Archive by category | Drug discovery

AstraZeneca neither confirms nor denies that it will ditch antibiotics research

AstraZeneca neither confirms nor denies that it will ditch antibiotics research

The fight against antibiotic-resistant microbes could suffer a major blow if widely circulated rumours are confirmed that pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is due to disband its in-house antibiotic development. The company called the rumours “highly speculative”, while not explicitly denying them.  Read more

Chimps from controversial lab move to retirement home

Chimps from controversial lab move to retirement home

Tosha, Sassy, Paula, Julius and their 106 friends will now be munching peppers and bananas without worries of being used to test new drugs. The chimpanzees, formerly used for biomedical research by a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) facility New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Louisiana, have now arrived at Chimp Haven, a federally funded sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana.  Read more

WHO postpones decision on destruction of smallpox stocks — again

The stalemate continues over the question of when to destroy the last stocks of the virus that causes smallpox, a killer disease that was eradicated in 1980. One of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) two advisory committees on smallpox supports their destruction, while the other opposes this. Last weekend, health ministers of the WHO’s 194 member states again postponed a decision, and decided to set up a third WHO smallpox advisory committee in a bid to broker a consensus.  Read more

New cholesterol drugs make strides in clinical trials

The excitement around PCSK9 – a promising new protein target for cholesterol-lowering therapies – appears to be justified. This week, at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in Washington DC, several pharmaceutical companies presented data from advanced clinical trials showing that monoclonal antibodies that target and degrade PCSK9 are effective at treating patients with high cholesterol, especially when combined with statins such as Lipitor.  Read more

New revelations on controversial stem-cell foundation in Italy

Following the leak last month of a treatment protocol for a controversial stem-cell therapy earmarked for a clinical trial to be sponsored by the Italian government, further leaks from police investigations and other revelations are emerging daily about the activities of the trial’s sponsor, the Stamina Foundation.  Read more

Lack of transparency casts doubt on Tamiflu’s efficacy, say UK politicians

Doctors, researchers and patients are being undermined by a practice of “routinely and legally” withholding the results of clinical trials from them, a group of British politicians says.  Read more

Patient’s suicide forces belated university investigation

In May 2004 Daniel Markingson, a patient with schizophrenia in an anti-psychotic drug trial at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, “stabbed himself to death in the bathtub with a box cutter, ripping open his abdomen and nearly decapitating himself,” as a magazine article would report six years later.  Read more