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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A new sheds light on three different factors that may have contributed to ridding HIV from the "Berlin patient."
The FDA has awarded 15 grants totaling more than $19 million to spur the development of medical devices and drugs to help treat rare diseases.
Swiss firm Mymetics is getting a boost from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct a key animal study for its HIV vaccine candidate at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
In an effort to better understand a certain disease-causing enzyme, British researchers have created a "map" of more than 100 proteins this enzyme is known to affect. They then identified a druglike molecule that blocks this enzyme to preserve these essential proteins.
Scientists have figured out how an emerging class of antibiotics binds to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis--a discovery that could lead to new therapeutics to fight the disease, which is becoming resistant to commonly used antimicrobials in many parts of the world.
As the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa worsens, small and large companies alike are touting their investigational drugs in response to the World Health Organization's appeal to speed up research and development in the field.
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Roche's Genentech unit is getting some high-profile blowback from a change to its distribution model on three top cancer meds. Hospital and pharmacy executives claim the new regime--which restricts Avastin, Rituxan and Herceptin to a half-dozen specialty distributors--will cost them big money.
Boehringer Ingelheim envisions some day selling day a smart inhaler that can tell patients when its medication is running low and remind them if they missed a prescheduled dose.