The Food and Drug Administration is warning U.S. doctors about another counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin, the third case involving the best-selling Roche drug in the past year. The FDA said in an online post Tuesday that at least one batch of the drug distributed by a New York company does not contain the active ingredient in real Avastin, which is used to treat cancers of the colon, lung, kidney, and brain.
Many medically minded researchers are in hot pursuit of designs that will allow drug-carrying nanoparticles to navigate tissues and the interiors of cells, but University of Michigan engineers have discovered that these particles have another hurdle to overcome: escaping the bloodstream. According to their work, the immune system can't get rid of some of the promising drug carriers quickly.
Researchers employing a century-old observational technique have determined the precise configuration of humulones, substances derived from hops that give beer its distinctive flavor. That might not sound like a big deal to the average brewmaster, but the findings overturn results reported in scientific literature in the last 40 years and could lead to new pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes, some types of cancer, and other maladies.
French drugmaker Sanofi said Monday that the Food and Drug Administration will review its experimental multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada. Genzyme, Sanofi's U.S. biotech business, said the FDA will conduct a standard 10-month review and will make a decision on the drug in late 2013.
European regulators have approved the first vaccine against meningitis B, made by Swiss drugmaker Novartis. Novartis said Tuesday that the European Commission approved Bexsero for use in patients ages 2 months and older, and the company will make the vaccine available as soon as possible.
Research has shown that alternative antimicrobials such as PlyC can effectively kill bacteria. However, fundamental questions remain about how bacteria respond to the holes that these therapeutics make in their cell wall and what size holes bacteria can withstand before breaking apart. Answering those questions could improve the effectiveness of current antibacterial drugs and initiate the development of new ones. Researchers recently conducted a study to try to answer those questions.
Drug developer Bind Biosciences said Tuesday that it will study potential cancer treatments with biotechnology company Amgen Inc. as part of a deal that could be worth more than $180 million. Bind is conducting preclinical and early-stage trials of drugs it calls Accurins.
Researchers have discovered a new compound that restores the health of mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an otherwise dangerous bacterial infection. The new compound targets an enzyme not found in human cells but which is essential to bacterial survival.
Increasing healthcare costs, aging populations, and rising prevalence of chronic diseases are among the factors that will continue to shape the direction of industrial life science R&D in 2013. Technology deployment in healthcare information technology and analytics will also have an increasing impact on research while contributing to efficiency and quality.
From an early age, the 2012 Scientist of the Year knew that his knowledge of chemistry could make a difference in medicine. He’s still exploring just how much impact that can be.
Researchers in China are reporting success in one of the most difficult challenges in synthetic chemistry—a field in which scientists reproduce natural and other substances from jars of chemicals in a laboratory. The feat involved the synthesis of a rare substance with promising in vitro anti-cancer effects found naturally in tiny amounts in a Chinese medicinal herb. Without synthetic chemistry, scientists could never attain enough to pursue a viable drug compound.
Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it filed for marketing approval of a drug that combines its experimental diabetes treatment canagliflozin with metformin, an older drug. The pill is intended to treat type 2 diabetes, in which the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react properly to it.
A team of chemists at the University of Southern California has developed a way to transform a hitherto useless ozone-destroying greenhouse gas that is the byproduct of Teflon and manufacture and transform it into reagents for producing pharmaceuticals. The method is now being patented.
In an effort to aid the administration of medication at the cellular level, researchers in The Netherlands have pioneer a way to control or speed up the process of binding ligands, or antibodies, to diseased cells. This ability relies on a new method that uses supramolecules to electrically switch the behavior of individual cells.
Using a simple "drag-and-drop" computer interface and DNA self-assembly techniques, researchers with Parabon NanoLabs of Reston, Va.,have developed a new approach for drug development that could drastically reduce the time required to create and test medications. Parabon has partnered with Janssen Research & Development to use this technology to create and test the efficacy of a new prostate cancer drug.
Emerging from a panel of 2,400 medications and drug-like compounds tested in a tiny zebrafish, a compound has been pinpointed by researchers who say it regulates whole-body metabolism and appears to protect obese mice from signs of metabolic disorders. The discovery may help drug discovery efforts to help help the rising population of Americans adults at risk for diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz have developed a new strategy for finding novel antibiotic compounds, using a diagnostic panel of bacterial strains for screening chemical extracts from natural sources. The screening procedure, called BioMAP (antibiotic mode of action profile), promises to streamline the discovery of new antibiotics from natural sources by providing a low-cost, high-throughput platform for identifying compounds with novel antibiotic properties.
Soldier beetles have a potent predator defence system, which a research team in Australia discovered was powered by an exotic fatty acid called dihydromatricaria acid, or DHMA, which is one of a group called polyynes that have known anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. Researchers have now found the three genes that combine to make this acid, opening a new way to synthesize this difficult-to-reproduce substance.
Scientists have identified a group of small molecules that interfere with the activity of a compound that initiates multiple steps in blood clotting, including those that lead to the obstruction of veins or arteries, a condition called thrombosis. Blocking the activity of this compound, polyphosphate, could treat thrombosis with fewer bleeding side effects than the drugs that are currently on the market.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have increased the potency of a compound that reactivates antibiotics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Their improved compound removes the bacteria's antibiotic resistance and allows the antibiotic to once again become effective at normal dosage levels.
Drugs that target cell function must pass through a tough gauntlet of membrane defenses. Working from the knowledge that thin water layers at the membrane surfaces play a big part in ion and small molecule transport, scientists using rapid-fire lasers in Japan have revealed that water molecules adopt three distinct local structures around model lipid monolayers. The finding could help drive drug development.
Pfizer Inc.'s advanced kidney cancer treatment Inlyta missed its main late-stage study goal when compared to another drug in patients who had not been treated for the disease. The New York drugmaker said Wednesday that patients taking Inlyta had a median progression-free survival that exceeded that of patients taking the drug sorafenib, but the difference was not statistically significant.
In awarding to Americans the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka had made groundbreaking discoveries, mainly in the 1980s, on an important family of receptors, known as G-protein-coupled receptors. Studies of these protein receptors have been key for developing better drugs.
Using in silico computational tools to complement the results of in vivo and in vitro experiments, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have revealed an atomic-level understanding of the mechanism by which nanoparticles inhibit the growth and metastasis of pancreatic tumors. The findings are promising for the development of particle-based therapies.
Many tumor cells have a defective cellular equipment. It is only by a special trick that they manage to distribute their chromosomes correctly to their daughter cells during cell division. Researchers have now developed a substance that thwarts this trick and forces cancer cells into death during cell division.