An investigative team at the University of Cincinnati which specializes in nanotechnology says they've tested a new approach to destroying cancer cells--injecting the specific target cells with iron oxide nanoparticles and then using light-induced heat to burn them up.
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.
At the request of Congress, in 2008 NIH began releasing to the public how much the agency spends in various research categories. I decided to pick out the top-funded disease areas to get a sense of what disorders and diseases the U.S. government is prioritizing. The red and green arrows indicate whether categories had a decrease or bump in funding from the previous year, respectively.
POPULAR COMMENT THREADS
Blocking the cascade of events that trigger autoimmune disease is a key focus in multiple sclerosis research. And a multidisciplinary team of investigators in Singapore says they have figured out one piece of the puzzle that could offer a new discovery pathway for the disease.
Scientists with the UC Irvine School of Medicine and the Italian Institute of Technology have spotlighted what they call the "very first class" of acid ceramidase inhibitors that could eventually go on to help amp up the effectiveness of chemotherapies.
Building on earlier work involving the angiogenesis inhibitor thrombospondin-1, or TSP-1, investigators say they've been able to demonstrate in animal studies that a segment of that protein acts to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells. And the use of that therapeutic approach allowed for more effective use of small doses of chemotherapy in treating the deadly disease.
The U.K. medical research institute MRC Technology--the tech transfer arm of the government's big Medical Research Council--has struck a deal to collaborate with China's Yabao Pharmaceutical on new Parkinson's drugs for the Asian market. In the deal, Yabao will dedicate part of its research effort to an unidentified kinase target for neurodegeneration.
One of the drug cocktails now in preclinical development for Ebola, ZMapp, has been used for a small group of emergency cases. And now two Scripps investigators have come up with a 3-D model to show where its three antibodies stick to the virus, pointing to new and better therapies as well as informing work on other such cocktail therapies.
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Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report.