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Innovative contact lens delivers glaucoma medication continuously

December 9, 2013 10:10 am | News | Comments

For nearly 50 years, contact lenses have been proposed as a means of ocular drug delivery that may someday replace eye drops, but achieving controlled drug release has been a significant challenge. Researchers in Massachusetts have made an advance in this direction with the development of a drug-eluting contact lens designed for prolonged delivery glaucoma medication.

Recycled plastic effective in killing drug-resistant fungi

December 9, 2013 9:46 am | News | Comments

Researchers in Singapore and at IBM Research in California have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles. They have successfully converted PET into a non-toxic biocompatible material with superior fungal killing properties. This could help prevent and treat various fungus-induced diseases such as keratitis.

“Smuggling” drugs at the cellular level

December 9, 2013 9:28 am | by Britt Faulstick, Drexel Univ. | News | Comments

Medicated adhesive patches have become a preferred method of delivery for everything from nicotine to hormones to motion sickness medication. Drexel Univ. researchers are trying to expand the possibilities of this system, which is called transdermal delivery, with the help of a cleverly designed delivery vehicle and an ultrasonic "push," or pressure from sound waves.

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Industry Breakout - Life Sciences

December 9, 2013 6:10 am | by R&D Magazine/Battelle | Articles | Comments

As represented in this Forecast, the life science industry includes biopharmaceuticals, medical instruments and devices, animal/agricultural bioscience and commercial research and testing. However, the industry’s R&D spending is driven primarily by the mass and research intensity of the biopharmaceutical sector, which accounts for nearly 85% of all expenditures.

Gene therapy scores big wins against blood cancers

December 7, 2013 11:02 am | by MARILYNN MARCHIONE - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients' blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer. A few patients with one type of leukemia were given this one-time, experimental therapy several years ago and some remain cancer-free today.

Osteoarthritis medicine delivered on-demand

December 5, 2013 9:23 am | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting development of a squishy gel that, when compressed at a key location such as a painful knee joint, releases anti-inflammatory medicine. The new material could someday deliver medications when and where osteoarthritis patients need it most.

Database tracks toxic side effects of pharmaceuticals

December 5, 2013 9:13 am | News | Comments

Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease. Pharmaceutical drugs are known for their potential side effects, and an important aspect of personalized medicine is to tailor therapies to individuals to reduce the chances of adverse events. Now researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have updated an extensive toxicology database so that it can be used to track information about therapeutic drugs and their unintentional toxic effects.

Key found to restoring “exhausted” HIV-fighting immune cells

December 3, 2013 8:07 am | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combating HIV. The scientists report in a paper appearing online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that the protein, Sprouty-2, is a promising target for future HIV drug development, since disabling it could help restore the cells’ ability to combat the virus that causes AIDS.

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Pills of the future

December 2, 2013 12:09 pm | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Drugs delivered by nanoparticles hold promise for targeted treatment of many diseases, including cancer. However, the particles have to be injected into patients, which has limited their usefulness so far. Now, researchers have developed a new type of nanoparticle that can be delivered orally and absorbed through the digestive tract, allowing patients to simply take a pill instead of receiving injections.

FDA extends review of Biogen hemophilia B drug

December 2, 2013 9:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Biogen Idec said Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended its review of Alprolix, a drug designed to treat hemophilia B. Biogen Idec said the FDA extended its review by three months. The move came after the agency asked Biogen for more information about validation of part of the Alprolix manufacturing process.

Drug interactions causing a significant impact of statin use

November 26, 2013 9:12 am | News | Comments

A new study has found that many people who stopped taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs were also taking an average of three other drugs that interfered with the normal metabolism of the statins. The other drugs can contribute to a common side effect of taking statins—muscle pain—and often led people to discontinue use of a medication that could otherwise help save their life, researchers learned.

Sanofi, Regeneron drug fares well in study

November 22, 2013 7:35 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A potential rheumatoid arthritis treatment from French drugmaker Sanofi and its U.S. development partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. fared better than a fake drug at improving disease signs and symptoms in a late-stage study. The companies said they saw a statistically significant improvement in patient groups that received their drug, sarilumab, combined with methotrexate compared to those who just received methotrexate and a placebo.

