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Posts tagged with "Toxicology"

  • Clinical Trials

    Revusiran’s Failure Revisited

    I wrote about Alnylam’s recent clinical disaster here, where they had to stop a Phase III siRNA therapy trial against a rare amyloidosis with cardiac complications. A reader sends along the link to this 2008 paper that suggests a possible reason for the excess deaths seen in the trial. The authors studied a range of different siRNA… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Alnylam Blindsided

    Alnylam, the big name in RNAi therapeutics, had an awful day of it yesterday, and is having another one today. More may be on the way. Rivusiran, their Phase III candidate for transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR), has been abruptly pulled from trials. This is particularly out of the blue, since the company had just completed enrollment… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Cathepsin K: A Promising Target Fades Out

    Here’s another one for the file of huge, long, costly drug discovery efforts that came to nothing (and that no one outside the business ever hears about): cathepsin K inhibitors. I remember “Cat K” from my own (relatively brief) days in osteoporosis drug work some years ago. It’s a target that’s been around since the… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Valeant Sure Picks the Winners

    You may remember brodulamab, the anti-IL-17-receptor antibody (update: fixed a mistake in the mechanism) that was under development by Amgen and AstraZeneca for psoriasis (among other indications). But it was abandoned last year when the clinical trials showed “suicidal ideation” turning up. But those canny market-driven Valeant folks p… Read More
  • Cancer

    Glyphosate And Cancer

    Glyphosate (often known by its original brand name, Roundup) is the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world. What, if anything, is it doing to people? I bring this up because of some recent (and seemingly contradictory) news items. A group of farmers is suing Monsanto, the compound’s original developers, because they claim that… Read More
  • Cancer

    Nanoparticles Mix It Up With Reality

    Nanoparticles (well, papers about nanoparticles) have been impossible to avoid for. . .what, ten years now, would you say? There’s so much potential there in so many fields, and there are so many things to try, that the literature is a gigantic pile that gets more deliveries dumped on it every week. And how many… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    A Terrific Paper on the Problems in Drug Discovery

    Here’s a really interesting paper from consultants Jack Scannell and Jim Bosley in PLoS ONE, on the productivity crisis in drug discovery. Several things distinguish it: for one, it’s not just another “whither the drug industry” think piece, of which we have plenty already. This one get quantitative, attempting to figure out… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Arguing About Zafgen’s Chances

    It’s been a wild ride for Zafgen and those following the company, and things are nowhere near over. Back in December, it became clear that two patients had died in their clinical trial of beloranib against Prader-Willi syndrome, which was clearly very bad news. But this month, the company released the rest of the data… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A Dietary Cause for a Neurodegenerative Disease

    This is an interesting paper in itself, and its potential implications are even more so. The authors, from the Institute for Ethnomedicine and the University of Miami, have been studying a neurodegenerative condition found among Chamorro villagers on the island of Guam. The disease (Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia comp… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Big Trouble For Zafgen and Beloranib

    Zafgen went through a very rough patch back in October when it turned out that a patient in their key Phase III trial in Prader-Willi syndrome died. P-W patients have severe health problems and shortened lifespan, but the question was naturally whether the company’s investigational drug beloranib was a factor. The seemingly slow disclosure of… Read More
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