Boosting immunotherapy by targeting cells’ recycling centers

January 30, 2018 A team of researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has discovered an existing drug that does just that.  The drug is cyclosporine, which is typically prescribed to organ transplant patients to prevent rejection. Cyclosporine tips the balance in favor of memory CD8+ T cells by activating the … Read more

New method identifies potential targets in neurological disorders

January 25, 2018 Mutations in the MECP2 gene can cause abnormal expression of the MeCP2 protein.  Instead of attacking the gene mutation, a team led by Laura Lombardi, a postdoctoral researcher at Baylor College of Medicine, tried to indirectly influence the abundance of the protein in nerve cells.  Using a cell culture-based method, the team … Read more

FDA chief Gottlieb backs vaccines — again — to draw firm line against anti-vaccine activists

January 18, 2018 He resorted to Twitter in August 2017 to take a clear stand after press reports revisited President Donald Trump’s plans for a vaccine safety commission, which vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supported early on in the Trump administration. Top FDA officials had met with Kennedy, just not Gottlieb himself.  Lyndsay Meyer, an FDA spokeswoman, … Read more

Biotech deals down by half and could be lowest since 2013: report

January 16, 2018 In a new report, the financial news service found that biotech deals in 2017 “are on pace for almost half the yearly totals of the past two years,” with just $11.5 billion in takeovers made by August 2017, half the total over the 24 months prior.  And Bloomberg adds that global biotech … Read more

FDA provides new tools for the development and proper evaluation of tests for detecting Zika virus infection

January 11, 2018 “At the onset of the Zika virus outbreak, when little was known about the disease or how to diagnose it, the FDA worked quickly with manufacturers to encourage the development of diagnostic tests and ensure they were available using its Emergency Use Authorization authorities,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.  “By providing … Read more

FDA under fire over accelerated approval data demands

January 09, 2018 The study, details of which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at the 22 drugs that won accelerated approvals in 24 indications between 2009 and 2013.  About two-thirds (2/3) of the trials that generated data to support these approvals lacked control arms, reflecting the FDA’s then-emerging willingness … Read more

Repairing broken hearts with injectable patches

January 04, 2018 The patches are made of heart tissues that are grown in a lab.  One of the patches, which they call AngioChip, comes complete with blood vessels and heart cells that beat.  And it is designed to be injected into the heart with a small needle.  The researchers tested their patches in rats … Read more

A vaccine for addiction? Don’t get your hopes up just yet

January 02, 2018 Price, who has been looking for ways for the FDA to fight the opioid crisis, offered some hope for such treatment during a White House press session about the current situation.  “One of the things they’re actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect,” Price said referring … Read more