Wednesday, May 28, 2008

EXTAVIA Approved In European Union For Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis, First In Planned Portfolio Of Therapies From Novartis

EXTAVIA Approved In European Union For Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis, First In Planned Portfolio Of Therapies From Novartis
The European Commission has approved Extavia® (interferon beta-1b) for the treatment of early and relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) - the first in a new portfolio of medicines from Novartis that is planned to include both established treatments and innovative therapies for patients with MS.


Montel Show Says Goodbye
Associated Content - Denver,CO,USA
In 1999, Williams was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and has since fought to help find a cure by using his celebrity status to get the information out ...
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Novartis MS Drug, Rival to Bayer's, Wins EU Approval (Update2)
Bloomberg - USA
Fingolimod, which could be one of the first oral treatments for the disease on the market, is one of the products that may help Novartis weather the loss of ...
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New Cheaper Method For Mapping Disease Genes
Scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have developed a new DNA-sequencing method that is much cheaper than those currently in use in laboratories. They hope that this new method will make it possible to map disease genes in large patient groups, which in turn can mean quicker breakthroughs for new treatments for a wide variety of diseases.

Guideline: Vertigo Can Be Treated Easily And Quickly
A new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology found that the best treatment for vertigo is the easiest and quickest one. The guideline on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), an inner ear disorder that is a common cause of dizziness, is published in the May 27, 2008, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


TYSABRI

Tysabri faces uphill battle in treating Crohn's
Irish Independent - Dublin,Ireland
By Bill Berkrot TYSABRI will have to make a significant impact on the treatment of Crohn's disease if Elan and Biogen are to hit their stated goal of 100000 ...
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Elan "add"
newratings.com - Westerburg,Germany
... if AAB-001 exhibits better efficacy than all the existing Alzheimer’s drugs in the market and if Tysabri moves towards realizing its full potential. ...
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PDL for Sale, Cheap!
Motley Fool - USA
... and the relaunch of Biogen Idec's (Nasdaq: BIIB) and Elan's (NYSE: ELN) Tysabri is going quite well. New compounds like UCB's Crohn's disease treatment ...
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Elan may spin off contract manufacturing arm
OutSourcing-Pharma.com - London,UK
Tysabri was withdrawn from the market three months after its approval in 2004 after reports of three trial volunteers developing progressive multifocal ...
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Ask the Expert - Interrogez un spécialiste

MS Answers

Treatment

Dr. Schapiro

Clinical Professor of Neurology
View BIO

Q :
I have been taking Rebif for a number of years. I need to take a blood test every six months. What exactly does the blood test analyses?
A :
All of the interferons have the potential to react in the body in ways that are not intended. We may call those reactions "side-effects" but sometimes they are silent side-effects in that we do not feel them. They are metabolized or disposed of in the liver. If they cause an over-reaction in the liver, damage to the liver may occur. We can measure whether liver damage is happening by measuring the enzymes produce by a damaged liver. We expect some elevation of the enzymes when taking interferon but if it is more than expected, a dose adjustment of the interferon is necessary. Other medications may influence the liver as well and may work in conjunction with the interferon to cause an issue. We also measure the blood count and distribution of blood cells to insure that the interferon is not producing too great an immune effect which could result in increased likelihood of infection. That is why we test these about every 6 months--trying to get ahead of any potential problem.
5/28/2008 7:32:20 AM
More answers from Dr. Randall T. Schapiro
More answers in the category: Treatment


DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that this information does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MS Society of Canada, and is not intended as medical advice. For specific advice and opinion, always consult a physician.
© 2008 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada | www.mssociety.ca

http://www.msanswers.ca/QuestionView.aspx?L=2&QID=1626


Ask the Expert - Interrogez un spécialiste

MS Answers

Treatment

Dr. Tremlett

Assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Medicine, Division of Neurology
View BIO

Q :
I have been taking Avonex for the past two years and have responded well to the treatment. My only concern has been related to an increased amount of hair loss. In your opinion, could this be associated with the use of this medication?
A :
Yes, beta-interferon has been associated with hair loss. For instance in the Avonex® clinical trials, hair-loss affected twice as many patients receiving Avonex than those receiving placebo (ie a ‘dummy’ pill). Although the proportion of patients affected was relatively small, and people taking placebo did experience some hair-loss: 2% of people taking placebo reported hair-loss compared to 4% of those taking Avonex®.
However, there are many other causes of hair loss! Examples range from a deficiency in iron or zinc to hypothyroidism as well as many other drugs. I suggest you discuss this issue with your physician who will be familiar with your clinical history and will be able to ascertain whether there are other causes for your hair loss.
5/28/2008 7:30:17 AM
More answers from Dr. Helen Tremlett
More answers in the category: Treatment


DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that this information does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MS Society of Canada, and is not intended as medical advice. For specific advice and opinion, always consult a physician.
© 2008 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada | www.mssociety.ca

http://www.msanswers.ca/QuestionView.aspx?L=2&QID=1474


vitamin D

Expert: Vitamin D dilemma solved by diet
United Press International - USA
DALLAS, May 26 (UPI) -- Studies suggest vitamin D may help prevent cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, but some people worry about sun exposure, ...
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Vitamin D deficiency linked to back pain
ABC7Chicago.com - IL, USA
Older women who are not getting enough Vitamin D could be at risk for suffering back pain. A new study examined nearly 1000 people ages 65 and older. ...
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Low vitamin D tied to back pain in older women
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older women who aren't getting enough vitamin D appear to be at risk for suffering from back pain, new research shows. ...
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Vitamin D use linked to lower mortality in kidney patients
Tehran Times - Iran
Taking activated vitamin D may cut the risk of death for people with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease by about one quarter, a new study suggests. ...
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Too little sun is nearly as bad as too much
Modesto Bee - Modesto,CA,USA
While no one is suggesting we return to the days of rubbing Crisco on our bodies, many doctors now insist we need more of the sunshine vitamin -- vitamin D. ...
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Vitamin D: Good for More than Bones
By Tim(Tim)
We know that vitamin D helps the bones by preventing osteoporosis and fractures, but did you know that vitamin D also plays an important role in the prevention of many other diseases, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases ...
The Black Kettle - http://theblackkettle.blogspot.com/

Osteoporosis--Don't Forget Vitamin K2
By Dr. Neustadt(Dr. Neustadt)
While calcium and vitamin D are important, they aren't the whole story. In fact, clinical trials mostly conclude that these two nutrients decrease the rate of bone loss, but don't necessarily decrease the risk of fracture. ...
The NBI Supplement - http://www.nbihealth.com/blog/

Dr. Briffa: Does vitamin D help protect against type 1 diabetes?
By eileen
What alerted me this week to the potential link between vitamin D and type 1 diabetes was a study published on-line in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. In this study, researchers pooled together (in the form of what is known as a ...
tanTALK - http://tantalk.com


Stem Cell Research News

Bone Repair Using Patient's Stem Cells Comes Closer
Hitherto it has been difficult to induce adult human stem cells to produce bone, e.g. in order to repair bone tissue. Researchers at the University of Twente have shown that if the enzyme PKA is previously activated in the stem cells in the lab, following implantation this results in substantial bone formation.

Stem cell enhancers

The Ultimate Cure
Conde Nast Portfolio - New York,NY,USA
In previous studies with mice, the stem cells took hold and produced the missing enzyme. “These trials are just the beginning for stem-cell therapies in the ...
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Preclinical Data Demonstrate Ability To Regenerate An Entire Bladder With Tengion Neo-Bladder Replacement(TM)
Tengion, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of neo-organs and neo-vessels, presented preclinical efficacy data for its Tengion Neo-Bladder Replacement™ at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Orlando, Florida on May 18, 2008.


McMaster Daily News

McMaster University

Hendrik Poinar, Christopher Wynder and Sheila Singh are McMaster's newest Canada Research Chairs. File photos.

Hendrik Poinar, Christopher Wynder and Sheila Singh are McMaster's newest Canada Research Chairs. File photos.

Three more Canada Research Chairs for McMaster

by Danelle D'Alvise, Research Communications
December 17, 2007

McMaster's newly minted Canada Research Chairs are three young researchers who weren't even born when their respective fields were first explored by pioneering scientists during the 1960s.

Today, their areas of research are the subject of headlines and the focus of scientists the world over -- a reflection of the potential and promise of the fields of paleogenetics and human stem cell biology.

