March 23, 2007 |
Amgen Inc. said Thursday that it discontinued a key clinical trial of colon cancer treatment Vectibix after discovering that the drug reduced chances of survival. Amgen said an interim look at the trial found that colon cancer patients treated only with chemotherapy and Avastin, a biologic cancer drug sold by Genentech Inc., were more likely to live than patients who also received Vectibix.
February 3, 2007 |
The fight to stop the spread of AIDS suffered a serious setback this week when researchers shuttered two high-profile trials of one of the most promising anti-AIDS compounds. Researchers had hoped that the so-called microbicide, a topical gel designed to block the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus during sexual intercourse, would be particularly effective in stemming the epidemic of AIDS in Africa and Asia.
January 12, 2007 |
Pharmaceutical companies have agreed to pay millions in new fees to help federal health officials step up the review of drug commercials before they are aired on television, the industry and government said Thursday. Under the five-year plan, drug makers will pay the Food and Drug Administration a one-time fee plus additional charges for each commercial submitted. The fees, which will bring in about $6.
December 13, 2006 |
Merck & Co. expects to seek U.S. approval in 2007 for drugs to treat HIV, cholesterol and insomnia, and it aims to have four more products in late-stage trials by midyear, the company said Tuesday. The products due to be in late-stage trials are MK-524B, which raises "good" HDL cholesterol; weight-loss drug MK-364, which works through the same mechanism as Sanofi-Aventis' Acomplia; MK-974 for migraine headaches; and MK-822, which treats osteoporosis by blocking a protein called Cathepsin K.
December 6, 2006 |
The first major head-to-head study comparing the newer diabetes drug Avandia with the older medicines metformin and glyburide shows that Avandia provides better glucose control than metformin, but carries more serious side effects and a higher cost, researchers said Monday. "Metformin is still the first drug of choice" for newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetics, said Dr. Steven E. Kahn of the University of Washington and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, who led the study.
December 4, 2006 |
Pfizer Inc., the world's largest pharmaceutical company, suffered a severe blow this weekend when it terminated clinical trials of a touted cholesterol drug after a high number of patient deaths. The decision to stop all clinical trials of torcetrapib also cast doubt on what medical experts had hoped would be a great advance in the treatment of heart disease. "I am very disappointed," said Dr.
December 3, 2006 |
Pfizer Inc. said it had cut off all clinical trials and development for a cholesterol drug because of an unexpected number of deaths and cardiovascular problems in patients who used it. The drug maker said an independent board monitoring a study for torcetrapib, a drug that raises good cholesterol, recommended that the work end. Pfizer is asking clinical investigators conducting trials to warn patients to stop taking the drug.
October 30, 2006 |
JUST for the record, vampire bats don't suck. They lap. Under the cover of darkness, the mouse-sized Desmodus rotundus flies out from rocky caves to find a sleeping horse or cow. Its razor-sharp incisors carve out a tidy crater of flesh, no bigger than a Halloween M&M, usually without waking its prey. Then, perched over the welling wound, the vampire bat laps up about a tablespoon of blood -- its sole source of nourishment -- with a delicate, bright-pink tongue.
October 12, 2006 |
Drugs widely prescribed to control agitation, aggression, hallucinations or delusions in Alzheimer's patients provided few, if any, benefits and carried severe side effects, according to a large study released Wednesday. The findings challenged conventional wisdom about the medications and painted a grim picture of the state of Alzheimer's treatment. "We need a new generation of drugs for these very serious behaviors," said Dr. Thomas R.
September 23, 2006 |
Research in mice suggests that a commonly used vitamin called nicotinamide can alleviate the symptoms of the most severe form of multiple sclerosis by protecting nerve fibers from damage. Currently, there is no effective treatment for this phase of the disease, called chronic progressive MS. The researchers at Children's Hospital Boston hope to begin trials in humans soon, but they cautioned that the doses used in the mice were substantially higher than those typically used in humans.