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Lilly to take over development of diabetes drug

June 17, 2013 9:16 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Eli Lilly and Co. will pay Canadian drug developer Transition Therapeutics Inc. $7 million and take over the development of a potential diabetes treatment heading into mid-stage clinical testing. Transition said Monday it also could receive up to $240 million in additional payments, plus royalties if the treatment is eventually approved and sold.

A potential target to thwart antibiotic resistance

June 11, 2013 7:41 am | News | Comments

Bacteria in the gut that are under attack by antibiotics have allies no one had anticipated, a team of Harvard Univ. Wyss Institute scientists has found. Gut viruses that usually commandeer the bacteria, it turns out, enable them to survive the antibiotic onslaught, most likely by handing them genes that help them withstand the drug.

Sanofi says FDA approves 4-strain flu vaccine

June 10, 2013 2:04 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

French drugmaker Sanofi said Monday the Food and Drug Administration approved a new version of its flu vaccine Fluzone that is designed to prevent four types of the virus. Sanofi said Fluzone Quadrivalent is designed to protect against two types of influenza A and two types of influenza B. Fluzone is the only flu shot recommended in the U.S. for infants and very young children.


Study shows possible expanded use of cancer drug

June 6, 2013 3:21 pm | News | Comments

A cancer drug developed at the Advanced Photon Source may be following a local tradition and going for a Chicago Bulls-like three-peat. The drug Votrient, or Pazopanib, was approved in 2009 to fight advanced kidney cancer and in 2012 to fight advanced soft tissue sarcoma. Now, according to a New York Times article, a new study shows the drug may delay ovarian cancer relapses.

Avastin fails studies in new brain tumor patients

June 2, 2013 9:39 am | by MARILYNN MARCHIONE - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

New research raises fresh questions about which cancer patients benefit from Avastin, a drug that lost its approval for treating breast cancer nearly two years ago. Two studies found that Avastin did not prolong life when used as a first treatment for people with brain tumors like the one U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy died of several years ago. Side effects also were more common with Avastin.

Department of Defense awards $2 million to spinal cord injury research

May 28, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Capstone National Partners are pleased to announce a $2 million grant from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to further support the expansion of translational research to find treatments for individuals living with spinal cord injury, including servicemen and women.

Alexion drug gets key approval from FDA

May 28, 2013 1:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that regulators have designated its experimental drug asfotase alfa as a breakthrough therapy for a rare metabolic disease that can cause progressive damage to vital organs. The FDA gives breakthrough therapy status to speed the development of drugs that treat serious or life-threatening illnesses if the new medication could be a major improvement over existing treatments.

Biogen submits new MS drug for FDA approval

May 21, 2013 3:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Specialty drugmaker Biogen Idec said Tuesday it submitted a new injectable multiple sclerosis drug to the Food and Drug Administration for U.S. market approval. The drug, called Plegridy, is intended to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.


XenoPort MS treatment fails in late-stage testing

May 20, 2013 12:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of XenoPort Inc. sank Monday after the drug developer said a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis patients failed in late-stage clinical testing, and it will stop developing the drug. The Santa Clara, Calif., company said the treatment, labeled arbaclofen placarbil, failed to show a statistically significant improvement for patients taking it compared to a fake drug.

Local CROs Unite for International Clinical Trials

May 20, 2013 3:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Global CROs are no longer the obvious choice for companies looking to run international clinical trials. The motion is towards locally based CROs that are connected internationally to drive down R&D costs and leverage local know-how and quality.

United Tech donates $3M for Yale cancer research

May 15, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aerospace conglomerate United Technologies Corp. says it's donated $3 million to establish an endowed professorship at the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven. Lieping Chen will be the first United Technologies Corp. Professor in Cancer Research and is known for research leading to clinical trials of new cancer drugs that harness the body's immune system to fight cancer.

Eli Lilly ends development of lymphoma drug

May 10, 2013 1:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Eli Lilly and Co. said Friday it will stop development of an experimental cancer drug after it failed in a late-stage clinical trial. The company was studying enzastaurin as a treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a cancer that affects a type of white blood cell. Lilly said patients who were treated with enzastaurin did not survive longer than patients treated with a placebo.

State pharmacy boards back more FDA oversight

May 9, 2013 2:47 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

State pharmacy officials on Thursday threw their support behind a proposal giving the Food and Drug Administration authority over large compounding pharmacies, in an effort to head off more outbreaks tied to contaminated medications. The head of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy told Senate lawmakers that his group welcomes FDA action against pharmacies.


