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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • Clinical Trials

    Into the Numbers

    I want to recommend this analysis (at the Mind the Brain blog) of a new paper in PLOS Medicine. The paper is an analysis from a very large Swedish data set of possible links between SSRI antidepressant use and violent crime, which is a contentious topic. As the post by James Coyne notes, there are… Read More
  • 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
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Prions In the News (Unfortunately)

    Let’s talk about proteins for a few minutes – nasty, unfriendly proteins, of the sort that will ball up and crash out of solution the first chance they get. Anyone working in a protein purification lab will have encountered plenty of these, and will be familiar with the various tricks available to keep things in… Read More
  • Drug Development

    Loosening Things Up in Japan

    Japan is going to try opening up its medical approval process for regenerative medicine (no doubt with an eye on its aging population). Regulatory changes that started taking effect last fall now allow companies to get conditional approval based on smaller trials, and these apparently don’t even have to be placebo-controlled. The products can… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Invisible Crystals Yield Structure

    A crystallographer colleague passes on this new paper, which I find very interesting and just a bit freaky. The authors (a collaboration between UCLA, HHMI, LBNL, and SLAC) are studying alpha-synuclein, the protein that aggregates in Parkinson’s disease pathology, and more particularly, they’re studying a short (11-amino acid) section o… 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
  • Drug Development

    A 3D Printed Drug?

    Several readers have sent along news of what’s billed as the “world’s first 3D-printed drug”. That got my attention, because there have been some rather wild predictions about the effects of that technology on drug discovery, some of them weird in the extreme. On checking this out, though, I found that it would be more accu… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    Sertraline in the Courts

    Potential trouble: thoughts of a link between cardiac birth defects and the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline). Pfizer recently won such a case in Missouri, but the latest trial seems to have produced some internal documents that might lead to a different verdict. Since this is all in the context of lawsuits, the signal/noise (for an outside… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Four Patients. Count ‘Em, Four.

    While we’re on the subject of market froth, take a look at what’s going on today. Sage Therapeutics announced the results of a study in post-partum depression. (Note – these are not the same people as Sage Bionetworks out in Seattle; this is a small company in Cambridge). They used SAGE-547, a GABA-A allosteric modulator… Read More
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