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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • 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
  • The Central Nervous System

    Is Alzheimer’s An Infectious Disease? The Spread of Protein Misfolding

    That’s what this paper in Molecular Psychiatry is suggesting. The authors injected material from human Alzheimer’s patients into the brains of normal mice, and saw what appears to be the induction of amyloid pathlology. This didn’t happen in control animals, got worse with time, and wasn’t just noted at the point of injectio… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Gilenya’s Price

    A couple of weeks ago, we had this discussion about the cost-effectiveness of drugs for multiple sclerosis. It was pointed out that Novartis’s new Gilenya (fingolimod) is priced even higher than the drugs in the study that found that MS drugs are among the priciest in the world for their medical benefit. Now the United… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Laquinimod Fails For Multiple Sclerosis

    If you haven’t been reading carefully, you might have had trouble figuring out Teva’s oral therapy for multiple sclerosis, laquinimod. After all, earlier this year, the company was blowing the horn for the compound at neurology meetings, touting how safe and effective it was, its advantages over existing therapies, and its potential in… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis: Worth the Price, Or Not?

    Now this is an uncomfortable study, if you’re in the business of treating multiple sclerosis. An article in Neurology looks at the cost-effectiveness of several disease-modifying therapies: the two interferon-beta-1as (Avonex and Rebif), interferon-beta-1b (Betaseron) Copaxone, Betaseron and the immune modulator Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). Read More
  • Regulatory Affairs

    Cladribine Is Gone

    Multiple sclerosis therapy has been changing a lot in recent years, and one of the biggest events was the introduction of Gilenya (fingolimod). That’s the first non-injectable for MS, and it’s quite a story (as well as being quite a weird compound from a chemistry perspective). Novartis has been racing ahead in selling that one… Read More