FDA OKs Bristol's HIV drug for younger patients

May 3, 2013 5:51 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Friday that U.S. regulators expanded approval of its HIV drug Sustiva to children as young as three months old. The capsule-based drug was first approved in 1998 to treat HIV-infected children who are age three and older and weigh at least 22 pounds. The new approval expands the drug's use to children age three months to three years who weigh at least 7.7 pounds.

FDA device will screen for fake medicines overseas

April 24, 2013 1:19 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. health officials are making a high-tech screening device available to African authorities to help spot counterfeit malaria pills in hopes that the technology may eventually be used to combat the fake drug trade worldwide. The FDA announced Wednesday that regulators in Ghana will begin using a federally developed handheld device to screen for fake or diluted versions of two common malaria pills.

Antibody evolution could guide HIV vaccine development

April 6, 2013 3:25 pm | News | Comments

Observing the evolution of a particular type of antibody in an infected HIV-1 patient has provided insights that will enable vaccination strategies that mimic the actual antibody development within the body. Spearheaded by Duke University, the multi-institution study included analysis from Los Alamos National Laboratory and used high-energy X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

Vertex, Bristol-Myers ink hepatitis C partnership

April 5, 2013 12:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Friday it will work with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to study a potential hepatitis C treatment regimen that includes Bristol-Myers Squibb's drug daclatasvir and Vertex's VX-135. Both drugs are taken orally. Vertex said it will start a clinical trial of the once-per-day regimen during the second quarter.

Pfizer inks deal with nanotechnology drugmaker

April 3, 2013 1:36 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BIND Therapeutics said Wednesday that Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay it $160 million per drug as part of a collaboration to develop targeted medicines using nanotechnology which use particles measured in billionths of a meter. BIND is developing an experimental group of targeted, programmable...

New world strategy aims to eradicate polio by 2018

April 2, 2013 5:44 pm | by LAURAN NEERGAARD - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A new global plan aims to end most cases of polio by late next year, and essentially eradicate the paralyzing disease by 2018 — if authorities can raise the $5.5 billion needed to do the work, health officials said Tuesday. Part of the challenge will be increasing security for vaccine workers who have come under attack in two of the hardest-hit countries. And the plan calls for changing how much of the world protects against polio, phasing out the long-used oral vaccine in favor of a pricier but safer shot version.

FDA approves first-of-its-kind diabetes drug from J&J

March 29, 2013 3:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a first-of-its-kind diabetes drug from Johnson & Johnson that uses a new method to lower blood sugar—flushing it out in patients' urine. The agency cleared J&J's Invokana tablets for adults with Type 2 diabetes, which affects an estimated 26 million Americans. The once-a-day medication works by blocking the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar, which occurs at higher levels in patients with diabetes than in healthy patients.

FDA approves new multiple sclerosis capsules

March 27, 2013 5:11 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it approved a new drug from Biogen Idec to control multiple sclerosis in adults with hard-to-treat forms of the disease. The twice-a-day capsules, called Tecfidera, offer a new option for multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease in which the body attacks its own nervous system.

Novel Amgen virus-vaccine shrinks melanoma tumors

March 20, 2013 1:53 pm | by LINDA A. JOHNSON - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Shares of drugmaker Amgen Inc. are rising on news its innovative melanoma drug, which uses a virus as a Trojan horse to infiltrate and destroy tumors, shrank far more tumors than a standard treatment in a late-stage test. The results, released late Tuesday, show there's promise for similar vaccines other companies are developing.

Drug-resistant MRSA bacteria here to stay

March 18, 2013 9:07 am | by Cather­ine Zan­donella, Office of the Dean for Research | News | Comments

The drug-resistant bac­te­ria known as MRSA, once con­fined to hos­pi­tals but now wide­spread in com­mu­ni­ties, will likely con­tinue to exist in both set­tings as sep­a­rate strains, accord­ing to a new study. Researchers at Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity used math­e­mat­i­cal mod­els to explore what will hap­pen to com­mu­nity and hos­pi­tal MRSA strains, which dif­fer genet­i­cally.  

New gel material releases drug under patient’s pressure

March 14, 2013 10:39 am | News | Comments

A research team at the National Institute of Materials Science in Japan has recently developed a gel material which is capable of releasing drugs in response to pressure applied by the patient. Three fingers applying force to the site of the gel produces an effect for up to three days. They built the new drug from two materials already used in pharmaceuticals: a saccharide and a natural component of algae.

Scientists find chemical that might control cell behavior

March 14, 2013 10:09 am | News | Comments

Most people who are killed by cancer are victims of the spread of the original cancerous tumor, which is why researchers vigorously search for drugs that can prevent metastases. In a finding that could help accelerate that effort, researchers have found a chemical compound that appears to control cell migration and adhesion, two important characteristics of metastatic cancer cells.

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