November 22nd

Scripps Research develops new class of molecules for drug discovery

The Scripps Research Institute has developed a new class of small molecules which are believed to have the potential to serve as a foundation for drug discovery. The new approach combines synthetic chemistry with advanced screening technologies which would expand the number of provocative synthetic compounds available to explore as potential drug candidates.

November 21st

Pfizer And MIT Break Ground On New Research Units In Kendall Square

NEW YORK and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Pfizer Inc. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today held the official groundbreaking of the new location of Pfizer’s Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases (CVMED) and Neuroscience research units at 610 Main Street, Cambridge, MA.

November 21st

New technologies and manufacturing platforms expand protections

Vaccines constitute a deeply explored and thoroughly tested technology that is now over 200 years old, dating from Edward Jenner’s first experiments with cowpox and smallpox during the 1790s.1 The benefits conferred by vaccines of all sorts are so extensive and numerous that a recent popular-science article on the topic felt justified in using the headline How Vaccines Saved the World.2 Yet the technology is not without its critics, however ultimately unsustainable their objections are. The public has witnessed a long-running debate about a possible connection between childhood vaccinations and autism3,4 and a fresher controversy about the utility and social consequences of the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine program.5,6 Nonetheless, the subject of new vaccines, their role in public health crises and innovative methods of production remains endlessly fascinating for the public, as testified to by the success of the recent film Contagion. Dr. Paul Offit of the Vaccine Education Center of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, says that in this scientifically respectable film, which chronicles an epidemic and the response of government and medical establishment, “The heroes of the story are vaccines.”7

November 21st

Ferring Pharmaceuticals Expands U.S. Operations

Ferring Pharmaceuticals has purchased a 25-acre site in Parsippany, NJ that will house an expanded U.S. Operations Center. The facility will serve as an integrated pharmaceutical center and will house management, administration and support, commercial operations, manufacturing and product development, including a manufacturing suite, product development labs, an education and training conference center, and administrative offices.

November 17th

Medical researchers decode the ageing process

WASHINGTON — Scientists are beginning to decode the complex biology of ageing and are optimistic that recent advances in research may lead to treatments that can slow or even reverse degeneration and disease.

November 17th

Lilly Provides Additional TB Funding to IDRI

Eli Lilly and Co. is providing more than $4 million in additional funding to the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) to continue its early phase drug discovery efforts to identify better therapies for tuberculosis, including multidrug-resistant strains known as MDR-TB. Lilly will also provide more than $1 million for volunteer time from Lilly scientists and access to the company’s drug discovery expertise, chemical libraries, and research tools.

November 17th

EU Approves Pfizer’s Vyndaqel for Rare Neurodegenerative Disease

Pfizer received approval for Vyndaqel (tafamidis) from the European Commission for the treatment of Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP) in adult patients with stage 1 symptomatic polyneuropathy. TTR-FAP is a rare, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately 8,000 patients worldwide.

November 16th

FibroGen Reports Dose-finding Data from Phase 2b Study of FG-4592 for Anemia Correction and Maintenance in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

FibroGen, Inc., today announced data from an ongoing phase 2b dose-finding study of FG-4592, an investigational hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (PHI), for anemia correction and hemoglobin (Hb) maintenance in patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) not on dialysis. The study is designed to evaluate several different starting doses, dose frequencies, and dose adjustment schemes of FG-4592 as well as efficacy and safety of FG-4592 over 16- and 24 week-treatment periods. A total of 96 patients were enrolled in the first four treatment arms (n=24 each). Treatment with FG-4592 was designed to increase Hb by at least 1 g/dL and maintain Hb concentration in the target range of 11-13 g/dL for the first two arms (arms A and B) treated for 16 weeks, and 10.5-12.0 g/dL in the second two arms (arms C and D) treated for 24 weeks.

November 16th

ZIOPHARM Oncology Presents New Darinaparsin Preclinical Prostate and Pancreatic Cancer Data at AACR-NCI-EORTC Meeting

NEW YORK, Nov 15, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. ZIOP -0.21% , a drug development company employing small molecule and synthetic biology approaches to cancer therapy, announced today new preclinical data from two separate studies of darinaparsin (Zinapar(R) or ZIO-101), a novel organic arsenic, in various solid tumor models at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, taking place November 12-16 in San Francisco. Both studies were conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine by lead author, Junqiang Tian, M.D., Ph.D., senior author, Susan J. Knox, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Radiation Oncology, and were performed in collaboration with co-author, Donna Peehl, Ph.D., Professor of Urology.

November 16th

The Elite Brain Network

A new study used a special type of MRI scan to map out the connections in the brains of 21 men and women. There are regions of the brain in which connectivity is extraordinarily dense — that’s been known for some time. What the present study set out to do was visualize how these dense regions might be connected to one another, possibly forming an elite network between these distinct and powerful regions of the brain.