#medication

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Susceptibility to future drugs

Exploiting the carelessness of cancer cells

Could the ability of cancer cells to quickly alter their genome be used as a weapon against malignant tumours? Researchers at Uppsala University have succeeded in developing a substance that has demonstrated promising results in experiments on both animal models and human cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Computer-aided search for substances

Virtual screening for anti-coronavirus drugs

The University of Basel is part of the global search for a drug to fight the rampant coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers in the Computational Pharmacy group have so far virtually tested almost 700 million substances, targeting a specific site on the virus – with the aim of inhibiting its multiplication. Due to the current emergency, the first results of the tests will be made available to other…

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Pharma for the people

Is it time to nationalise the drug industry?

Critics of the pharmaceutical industry say it is misaligned with public interest. So is it time to nationalise the sector? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ today. Mariana Mazzucato and Henry Lishi Li at the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose believe the state should play a greater role in the sector. They acknowledge that the private sector is crucial to bringing cutting-edge…

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Pilot clinical trial

China to test targeted therapy for COVID-19

A University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher is part of an international team working with a biotechnology company on a pilot clinical trial of a potential new treatment for patients with severe coronavirus infections in China. Dr. Josef Penninger, director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute and Canada 150 Chair in Functional Genetics, is working closely with Vienna-based Apeiron Biologics…

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Surprising side-effects

A new cancer drug (that fights obesity and diabetes, too)

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico Health Services and his team hope to help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, they reported that G-1, a cancer-fighting compound they discovered some years ago, reduces fat in obese mice. Although G-1 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, Prossnitz and his team are…

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Outsmarting the immune system

'Super-human’ red blood cells for precise drug delivery

A team of physicists from McMaster University has developed a process to modify red blood cells so they can be used to distribute drugs throughout the body, which could specifically target infections or treat catastrophic diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. The modified red blood cells are designed to circulate in the body for several weeks at a time, seeking out specific targets including…

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Lab advances against doping

A powerful tool for sports drug testing

Due to the scientific and technical developments in recombinant DNA technology and protein engineering since the early 1980s, therapeutic proteins have emerged as one of the most important classes of new pharmaceuticals. Currently, more than 200 protein and peptide based drugs have gained approval by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many more are under preclinical or clinical…

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Ivermectin licensing in the UK

Why a much-needed scabies medicine is being kept back

A medicine that could control outbreaks of scabies in the UK is unlicensed and only available through specialist importers, researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) have found. In July 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its model list of essential medicines to include oral ivermectin for scabies-related infections. This recommendation follows the 2017 WHO…

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Reduced liver complications

The surprising benefits of anti-hepatitis medicine

A new effective treatment of hepatitis C that was made available to all Danes last year, not only combats the virus, but is also effective against potentially fatal complications such as reduced liver functioning and cirrhosis. This is the result of a new study from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. Hepatitis C is a serious disease, but the biggest threat to someone’s health is…

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Blood thinning 2.0

Developing next generation anticoagulants

A University of Leeds spin-out company has secured £3.14m to develop a next generation drug that aims to prevent blood clots forming, without the risk of bleeding present in currently available drugs. Currently, anticoagulants have a relatively narrow margin between beneficial effects and undesirable bleeding, so new approaches are in demand. These could allow more patients that have a higher…

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FDA launches off-label drug database

Cure ID: App finds new ways of treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the global launch of Cure ID, an internet-based repository that will allow the clinical community to report their experiences treating difficult-to-treat infectious diseases with novel uses of existing FDA-approved drugs through a website, a smartphone or other mobile device. The platform enables the crowdsourcing of medical information from…

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Disarming MRSA

Potent antimicrobial to fight staph infections

Research led by scientists from McMaster University has yielded a potent antimicrobial that works against the toughest infectious disease strains. The find could be the beginning of developing new therapeutics to combat drug-resistant infections. The discovery is important as it is directly related to the development of Staphylococcus aureus diseases, known popularly as staph infections, which…

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Malignant infantile brain tumours

