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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • Drug Assays

    The Infinitely Active Impurity

    Everyone who’s done drug discovery has encountered this situation: you get what looks like a hit in a screening assay, but when you re-check it with fresh material, it turns out to be inactive. So you go back to the original batch, but it’s still active. There are several possibilities: if that original batch was… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    AstraZeneca’s Problems

    Not exactly a load of happy holiday news from AstraZeneca here – they’re already facing one of the nastiest patent cliffs in the industry (second only, and arguably, to Eli Lilly), and now they’ve had still more development compounds crash out on them. There’s olaparib (AZN-), which is an inhibitor of the DNA repair pathway… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Novartis: No More Neuroscience

    Neuroscience is a long-established graveyard for drug discovery – there are a lot of serious disorders there, but it’s very hard to do anything about them. So the “unmet medical need” is being exacerbated by both of those factors at once. And if you need some empirical proof of those assertions, look no farther than… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Rexahn Rides Again

    You may remember Rexahn Pharmaceuticals being mentioned here in 2010. They’re the company whose lead antidepressant drug Serdaxin showed no significance versus placebo in Phase IIa trials, and whose CEO (Dr. Ahn himself) then calmed the investment community by saying that the trial was never designed to show any statistical significance, anyw… Read More
  • Cardiovascular Disease

    Regeneron Finally Makes It to the Market

    I’ve been doing drug research since 1989 myself, which means that I’m fairly experienced. But Regeneron started in this business a year or two before I did, and they’re just now getting their first major drug, Eylea (aflibercept) onto the market. To be fair, they did get approval for Araclyst (rilonacept) in 2008, but that… Read More
  • Biological News

    Brain Cells: Different From Each Other, But Similar to Something Else?

    Just how different is one brain cell from another? I mean, every cell in our body has the same genome, so the differences in type (various neurons, glial cells) must be due to expression during development. And the differences between individual members of a class must be all due to local environment and growth – Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Targacept’s Antidepressant Fails, And How

    Bad news yesterday from Targacept, a small company that’s been developing an antidepressant with AstraZeneca. TC-5214 (the S enantiomer of the nicotinic ligand mecamylamine) missed its endpoints in a trial of 295 patients in Europe who had not responded to standard drug therapy – the trial started with more like 700 patients, who receiv… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    Tiny, Tiny Molecules for MS

    What is the deal with multiple sclerosis and small off-the-shelf molecules? Last year I wrote about Ampyra, which is 4-aminopyridine. Now Biogen is showing what looks like good results with BG-12, which is. . .dimethyl fumarate. See the Haystack blog for more. The same comments I made earlier about Ampyra’s intellectual property situation app… Read More
  • Biological News

    Cyclodextrin’s Day in the Sun

    Under the “Who’da thought?” category, put this news about cyclodextrin. For those outside the field, that’s a ring of glucose molecules, strung end to end like a necklace. (Three-dimensionally, it’s a lot more like a thick-cut onion ring – see that link for a picture). The most common form, beta-cyclodextrin, has… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    The Singularity, Postponed

    I’ve had some problems over the years with the Singularity-Is-Near line of thought, and some problems with the “If we can build a new generations of microchips in five years, we ought to be able to cure cancer in ten” idea. Here’s an article by Paul Allen in Technology Review that takes aim at both… Read More