Archive by date | July 2013

Immunologist effort aims to improve hyperlinking of research papers to raw data

Immunologist effort aims to improve hyperlinking of research papers to raw data

A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that people suffering from ANCA-associated vasculitis, a disease in which the body attacks its own defense system, can now be effectively treated with one month of weekly infusions of rituximab, instead of the standard 18-month regimen with daily pills of cyclophosphamide, which has strong side effects. But that is not the only thing that makes the report noteworthy, according to its authors: the study is the first to contain hyperlinked charts or graphs that redirect users to an information-sharing system called TrialShare, where they can instantly access data amassed during this clinical trial and others.  Read more

Mouse study shows heat shock protein protects against hearing damage caused by common antibiotic

Mouse study shows heat shock protein protects against hearing damage caused by common antibiotic

Every drug has the potential to cause side effects. With aminoglycosides, a group of antibiotics that includes those used to treat tuberculosis and other serious infections, hearing loss can affect as many as 20% of people taking the drug. Despite a spate of efforts, there is currently no treatment or prevention for the damage to sensory cells caused by these drugs.  Read more

Gilead under pressure to produce stand-alone version of new HIV drug

Gilead under pressure to produce stand-alone version of new HIV drug

In 2001, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new HIV medication called tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). Patient advocates hailed the decision, noting that it represented the first novel antiviral agent to get the green light after the FDA turned down a similar drug  two years earlier. But a lot changes in a decade. For one thing, the maker of TDF, Gilead Sciences of Foster City, California, has a newer, better formulation of tenofovir, called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). Meanwhile, patient advocates at the International AIDS Society Conference in Kuala Lumpur this week are crying foul that the company isn’t working on a stand-alone version of TAF and plans to sell it only in expensive combination pills.  Read more

Rwandan model proposed as solution to deadly scourge of counterfeit drugs

The problem of counterfeit drugs has made headlines in recent years with, for example, the discovery of fake versions of the cancer drug Avastin showing up in US hospitals. But the problem is worst in developing countries, where up to 25% of drugs in developing countries are falsified or substandard, according to the World Health organization (WHO).  Read more