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FDA approves imaging drug for cancer lymph nodes

March 13, 2013 1:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new imaging drug to help doctors locate lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer and skin cancer. The drug Lymphoseek from Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. is a radioactive imaging agent that is intended to help determine if breast cancer or melanoma has spread to a patient's lymph nodes.

Biogen seeks approval of hemophilia A treatment

March 12, 2013 11:24 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Biogen Idec has filed for federal marketing approval of a longer-lasting treatment for hemophilia A. Biogen says the drug rFVIIIFc can be injected once or twice a week, while other treatments for hemophilia A need to be injected three or four times a week. The drug could be the first major advance in the treatment of hemophilia in more than 20 years.

Nanoparticles loaded with bee venom kill HIV

March 8, 2013 3:22 pm | by Julia Evangelou Strait, WUSTL | News | Comments

According to findings by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed. The finding is an important step toward developing a vaginal gel that may prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

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India rejects Bayer plea against cheap cancer drug

March 5, 2013 10:15 am | by Nirmala George, Associated Press | News | Comments

India's patent appeals office has rejected Bayer AG's plea to stop the production of a cheaper generic version of a patented cancer drug in a ruling that health groups say is an important precedent for getting inexpensive lifesaving medicines to the poor. Bayer sells a one month supply of the drug for about $5,600. Natco's version would cost Indian patients $175 a month, less than 1/30th as much.

Nanogels offer new way to attack lupus

March 1, 2013 3:22 pm | by Eric Gershon, Yale University | News | Comments

In systemic lupus erythematosus, the body attacks itself for largely mysterious reasons, leading to serious tissue inflammation and organ damage. Current drug treatments address symptoms only and can require life-long daily use at toxic doses. Now, scientists at Yale University have designed and tested a drug delivery system that uses biodegradable nanoparticles to deliver low drug doses. The method shows early promise for improved treatment of lupus and other chronic, uncured autoimmune diseases.

Team develops trackable drug-filled nanoparticles

March 1, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Many researchers have been investigating the potential of tiny particles filled with drugs to treat cancer. A team of scientists in Sweden have recently made an advance in this area of research by developing “theranostic” nanoparticles, which combine therapy and diagnostics in the same nanomaterial. They are trackable through magnetic resonance.

Shape matters for targeted chemotherapy drugs

February 27, 2013 10:32 pm | News | Comments

Bioengineering researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara have found that changing the shape of chemotherapy drug nanoparticles from spherical to rod-shaped made them up to 10,000 times more effective at specifically targeting and delivering anti-cancer drugs to breast cancer cells. The findings could have a big impact on the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy

Chemists find help from nature in fighting cancer

February 27, 2013 7:52 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Inspired by a chemical that fungi secrete to defend their territory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemists have synthesized and tested several dozen compounds that may hold promise as potential cancer drugs.

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Yeast study yields potential for new drugs

February 25, 2013 1:20 pm | News | Comments

While studying a mutant strain of yeast, Purdue University researchers may have found a new target for drugs to combat cholesterol and fungal diseases.

Sanofi says FDA starts review of diabetes drug

February 19, 2013 11:45 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

French drugmaker Sanofi said Monday the Food and Drug Administration is starting a review of its once-a-day diabetes treatment lixisenatide. Lixisenatide is a treatment for type 2 diabetes in adults. It works by increasing the body's insulin production and is part of a class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists.

NIH chief: Cuts put vital medical research at risk

February 14, 2013 2:24 pm | by LAURAN NEERGAARD - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Better cancer drugs that zero in on a tumor with fewer side effects. A universal flu vaccine that could fight every strain of influenza without needing a yearly shot. Research into potentially life-saving products like these will be delayed and newer discoveries shelved if Congress can't avert impending budget cuts that the director of the National Institutes of Health warns will have far-reaching effects.

New method uncovers side effects before a drug hits the market

February 13, 2013 3:19 pm | News | Comments

Side effects are a major reason that drugs are taken off the market and a major reason why patients stop taking their medications, but scientists are now reporting the development of a new way to predict those adverse reactions ahead of time. The computer-based approach could save patients from severe side effects and save drug companies time and money.

Sustainable new catalysts fueled by a single proton

February 13, 2013 1:35 pm | News | Comments

Chemists at Boston College have designed a new class of catalysts triggered by the charge of a single proton, the team reports in Nature. The simple organic molecules offer a sustainable and highly efficient platform for chemical reactions that produce sets of molecules crucial to advances in medicine and the life sciences.

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One-two punch strategy against bacteria, cancer

February 11, 2013 4:44 pm | News | Comments

Cancer researchers from Rice University suggest that a new man-made drug that’s already proven effective at killing cancer and drug-resistant bacteria could best deliver its knockout blow when used in combination with drugs made from naturally occurring toxins.

Amgen, UCB halt testing of fracture-healing drug

February 11, 2013 4:34 pm | by LINDA A. JOHNSON - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Biotech giant Amgen Inc. and Belgian drugmaker UCB SA have scrapped plans for late-stage testing of an experimental treatment for accelerated healing of fractures, but will continue testing their drug for a much bigger and potentially lucrative market, treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Old drug may point way to new treatments for diabetes, obesity

February 11, 2013 8:25 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Michigan's Life Sciences Institute have found that amlexanox, an off-patent drug currently prescribed for the treatment of asthma and other uses, also reverses obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver in mice.

Partial fix found in mice for genetic disease

February 9, 2013 10:22 am | by JANET McCONNAUGHEY - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

In a promising step against a genetic disease that causes deafness and gradual loss of vision, scientists have partly restored hearing with a single injection to young mice. Experts praised the study on Usher syndrome, but the results are still a long way from preventing the disease.

Lilly stops rheumatoid arthritis treatment study

February 7, 2013 10:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Drug developer Eli Lilly and Co. is stopping clinical testing of an experimental rheumatoid arthritis treatment because it wasn't working. The Indianapolis company said Thursday it will continue studying the potential drug, tabalumab, as a possible treatment for a form of the autoimmune disorder lupus and the bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma.

U.S. warns of new fake batch of cancer drug Avastin

February 6, 2013 12:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Study: Popular drug-carrying nanoparticles get trapped in bloodstream

February 6, 2013 12:05 pm | News | Comments

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.

Beer’s bitter compounds could help brew new medicines

January 29, 2013 3:44 pm | News | Comments

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.

FDA accepts application for new Sanofi MS drug

January 28, 2013 11:17 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Novartis meningitis vaccine wins EU approval

January 22, 2013 8:38 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

Study quantifies the size of holes antibacterials create in cell walls to kill bacteria

January 10, 2013 2:08 pm | News | Comments

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.

Bind and Amgen in $180M cancer drug research deal

January 8, 2013 11:29 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

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.

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