salaries are kept on because of their
friendship with the architects of this privatisation”, said
an indignant cadre who had been sacked.
[Agence Haitienne de Presse]