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Posts tagged with "Cancer"

  • Cancer

    Blasting Your Way In

    Getting drugs of any sort through the blood-brain barrier is never something that can be taken for granted, and if your therapeutic agents is well outside the usual size/polarity bounds, you can pretty much take it for granted that it’s not going in at all. The number of techniques that have been tried to get… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Biotech Education, In Progress

    Peter Thiel is worth paying some attention to. And it’s not just because he’s a wealthy venture capitalist – his views on pharma and biotech research are worth noting because he’s an excellent example of an intelligent, motivated outsider, someone with a strong technical background who’s approaching drug discovery de n… Read More
  • Cancer

    Chasing Cancer Stem Cells

    Why does chemotherapy not work very well? That is, why do the cancers we treat tend to come back, and in a more difficult to treat form? The standard answer is that the drugs kill off all the cells that are susceptible, but that most tumors, being derived from genetically unstable cell lines, are a… Read More
  • Cancer

    CAR-T Follow Up

    The Novartis/Penn team working on CAR-T therapies reports a long-term follow-up on their patients (well, as long-term as its possible to get in this field). Here’s the paper, here at Science Translational Medicine, and here’s the press release. The upshot is, that if you’re cured by this technique, you seem to stay cured. The firs… Read More
  • Cancer

    Novocure’s RF Device Shows Efficacy

    I mentioned Novocure and their unusual therapy for glioblastoma multiforma (GBM) a few months back. They’re using electromagnetic fields, which is normally the sort of thing that makes you back away, because there’s so much snake oil dripping all over that area. And their clinical results in resistant patients were not that impressive … Read More
  • Biological News

    Target Invalidation

    Target validation is a key process in drug discovery, naturally. But it’s worth remembering that target invalidation happens more often, and is also important. The first project I worked on in the drug industry proved pretty conclusively that selective antagonism at the D1 dopamine receptor is not an effective therapy for schizophrenia, des… Read More
  • Cancer

    Bromodomain Ligands and Memory

    Epigenetics has been a hot field the last few years (although not quite hot enough for Roche to buy out their partners in the area, Constellation). One of the things that’s driven a lot of bromodomain-focused research in the field has been the availability of a compound called JQ1, from the Bradner lab at Harvard. Read More
  • Cancer

    Kite and the Rumors

    While we’re on the subject of optimistic news in oncology, Kite Pharma (one of the many players in the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, CAR-T space) has disclosed some details of its clinical trial in patients with refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That’s just as bad as it sounds – these are people who have fai… Read More
  • Cancer

    ABT-199 Nears Its Finish Line

    A couple of years back, AbbVie ran into an unusual problem in the clinic. Their Bcl ligand, ABT-199, was working a bit too well, and killing off so many leukemia cells that the resulting cellular debris was causing kidney trouble in some patients. The company immediately started working on clinical protocols to get things restarted… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    GlaxoSmithKline’s New Strategy, Defended

    GlaxoSmithKline’s Moncef Slaoui has an interview in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he’s responding to critics of the company’s strategy (and to rumors about it): Slaoui suggested some reality for pharma cheerleaders: First, most Americans think drug prices are way too high and sooner or later the bottom will fall out from those fi… Read More