Need some fuel for your Monday morning? Let today’s dose rocket you into the week with news on an unusual pill, biosimilars, tuberculosis and the Medical Council of India.
— Even if a pill makes it to the desired location in the digestive tract, that doesn’t mean all the medicine will be released. That’s why researchers have developed a rocket-assisted pill, in which a piston pushes out medicine via remote control. Even though it has not yet undergone testing beyond the lab dish, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that’s cool. (New Scientist)
— The Medical Council of India (MCI) had its executive leadership disbanded over the weekend by the country’s government. MCI recently had its president, Ketan Desai, arrested for bribery, and now the group’s 30-member executive council will be at least temporarily replaced by a seven-member Board of Governors to accredit schools and ensure education standards. (Pharmalot)
— Scientists at the American Thoracic Society conference in New Orleans claim they’ve found a faster way to differentiate between active and latent tuberculosis infections. In a study of 71 blood samples, the researchers found that levels of two cytokines — MCP-1 and IL-15 — showed a distinct pattern in active infections, opening up the possibility for a rapid blood test. (Reuters)
— Developing biosimilars could be a bigger challenge than expected: While the US Food and Drug Administration has established pathways to approval, there’s a “substantial commitment of resources” and time needed to meet FDA requirements for clinical trials, according to Merck. The company recently abandoned plans to make a version of Amgen’s anemia drug Aranesp. (WSJ)
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