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Posts tagged with "Clinical Trials"

  • Clinical Trials

    Expensive Shams Are the Way to Go, Apparently

    Prepare to be weirded out a bit. We’re going to talk about the placebo effect again – actually, we’re going to talk about its evil twin, the nocebo effect. In the same way that a placebo is an inactive/nonexistent agent that people think is doing them good, a nocebo is one that people believe is… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Bad News – But Not the Unexpected Kind

    Yesterday was not a good day for small companies trying to get drugs to regulatory approval for tough diseases. You may well remember Axovant, a company that I’ve written about several times (most recently here). To recap, AXON was started by a fund manager, who bought a failed Alzheimer’s candidate off GSK, announced that they’d… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Alnylam Breaks Through

    As a pioneer in RNAi therapeutics, Alnylam has really had some ups and downs over the years (some of them chronicled on this blog). Today would be one of the “up” moments, for sure. The company (in collaboration with Sanofi) has just announced positive Phase 3 data on their therapy for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis – Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Ultrasound For Brain Drug Delivery – Not So Fast

    I wrote a couple of years ago here about the idea of making the blood-brain barrier more permeable by the use of focused ultrasound, in the presence of injected microbubbles. This would be a very useful thing if it works – as anyone who’s been concerned with central nervous system drugs (or drug delivery in… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    A New Parkinson’s Therapy – Possibly

    There’s a new report of progress in Parkinson’s disease, and from an unexpected direction. Well, it was unexpected for me, anyway. Parkinson’s is, famously, a condition that is driven by the steady deterioration of dopamine-rich neurons in the brain, most particularly in the substantia nigra region. An impressive amount of researc… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    AstraZeneca Gets the Bad News

    After writing about Merck’s successes (so far) in immuno-oncology, it’s time to write about AstraZeneca’s failure. When the rumors started flying about Pascal Soriot leaving the company, one of the speculations was that the MYSTIC trial of the company’s PD-L1 (Imfinzi, durvalumab) and CTLA4 (trememelimab) therapies might be… Read More
  • Cancer

    The Keytruda Story

    This is a good history of Keytruda, the Merck immuno-oncology blockbuster, from David Shaywitz. Most big drugs have a tangled history, and this one is certainly not going to break tradition. As witness: It was discovered accidentally, by biotech scientists looking for drugs that would tamp down the immune response in patients with autoimmune diseas… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Too Big to Be True

    I recently wrote a column for Chemistry World on the concept of effect size – the readership there is from all sorts of chemistry, so it’s perhaps not as familiar a concept, and I thought it worth highlighting. (Briefly, effect size is the difference between the means of your treatment group and control group, divided… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Chaos at AstraZeneca

    What on earth is going on over at AstraZeneca? The company has had plenty of wild ups and downs over the years, and managed to fight off a takeover attempt by Pfizer (and who else has managed that?) But in doing so, they made some pretty strong revenue projections (look what we’ll do if Pfizer… Read More
  • Cardiovascular Disease

    Hold On, Merck’s CETP Inhibitor Actually Works?

    Well, maybe. I have to admit that my first reaction was disbelief. Merck has come out this morning with a statement that its long-running outcomes trial with anacetrapib, their cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, had positive results. Specifically, they say that the trial. . . . . .met its primary endpoint, significantly reducing m… Read More
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