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.
Big Pharma has largely exited the antibiotics arena in the past several years, contributing to the dearth of products in the global pipeline as rising antimicrobial resistance becomes a very real public health threat.
Now, just a few companies--among them, Cubist Pharmaceuticals--remain in the antibiotics space. The Lexington, MA-based company in June won FDA approval for Sivextro, an antibacterial drug to treat a range of skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Now it's on the way to its second drug approval of the year with the combination antibiotic ceftolozane/tazobactam, designed to fight complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections.
With several other candidates in the pipeline, Cubist is succeeding in a field that others have fled. FierceBiotechResearch talked to Ronald Farquhar, senior vice president of discovery and pharmaceutical sciences at Cubist, about the unique preclinical challenges that developing antibiotics presents.
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.
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European and Japanese scientists have figured out how to "reset" human pluripotent stem cells, turning back the clock on cells so that they revert to their original state at the height of their development potential.
Scientists have discovered a natural antibiotic within a community of bacteria in the vagina, a finding that could point the way toward other human therapeutics.
A new class of compounds discovered by investigators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that could treat a range of neurodegenerative disorders has caught the eye of Google's new biotechnology venture Calico.
Researchers have pinpointed a small protein that may offer protection against bone loss associated with arthritis, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for the condition, which affects nearly one in 5 Americans.
The Geneva Foundation, along with partner BioFactura, received a grant of more than $3 million from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to develop an antibody drug to combat the Sudan strain of the ebolavirus.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health is launching a 6-year, $64 million program that will catalog human cell responses to drugs and genetic factors with the goal of aiding the development of new therapies for a range of diseases.
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