Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is leading an international team of researchers working to reprogram skin cells into brain cells to gain a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). As part of the Consortium, Dr Gandy is collaborating with Scott Noggle, PhD, the NYSCF – Charles Evans Senior Research Fellow for Alzheimer’s Disease and Director of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF)’s laboratory in Manhattan.
28 March, 2013
The Viennese biotech boutique Themis has reported rapid progress in the development of two highly efficient vaccines against Dengue and Chikungunya fever. In the just concluded preclinical studies, the two vaccine candidates, based on a technology by the Parisian Pasteur Institute, displayed exceedingly good efficacy. With a single vaccination against Chikungunya it was possible to develop full vaccination protection. The Dengue fever vaccine candidate proved effective against all of the four known serotypes of this infection. On the basis of these excellent results, Themis will start the clinical phase I study for both vaccines before the end of this year.
27 March, 2013
A team including scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has determined and analyzed the high-resolution atomic structures of two kinds of human serotonin receptor. The new findings help explain why some drugs that interact with these receptors have had unexpectedly complex and sometimes harmful effects.
26 March, 2013
Drug repositioning, the process of finding new indications for existing drugs, presents a promising avenue for identifying better and safer treatments without the full cost or time required for de novo drug development. This young discipline has the potential to supplement flagging drug development pipelines, increase patient quality of life, and address areas of concern, such as rare and neglected diseases. In the past five years, government agencies, academic researchers, and the pharmaceutical industry have worked to move drug repositioning from a serendipitous event based on clinical observation, unfocused screening, and ‘happy accidents’ to a comprehensive and rational search for repositioning opportunities.
25 March, 2013
A little more than a year after the FDA approved Kalydeco (Vx-770), the first drug of its kind to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, University of Missouri researchers believe they have found exactly how this drug works and how to improve its effectiveness in the future. Described in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MU researchers have redefined a key regulatory process in the defective protein responsible for cystic fibrosis that could change the way scientists approach the lethal genetic disease.
22 March, 2013
New offering will expand access to powerful analytical platforms
21 March, 2013
Researchers from the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside are to lead a £1.2million UK-wide project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme, to investigate the role of Sodium bicarbonate in improving physical function and quality of life for older people with advanced Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
20 March, 2013
Data published today in The Lancet show that over 50% of RA patients can achieve low disease activity or remission with RoActemra, compared to under 20% of those treated with the most widely prescribed anti-TNF Humira when neither drug is combined with methotrexate (51.5% vs. 19.8%, assessed by DAS28 =3.2*). The study exposed a wealth of data indicating the superiority of RoActemra over Humira, with almost four times as many patients achieving disease remission with RoActemra alone, compared to Humira alone (39.9% vs. 10.5%, assessed by DAS28 <2.6*) and almost twice as many patients achieve a 70% improvement in the signs and symptoms of their disease (32.5% vs. 17.9%, assessed by ACR70**).
19 March, 2013
Novartis announced that its investigational compound LDK378 has received Breakthrough Therapy designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had progressed during treatment with, or were intolerant to, crizotinib. There are limited treatment options for patients with ALK+ NSCLC, who tend to be non-smokers and younger than NSCLC patients without an ALK translocation.
18 March, 2013
In the military, collateral damage means innocent civilians dying. In medicine, it means side effects – and that can mean death for the patient. But Peisheng Xu of the University of South Carolina is helping craft new pharmaceuticals that could dramatically improve a patient’s odds when heavy-duty drugs are prescribed. Xu’s research is focused on developing drugs with the kind of precision that the military seeks with smart bombs.
15 March, 2013
The European Commission (EC) has approved expanded options for pre-treatment prior to use of QUTENZA (8% capsaicin patch). Before application the patient may now take an oral analgesic, or the treatment area may be pre-treated with a topical anaesthetic.1 The 8% capsaicin patch is the first and only licensed high concentration (8%) capsaicin cutaneous patch for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in Europe.
14 March, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors and patients that a widely used antibiotic from Pfizer can cause rare but deadly heart rhythms in some patients.
13 March, 2013
Numerous currently incurable human diseases arise from the loss or malfunction of highly specialized cell types that lack the capacity to regenerate due to diseases (e.g. heart attack, stroke), traumas (e.g. spinal cord injuries by accidents) or aging (e.g. blindness due to age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma). Recent advances in stem cell technologies have made regenerative medicine, once seen only in science fiction, a reachable reality. In this newsletter focusing on ‘Stem Cells’, we have solicited four articles to introduce some fundamental concepts of stem cells and review some of their immediate applications for disease modeling, drug discovery and toxicity screening as well as future possible therapies.
13 March, 2013
The Government is preparing to take action to attract drug research projects back to the UK by ensuring that patent laws are consistent with those in most other EU member states, according to Withers & Rogers – one of the UK’s leading firms of patent and trade mark attorneys.
12 March, 2013
Buphenyl, an FDA-approved medication for hyperammonemia, may protect memory and prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Hyperammonemia is a life-threatening condition that can affect patients at any age. It is caused by abnormal, high levels of ammonia in the blood.
11 March, 2013
Cancer Research UK scientists have honed techniques originally developed to spot distant galaxies and used them to identify biomarkers that signal a cancer’s aggressiveness among some 2,000 breast tumours, in a study published in the British Journal of Cancer today.
08 March, 2013
MRC Technology, a technology transfer organisation with its own drug discovery laboratories, and the MS Society, a charity providing support and research funding for people affected by MS, today announced a joint ‘call for targets’ in order to fast-track the discovery and development of novel drugs to slow, stop or reverse progression in MS or treat MS symptoms. The call to academic researchers seeks to fund further validation of small molecule and antibody targets prior to initiating a full scale drug discovery project to produce ‘drug-like’ molecules or therapeutic antibodies that have the potential to become therapies.
08 March, 2013
APEIRON Biologics AG (Apeiron) today announced that the clinical trial with their liposomal formulation of recombinant superoxide dismutase (project APN201) which started in March 2012 concluded with positive outcomes in all endpoints analyzed.
07 March, 2013
An innovative nasal spray that has been proven clinically effective against respiratory viruses has now been authorized for the Canadian market. The product, which was developed by the Viennese biotech company Marinomed, reduces the reproduction and spread of viruses on the nasal mucosa and is based on Marinomed's proprietary technology platform Mavirex®. Based on the expected market success of the nasal spray, one major international pharmaceutical concern has already decided to market the product in the fall.
06 March, 2013
The latest issue of Drug Discovery Today is packed full of industry focused research articles, new developments in drug discovery, and expert comment and opinion.
04 March, 2013