Hendrik Poinar, Sheila Singh and Christopher Wynder share the same passion for unlocking the genetic mysteries of disease, but each views this research challenge through significantly different lenses.

Hendrik Poinar sees through the lens of a molecular evolutionary geneticist, using ancient DNA to answer questions about evolution and environments from samples that can be several million years old.

An associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Poinar is now a Canada Research Chair in Paleogenetics. The science of paleogenetics -- a term first coined by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling in 1963 -- applies genetics to paleontology.

Poinar has established a world-class molecular anthropology lab that is devising novel techniques to extract information from ancient DNA. His work sequencing the genome of the woolly mammoth represents just one aspect of the research he does with his team in the McMaster Ancient DNA Centre.

Poinar is also focused on determining the timing and origin of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from some of the oldest samples of archival HIV collected between 1959 and 1980. In addition, Poinar's research program aims to better understand the evolution of pandemic infections to help track the spread of future infectious diseases and aid in developing the appropriate vaccines.

While Poinar's research involves using DNA to unlock the mysteries of the past and better understand how to combat infectious diseases of the future, Christopher Wynder and Sheila Singh seek to unlock the mystery of the stem cells at the root of cancer -- a disease that is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

Canadian scientists first proved the existence of stem cells in 1961 and since then, significant research in the field has identified the importance of human embryonic stem cells and their role in producing the starting material for every organ and tissue in our body.

Stem cells have the ability to continuously reproduce themselves and one of the challenges for Wynder and Singh -- both scientists in the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute (SCCRI) -- is to determine why some stem cells multiply normally while others give rise to cancer.

As Canada Research Chair in Epigenetic Control of Stem Cells, Wynder's research involves determining the interplay of different factors within stem cells that affect the decision on whether to multiply. Knowing how a stem cell first mutates into a cancerous cell may lead to the ability to better assess what factors lead to the development of cancerous tumours.

Wynder, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, will study the protein known as histone demethylases to determine what role it plays in telling a stem cell to multiply or differentiate.

Sheila Singh's Canada Research Chair in Human Cancer Stem Cell Biology provides the pediatric neurosurgeon further opportunity to combine her work as a surgeon with her work as a research scientist to discover more about the formation of brain tumours -- the leading cause of cancer mortality in children.

Singh, an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, neurosurgery division, has discovered an abnormal stem cell -- the brain tumour initiating cell (BTIC) -- that may drive the formation of brain tumours. These BTICs are rare and represent only a small fraction of the whole tumour, but these cells alone may be entirely responsible for the continued growth of the tumour.

By isolating this rare tumour stem cell and exploring the concept that not every cell in a brain tumour is capable of fueling a tumour's growth, Singh and her team will be on the leading edge of the research that will aid in predicting the patient's survival rate. Singh's work will also lead to the development of therapies to target the cells that initiate the brain tumour.

Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, research and international affairs, notes that it is particularly satisfying to have the opportunity to offer Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs to each of these three researchers.

"Tier 2 Chairs are offered to 'exceptional emerging researchers' and certainly, it's clear that all three have established themselves as a key force in their respective research field, poised for even greater success," says Elbestawi. "McMaster recognized the promise of Hendrik Poinar and was fortunate to recruit him in 2003 and now, keep him here to continue his landmark research. Our world-class Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute and the Chairs program drew Christopher Wynder and Sheila Singh to further advance the Institute's pioneering science. We're going to be seeing great things from these three -- our University is fortunate to have these 'bright lights' on board."

There are two types of Canada Research Chairs:

Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years.

The following researchers had their Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs renewed:

  • David Andrews Canada Research Chair in Membrane Biogenesis
  • Walter Craig Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Analysis and its Applications
  • Adam Hitchcock , Canadian Light Source - Canada Research Chair for Materials Analysis
  • Geoffrey R. Norman, Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Dimensions of Clinical Expertise
  • Peter L. Rosenbaum, Canada Research Chair in Childhood Disability Research, Dissemination and Mentoring
  • Christopher M. Wood, Canada Research Chair in Environment and Health

    "As demonstrated in Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, the Government of Canada is committed to improving Canada's international reputation for research excellence," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program. "By investing in the Canada Research Chairs Program, we are helping universities recruit and retain the most brilliant and promising researchers, and contributing to enable these institutions to become leaders in the fields of advanced science and technology."

  • http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/story.cfm?id=5115

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