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.
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By switching on a protein in the heart, scientists may be able to improve recovery in patients that have just endured a heart attack.
A team at the University of Bristol in the U.K. used computer simulations to gain insight into how drug-resistant bacteria are able to ward off antibiotics.
Zeroing in on a protein that's vital to providing communication between the ears and brain, scientists have restored hearing in mice that were partly deaf. The researchers say that boosting the production of this protein in humans through gene therapy may be able to one day cure people who have lost part or all of their hearing.
Turning off an enzyme switch that is needed to activate tumor growth may be an effective way to combat an aggressive kind of cancer called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Center.
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have identified several potent inhibitors that selectively target FTO, a gene that has been associated with fat mass and obesity in certain people.
Researchers have grown human intestinal tissue from pluripotent stem cells and transplanted the living tissue into mice. These so-called organoids could provide a more accurate model for testing drugs designed to work on the intestines as well as help generate intestinal tissue for new treatments.
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WuXi PharmaTech has struck a deal with the genomics experts at Foundation Medicine, signing on to offer the company's cancer-decoding services to drug developers in its native China.
Denmark-based Novo Nordisk said on Friday that it had received a subpoena from a U.S. Attorney who wants some info about its manufacturing operations at a plant in Kalundborg. But the company said it really has no idea why.