How Dead Data is Killing Productivity in the Lab

November 20, 2013 11:20 am | by Ryan Sasaki, Director of Global Strategy, ACD/Labs | Articles | Comments

Within the pharmaceutical industry, the rapid identification, elucidation and characterization of synthetic, process impurities and degradation products is an intense and comprehensive undertaking. In the development of a formulated drug substance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all impurities introduced in the proposed process above 0.1% must be isolated and fully characterized.

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Lilly plans $715M insulin manufacturing investment

November 14, 2013 8:16 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. plans to spend $715 million to bulk up its manufacturing in a key product line, insulin production. The Indianapolis company said it will spend $350 million to expand its insulin cartridge manufacturing in China, another $120 million for a similar improvement in France and $245 million to boost manufacturing capacity in Puerto Rico and Indianapolis.

FDA approves new drug for rare blood cancer

November 13, 2013 2:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug from Pharmacyclics and Janssen Biotech Inc. to treat a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer. The agency says it approved Imbruvica for patients with mantle cell lymphoma who have already received at least one previous drug therapy.

Compound stymies polyomaviruses in laboratory

November 13, 2013 11:44 am | News | Comments

A team of scientists reports that a small-molecule compound showed significant success in controlling the infectivity and spread of three polyomaviruses in human cell cultures. To date there has been no medicine approved to treat such viruses, which prey on transplant recipients, people with HIV and others whose immune systems have been weakened.

Researcher finds potential new use for old drugs

November 13, 2013 7:53 am | News | Comments

A class of drugs used to treat parasitic infections such as malaria may also be useful in treating cancers and immune-related diseases, a new Washington State Univ.-led study has found. Researchers discovered that simple modifications to the drug furamidine have a major impact on its ability to affect specific human proteins involved in the on-off switches of certain genes.

GlaxoSmithKline drug fails in late-stage study

November 12, 2013 8:49 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GlaxoSmithKline says a potential heart disease treatment it acquired as part of a key 2012 company takeover fell short in the main measurement of a late-stage study. The British drugmaker says darapladib failed to produce a statistically significant reduction in major cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes or death when added to a patient's standard of care.

Seven research universities team for molecular biology

November 8, 2013 7:00 am | News | Comments

Arizona State University is teaming up with seven other research universities to establish a new Science and Technology Center (STC), sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The center will be based at the University at Buffalo. It is expected to transform the field of structural and dynamic molecular biology, including drug development, by using x-ray lasers to peer into biological molecules. 

Merck says HPV vaccine works against more strains

November 4, 2013 12:59 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Merck said Monday that its new human papillomavirus vaccine was about 97% effective in blocking precancerous lesions caused by strains of the virus that are not stopped by Merck's vaccine Gardasil. Merck & Co. said it expects to file for marketing approval of the new vaccine, which is designated V503, before the end of 2013.

“Flipping the switch” reveals new compounds with antibiotic potential

November 1, 2013 7:51 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Oregon State Univ. have discovered that one gene in a common fungus acts as a master regulator, and deleting it has opened access to a wealth of new compounds that have never before been studied—with the potential to identify new antibiotics.

Resistance is futile

November 1, 2013 7:40 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug given to more than half of all cancer patients. The drug kills cells very effectively by damaging nuclear DNA, but if tumors become resistant to cisplatin they often grow back. A new study offers a possible way to overcome that resistance. The researchers found that when cisplatin was delivered to cellular structures called mitochondria, DNA in this organelle was damaged, leading to cancer cell death.

HIV-like virus suppressed in monkey experiment

October 30, 2013 2:00 pm | by MALCOLM RITTER - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Doctors may one day be able to control a patient's HIV infection in a new way: injecting swarms of germ-fighting antibodies, two new studies suggest. In monkeys, that strategy sharply reduced blood levels of a cousin of HIV. The results also gave tantalizing hints that someday the tactic might help destroy the AIDS virus in its hiding places in the body, something current drugs cannot do.

U.S. approves more powerful, pure hydrocodone drug

October 25, 2013 5:39 pm | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a stronger, single-ingredient version hydrocodone, the widely abused prescription painkiller. The agency said it approved the extended-release pill Zohydro ER for patients with pain that requires "daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment" that cannot be treated with other drugs.

FDA issues positive review for Gilead's hep C drug

October 23, 2013 10:00 am | by MATTHEW PERRONE - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a positive review for a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences, saying the pill cures more patients in less time than currently available treatments. The agency posted its review of Gilead's sofosbuvir online ahead of a meeting Friday where government experts will vote on whether to recommend the drug's approval.

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