Scientists at the RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center in Japan say that they may have found a new way to tackle BACE1, a prime target in Alzheimer's disease, while avoiding side effects.
In an era of cutbacks in basic research by Big Pharma, companies are increasingly relying on academic and nonprofit collaborations for basic science and drug discovery research as output and productivity in the industry are declining.
Meanwhile, for academic researchers, these alliances are becoming just as crucial at a time when funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health--the world's biggest backer of biomedical research--remains tight. It's a symbiotic relationship that we'll likely continue to see for the foreseeable future as Big Pharma's pipeline dries up and federal R&D spending remains static.
The year isn't over yet, but already some big players have formed some notable unions in 2014.
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Pancreatic cancer has long loomed as one of the most aggressive killers, typically leaving patients with a poor prognosis and specialists with few options for effective treatment. But now a team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor says they have new reason to believe that a particular gene is responsible for the fast-spreading cancer--offering a clear target for drug developers.
Investigators say that a single mutation in the gene linked to Fragile X--which is the largest single-gene cause of autism--can be tied to specific symptoms of the disease, suggesting that a new approach to treating the disease could work where others have failed.
The prospect that new research into the complex world of gut bacteria will deliver a whole new class of therapies has inspired the launch of a lineup of upstart biotechs. And now investigators in Belgium say they may have found a potentially compelling pathway for microbiome drug developers working in the autoimmune field.
Building on years of research into the anti-inflammatory and tissue-repairing properties of the protein molecule C-type natriuretic peptide, investigators in the U.K. say they have managed to overcome one of the hurdles that has prevented its use for treating osteoarthritis.
Researchers at Tübingen University say they have developed a new tracking technology that will allow those working in the field of immuno-oncology to understand better how these new therapies are working.
Fast on the heels of the FDA's approval of Blincyto (blinatumomab), Amgen's new leukemia fighter that uses a bispecific T cell engager system to flag cancer cells for the immune system to destroy, the Big Biotech has partnered up with MD Anderson in Texas on a new program aimed at identifying targets for this technology in myelodysplastic syndrome.
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Merck is financing a $1.85 million study being conducted at Texas Tech University to see if lower dosages of its lucrative but controversial cattle growth drug Zilmax could allow the company to reintroduce the product to U.S. and global markets and kick-start sales.
A survey of 2,000 pet owners conducted by Bayer HealthCare Animal Health and the Companion Animal Parasite Council has revealed that when veterinarians provide information to clients about parasites prevalent in their area, they can drive up clinic visits.