Pharmacology

An anti-cocaine vaccine has been successfully tested in primates, bringing it a step closer to human clinical trials.


Since marijuana is fast becoming legal again in America, it seems strange to be calling cigarettes a 'gateway' to it, but anti-smoking campaigns are almost as large a business as tobacco and so a paper at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., today supports the notion that cigarettes are a gateway to marijuana. 

And, like everyone who picks a position and then wants data to support it, they used surveys of students. They found that students who smoked marijuana smoked more cigarettes than those who just smoked cigarettes. Cigarettes are so demonized a successful public relations campaign against drugs might be that it leads to more smoking. That will likely work far better than a fried egg in a television commercial.


Prenoxad Injection is a pre-filled syringe containing 1mg/ml naloxone hydrochloride solution for injection. Martindale Pharma announced the world's first licensed emergency treatment for acute opioid related overdose for use at home or other non-medical settings. 

There are more than 1,000 fatal opioid related overdoses just in the UK each year, with a significant proportion of these being witnessed by other people who use drugs, family members and loved ones.


In the modern regulatory environment, start-ups and smaller companies tend to be less well-known. The costs are increasingly high and its hard to get venture capital funding without  knowing how long it can take to clear government hurdles so if things look promising, companies are acquired instead. 

But some are sticking it out and they are trying to gain momentum as they advance their technologies and produce significant clinical data on the road to eventual commercialization of their technologies. 


A first-ever vaccine for gut bacteria common in autistic children may also help control some autism symptoms, according to a new paper in Vaccine.

Autism diagnoses have increased almost sixfold over the past 20 years, and it is unclear why. Some point to environmental factors while others have focused on the human gut. Some researchers believe toxins and/or metabolites produced by gut bacteria, including C. bolteae, may be associated with symptoms and severity of autism, especially regressive autism.


Currently, 1.5 billion people worldwide report chronic pain of varying degrees. Among all types of chronic pain, neuropathic pain stands out, with approximately 3-4.5% of the global population affected, and incidence rate increasing in line with increased age of the population. 

According to a recent estimate, the global pain management market is to reach US$60 Billion by 2015.[1]

Convergence Pharmaceuticals Limited has started a Phase II proof of concept study with CNV2197944 in pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Convergence is conducting the development of CNV2197944 on behalf of Calchan Ltd.

Results from "Aviator," AbbVie's phase IIb clinical trial of its investigational direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, continue to demonstrate high sustained viral response (SVR) rates against genotype 1 HCV, across patient types.

Data show greater than 90 percent SVR were achieved in patients new to treatment and in patients who had previously failed treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (null responders).

In America, a person who cuts your hair for $8 has to be licensed and obey minimum safety standards, but dietary supplements, which accounted for more than half the Class 1 drugs recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2004-12 (meaning they contained substances that could cause serious health problems or even death) are stuffed full of  unapproved medicinal ingredients, including steroids,  a new study from St. Michael's Hospital has found.

The majority of those recalled supplements were bodybuilding, weight loss or sexual enhancement products, said the study's lead author, Dr. Ziv Harel, and almost one-quarter of the substances are manufactured outside of the United States, he said in the paper.


Research has established that caffeine interferes with processes in cancer cells that control DNA repair, a finding that has generated interest in using the stimulant as a chemotherapy treatment, but given the toxic nature of caffeine at high doses, researchers from the University of Alberta have instead taken advantage of caffeine's lethal effects on cancer cells identify genes and pathways responsible for DNA repair.

The research team found that fruit flies with a mutant gene called melanoma antigen gene, or MAGE, appeared normal when fed a regular diet but died when fed food supplemented with caffeine. On closer inspection, they found the mutant flies' cells were super-sensitive to caffeine, with the drug triggering "cell suicide" - apoptosis. 


One group writing in the European Heart Journal found that digoxin increases mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Another group just found that it did not and published in the same journal.

They used the same data.