Sunday, December 23, 2007

Advancing on MS: New drugs and hopes for a vaccine

Advancing on MS: New drugs and hopes for a vaccine
Belleville News Democrat - IL, USA
Thirty years ago, a gene variant was linked to MS in about half of patients. The next major genetic advance didn't come until four months ago, ...
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Center for Clinical and Translational Science funds eight new ...
The Rockefeller University Newswire - New York,NY,USA
Jan Lunemann, postdoctoral fellow in Christian Münz’s Laboratory of Viral Immunobiology, to test the hypothesis that a cause of multiple sclerosis is an ...
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Blogger News Network - USA
... for stem cell research in 2002, research that could lead to effective treatments for his wife Anne’s multiple sclerosis, to outright opposition in 2005. ...
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Taking a punt on C&C and Kingspan
Irish Independent - Dublin,Ireland
Elan's progress will depend on sales of Tysabri for the treatment of MS now that it is back on the market. It's risky but I think it's worth a punt.
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Advancing on MS: New drugs and hopes for a vaccine
The San Luis Obispo Tribune Fri, 21 Dec 2007 10:45 AM PST
Barely 15 years ago, doctors could do nothing to change the course of multiple sclerosis, the disabling neurological disease that strikes in the prime of adulthood. Today, six drugs are approved to decrease the periodic immune attacks that underlie MS, another six are in final human testing, and dozens more are in development. Researchers have zeroed in on genetic and environmental risk factors; ...

Bayer HealthCare Awards Grant to Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
About Multiple Sclerosis MS is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms of MS vary from person to person and can be ...
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Bayer HealthCare Awards Grant to Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
Charitable donation will help fund support programs for people living with

WAYNE, N.J., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare today announced a
charitable gift of $85,000 to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) to
fund programs that provide aid and support for those living with multiple
sclerosis (MS). The donation, made by the Bayer Foundation, is one of many
each year that funds the programs of advocacy organizations that serve the
needs of people affected by conditions that Bayer HealthCare products
The MSF offers a variety of support services to improve the quality of
life for people with MS by enhancing comfort, safety and self-sufficiency.
The donation from the Bayer Foundation will help fund the following MSF
-- Patient Assistance Program - Provide one-time assistance to individuals
with MS who are struggling financially and do not have access to or
qualify for community, state, and national support agencies.
-- Assistive Technology (AT) Program - Educates individuals with MS about
available AT options that can help them function more independently in
daily activities (including computers, mobility devices and vision
aids), and assists in acquiring them.
-- Home Care Grants - Serves as a liaison between people with MS and local
resources to meet their specific caregiving needs, such as personal
hygiene services, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and
transportation to and from appointments.
-- Brighter Tomorrow Grants - Provides goods or services to improve
quality of life, such as eyeglasses, televisions, therapeutic
equipment, mobility devices, and various home modifications.
-- Cooling Program - Because heat aggravates MS symptoms, keeping the body
cool can help people with MS cope with warm weather. This program
offers body cooling items free of charge, including vests, neckties,
wristbands, and hats.
"Patient education and care are the cornerstones of our organization,
and we are grateful for Bayer HealthCare's generosity," said Alan Segaloff,
Executive Director, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. "This charitable
contribution will help us continue to motivate, educate and empower
individuals with MS and their loved ones."

MS is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system that
causes irreparable nerve damage. There are at least 400,000 Americans with
MS, and every week about 200 new people are diagnosed with the condition.
"We are proud to support and work with patient service groups, such as
the MSF, which work tirelessly to improve the lives of people with MS,"
said Ludger Heeck, Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager, Specialized
Therapeutics, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. "This donation reflects our
ongoing commitment to supporting those who are affected by the condition."
The Bayer Foundation is an endowed 501(c)(3) entity and the primary
source for Bayer HealthCare's philanthropic giving throughout the United
States. It supports programs that enhance the quality of life, provide
unique and enriching opportunities that connect diverse groups and ensure
preparedness for tomorrow's leaders.
About Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system.
Symptoms of MS vary from person to person and can be unpredictable. They
may include: fatigue or tiredness, visual dysfunction in one or both eyes,
weakness in one or more extremities, numbness and tingling in the face,
arms, legs and trunk of the body, spasticity (muscle stiffness), dizziness,
slurred speech and bladder dysfunction.
About the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) is a publicly funded 501(c)(3)
organization that was established in 1986. Headquartered in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, the MSF is a predominantly service-based organization
that strives to ensure the best quality of life for those coping with MS by
providing comprehensive support and educational programs. The MSF supports
research into the cause and cure of MS, as well as investigations of
various medical and complementary treatment options.
About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals
unit of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a division of Bayer AG. One of the world's
leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products
industry, Bayer HealthCare combines the global activities of the Animal
Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. In the
U.S., Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals comprises the following business
units: Women's Healthcare, Diagnostic Imaging, Specialized Therapeutics,
Hematology/Cardiology and Oncology. The company's aim is to discover and
manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by
diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current
assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material
differences between the actual future results, financial situation,
development or performance of the company and the estimates given here.
These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the
Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (including Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability
whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to
future events or developments.
SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
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It's official: you can't beat a computer at checkers. Here's what we can do…

Stephen Cauchi
December 23, 2007
PREVIOUS winners have included the WMAP probe's mapping of the infant universe and the discovery that there was once water on Mars. But in 2007, the journal Science — which, alongside Nature, is the most prestigious in its field — has awarded breakthrough of the year to advances in understanding the human genome.
In the past year, researchers have linked variations in more than 50 genes to type 1 and 2 diabetes, Crohn's disease, heart disease, breast cancer, restless leg syndrome, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and colorectal cancer.
The link between genes and disease has fuelled the growth of businesses. Depending on how much you're willing to pay — from $2000 to more than $1 million — you can get anything from a quick genome scan to a complete sequencing.
Of course, coupled with the advances in genetics are concerns about ethics. Should an insurance company refuse coverage to a person with a known genetic risk? And what are the costs to a person's peace of mind if they find out they have a predisposition to an incurable disease, even if the risk is slight?
Stem cells from skin cells was Science's "runner-up" discovery. Stem cells have been hailed as the new revolution in medicine, the potential cure for everything from diabetes to cancer. The most pluripotent cells, able to morph into any form of tissue, are embryonic stem cells. But these involve growing and destroying a human embryo, presenting serious ethical issues.
Last month, two groups of researchers — one Japanese, one American — transformed ordinary human skin cells into cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells. "This work represents a tremendous scientific milestone — the biological equivalent of the Wright brothers' first airplane," said Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology, a Massachusetts company in the same field. "It's not practical to use right now, but it might be in a few years. This is truly the Holy Grail — to be able to take a few cells from a patient, say a cheek swab or a few skin cells, and turn them into stem cells in the laboratory."
The other eight discoveries, in no particular order, are:…


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