​Epilepsy drug inhibits brain tumour development

Medication prescribed for a certain type of epilepsy may offer a new method for treating malignant infantile brain tumours. A specific mTOR inhibitor has the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier to both reach and attack the tumour at source. This has been demonstrated by researchers from Uppsala University, in collaboration with US and UK colleagues, whose research has now been published in…

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Nanoswarm

Tiny transporters deliver treatment to stroke patients

Swarms of nanoparticles which are 15,000 times smaller than a pinhead may be able to deliver vital drugs to the brain, offering new hope to patients in the early stages of a stroke. The research, carried out at The University of Manchester, shows that tiny vesicles called liposomes, just 100 nanometres in diameter can translocate through the damaged blood brain barrier following stroke. And that…

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Inhalation visualised

New imaging tech gives insights into pulmonary drug delivery

Inhalation therapy is widely used for the treatment of lung diseases. Targeting of drugs to the site of disease is a major goal to improve drug efficacy and minimize side effects. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich have now shown that combined insight from various imaging methods allows for real-time monitoring of the dynamic process of drug…

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Meta-analysis

Benefit and risk: drug-coated balloon angioplasty

Scientists of Jena University Hospital, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate benefit and risk of paclitaxel-coated balloon angioplasty compared to conventional balloon angioplasty as therapy of intermittent claudication. The study confirms an increased all-cause mortality, which has formerly been stated, and found a broad heterogeneity in the effectivity of the procedure depending on…

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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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Presented at SAC cardiology congress

App reminds heart patients to take their pills

Heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions, according to a study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2019) in Buenos Aires. ‘We hypothesised that the app would increase adherence by 30%, but the impact was even greater,’ said study author Dr Cristian M. Garmendia, of the…

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Lumacaftor-ivacaftor

Cystic fibrosis patients benefit from drug combination, but...

In adolescent and adult patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) taking lumacaftor-ivacaftor (Orkambi), the combination drug appears to improve lung function and body weight and reduce the need for intravenous antibiotic treatment, according to a French study published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. However, the treatment also…

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Cognitive chemical manufacturing

‘Lab-bot’ could revolutionise hunt for cancer drugs

A robot-controlled laboratory where decisions are made by artificial intelligence will change the way new drugs are discovered, says a leading researcher. The engineer leading a project to develop a prototype "lab-bot" says it will reduce the time it takes to identify and synthesise molecules for new medicines – a process that can take years as scientists refine the shape and property…

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Statins study

How effective is cholesterol medication? New study sheds light

A study by a team of Victoria University of Wellington scientists spotlights the role of gene networks in how people respond to one of the world’s most prescribed medications. The research team investigated the genetic network response to cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, a medication prescribed to about 30 million people worldwide. The researchers say it is a significant step towards…

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Tiny biomaterials

On the way to safer nanomedicine

Tiny particles that can fight cancer or that can easily pass through any interface within our body are a great promise for medicine. But there is little knowledge thus far about what exactly will happen to nanoparticles within our tissues and whether or not they can cause disease by themselves. Within an international research consortium, Empa scientists have now developed guidelines that should…

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Targeted treatment

New nanomedi­cine for efficient cancer chemo­ther­apy

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) have developed a new anti-cancer nanomedicine for targeted cancer chemotherapy. This new nano-tool provides a new approach to use cell-based nanomedicines for efficient cancer chemotherapy. Exosomes contain various molecular…

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Hypothyroidism

Underactive thyroid: Study validates treatment guidelines

A study led by the University of Birmingham provides strong support for current recommendations on treating patients with an underactive thyroid and validates latest UK and US guidelines, say researchers. The retrospective cohort study, published in The BMJ, analysed anonymous GP records of over 162,000 patients who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism – a highly prevalent condition more…

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Rare lung disease

FDA approval for scleroderma treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ofev (nintedanib) capsules to slow the rate of decline in pulmonary function in adults with interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis or scleroderma, called SSc-ILD. It is the first FDA-approved treatment for this rare lung condition. “Patients suffering from scleroderma need effective therapies, and the FDA supports the efforts…

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