drug discovery

The cancer drug business is quite a profitable one. A “high risk, high reward” proposition has been the narrative for those in research and development (R&D). Successes, marketing, patent protection and discovery cost money. Failures cost money. Not pursuing a different path with a failure or even a success costs money. As does lost revenue while performing R&D. 

Can an accurate dollar value even be placed on what it takes from idea conception through utilization to develop a new drug? Due to the opaque nature of the industry’s disclosures, a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine sought to quantify a standard amount by focusing on new cancer drugs and analyzing the...

The mcr-1 plasmid-borne colistin resistance gene has been found primarily in Escherichia coli, pictured. REUTERS/Courtesy CDC The mcr-1 plasmid-borne colistin resistance gene has been found primarily in Escherichia coli, pictured. REUTERS/Courtesy CDC

We heard last week what we've been dreading, but anticipating – the emergence of polymyxin resistance for the first time in the United States. Polymyxins are a class of antibiotics that include the drugs colistin and polymyxin B. Although these...

liver disease via shutterstock liver disease via shutterstock

Liver cirrhosis is the late final stage of chronic liver disease and it has devastating consequences. Cirrhosis is accountable for 49,500 deaths annually, and in 2010 it was the eighth leading cause of death. What's more, cirrhosis is irreversible, and once...

nicotine patch via shutterstock nicotine patch via shutterstock

Very cool things are being discovered at the University of California, Santa Barbara and not just because it s my alma mater. Researchers there have been able to develop a new, safe and effective method for delivering a common blood pressure medication through the skin without causing any skin toxicity which previously was a major roadblock for this drug delivery method.

A report published in the journal ...

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.32.28 PMThere is an op-ed in today s New York Times written by former Obama administration health guru Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, which supposedly addresses the dire need for new antibiotics which is both wrong and misleading. Not only is the piece deeply flawed, but Emanuel s proposed solution to address lack of new antibiotics is not only infeasible as stated, but is already being implemented in a different form.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom says, The introduction is...

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.46.58 PMNormally, this wouldn t even make the news. A new antibiotic approved. Not only that, but it belongs to a class of antibiotics (called cephalosporins) from the class of 1960s, which is hardly novel. There are about 60 cephalosporins that have been approved since 1964, when cephalothin was launched by Lilly.

In today's just because department, you might find it interesting to know how cephalosporins were discovered in the first place: from a sewer in Sardinia in 1948, proving that 1) You never know what you will find and where; 2) Be thankful for your job...

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.15.53 PMBy any measure, malaria is one of the most ruthless threats to global human health. It has been estimated that the parasite a protozoan called Plasmodium kills one child per minute in Africa alone. While it used to take the lives of over one-million people each year, mostly sub-Saharan African infants and children, the number has been reduced substantially thanks to modern public-health efforts, to approximately 650,000. But this number is still unacceptable, and twenty-times that number are chronically ill from malaria.

The infection can be treated or prevented,...

Dr. Josh Bloom on Science 2.0, November 11, 2014

Named after the location of first documented outbreak (Norwalk Ohio in 1968) norovirus, aka the "Stomach Flu," "Winter Vomiting Bug," or the "Cruise Ship Virus" is an evil little demon that spares no one. There are few, if any of us, who haven't experienced its misery; it infects 21 million people annually in the...[Read more].

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 2.09.57 PMIn the world of drug research, the language can be a little unusual. For example, it is fair to say that easier disease targets, such as HIV, hepatitis C, ulcers and high blood pressure, and certain cancers, have seen advances that have resulted in game changing therapies for those diseases.

On the other hand, not all diseases are so cooperative. Some of these include solid tumor cancers, Parkinson s and (especially) Alzheimer s Disease, and certain autoimmune disorders.

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