Thursday, July 24, 2008

New oral drug curbs MS disease activity - I have primary progressive MS. Is there any hope for my type of MS in the near future?

New oral drug curbs MS disease activity
Medicexchange - London,UK
In people with multiple sclerosis, or MS, treatment with a new immune-modulating drug called laquinimod can significantly reduce disease activity seen on ...
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Genzyme Reports Strong Second-Quarter Growth
MSN Money - USA
Genzyme continued to enroll patients in two ongoing Phase 3 trials of alemtuzumab for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Final, three-year efficacy and ...
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Yesterday's trading: BTG boosted by new cancer pill
This is Money - UK
Campath, its potential treatment for multiple sclerosis and licensed to Genzyme Corporation, commenced phase III trials earlier this year, while TRX4, ...
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Market Report -- In Play (WIRES)
MSN Money - USA
On The Wires Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA) announces it has completed an internal assessment of data from its Phase I/II two year extension study with Tovaxin ...
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Style calendar
Boston Herald - United States
... followed by a three-course meal at the new South End hot spot alongside a footwear auction to benefit Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis. ...
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Genzyme Pursues Multiple Sclerosis Market, Biogen Reports Progress ...
Xconomy - Cambridge,MA,USA
―Speaking of Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drugs, the company and its partner, Ireland’s Elan, reported that their MS drug Tysabri is being taken by more than ...
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Elan success with Tysabri treatment.
Midlands 103 - Offaly,Ireland
The company also said that in the two years since Tysabri was reintroduced in the US there have been no confirmed cases of progressive fatal brain infection ...
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Biogen-Idec profits soar as MS patients flock to drug
Irish Independent - Dublin,Ireland
By John Mulligan Biogen-Idec, the US firm that co-developed the multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri with Irish drug company Elan, said it generated ...
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Biogen shoots for $4B in revenues as sales climb
Boston Herald - United States
The results also helped to allay Wall Street’s continued concerns that sales might slow for Biogen’s MS drug Avonex as its other treatment Tysabri gains ...
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Investor's Business Daily (subscription) - USA
Biogen Idec (BIIB) was helped by a surge in sales of its multiple sclerosis drugs Tysabri and Avonex, as well as gains with its non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and ...
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2008年7月22日星期二19:52 BJT
路透中国 - 北京市,China
Global sales of the closely-watched multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, which Biogen co-markets with Irish drugmaker Elan Corp (ELN.I: 行情), nearly tripled to ...
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Health Winners & Losers: Biogen - USA
Sales of Rituxan and Tysabri beat analyst estimates. And Biogen, for the second time this year, upped its 2008 guidance, now looking for adjusted EPS at or ...
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Biogen Beats Estimates, Raises Guidance - USA
The biotech company also raised full-year guidance for the second time in this year and allayed fears about new cases of a fatal brain infection in Tysabri ...
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Biogen profit up 11 pct, Tysabri shines
Reuters - USA
Global sales of Tysabri, which Biogen co-markets with Irish drugmaker Elan Corp (ELN.I: Quote, Profile, Research), nearly tripled to $200 million, ...
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Schaeffer's Daily Market Blog
Schaeffers Research - Cincinnati,OH,USA
... news from Biogen (BIIB), which posted strong second-quarter earnings, lifted by overseas sales of its multiple sclerosis drugs Avonex and Tysabri. ...
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Biogen IDEC, Inc. Q2 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
Seeking Alpha - New York,NY,USA
Additionally, since the last call, TYSABRI was added to the VA formulary for use by neurologists and other prescribers who treat multiple sclerosis. ...
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Daily Living with MS

Dr. Marrie

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba
View BIO

Q :
Is there any study that was done on the impact of menopause on MS? More specifically, does it slow down, accelerate or has no effect on the progression of MS?
A :
Several studies investigated the effect of sex hormones on multiple sclerosis. Only a handful looked at the effect of menopause on MS. Forty to fifty percent of women reported worsening symptoms during menopause. There is no definitive evidence about the effect of menopause on the progression of MS.
7/24/2008 5:34:48 AM
More answers from Dr. Ruth Anne Marrie
More answers in the category: Daily Living with MS

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 |



Dr. Schapiro

Clinical Professor of Neurology
View BIO

Q :

I have primary progressive MS. Is there any hope for my type of MS in the near future?

A :
We separated the various types of MS into categories for purposes of research and then they took on a life of their own. So many doctors and patients act like they are actually different diseases and we really do not have the evidence to say that they are all that different except for the course they run. Obviously the more progressive a disease process is the less likely it will respond to therapies that are designed for early use (before damage has occurred). Thus there is hope that any one treatment that is tested in this early group may have some effect on those who are further along and classified as primary (or secondary) progressive. Glatiramer acetate, for example, shows some signs of slowing progression in males with primary progressive disease. The latest study with rituxamab failed to show slowing in primary progressive MS but that does not mean that we should not keep trying. I have every hope that as we answer the questions for all of MS primary progressive will fall in line as well.
7/24/2008 5:38:17 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 |


Driving Medical Research Via YouTube

Main Category: IT / Internet / E-mail
Also Included In: CJD / vCJD / Mad Cow Disease;  Caregivers / Homecare;  Alzheimer's / Dementia
Article Date: 18 Jun 2008 - 7:00 PDT

YouTube, the online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, has teamed up with scientists at The University of California, San Francisco to tap the video sharing platform to drive medical research.

The move is the latest step by one of the world's leading cadres of neuroscientists to engage the general public and physicians in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases, while helping caregivers cope with these devastating illnesses.

The channel is intended to increase awareness among patients, their families -- and physicians -- about the various forms of dementia, with the goal of promoting earlier diagnoses and getting more patients into research studies and clinical trials. The site is also intended to educate caregivers, and provide support through caregiver testimonials.

To support the effort, the UCSF team is also reaching out with two other forms of online communication. They've created an electronic badge, or "widget," containing links to the YouTube channel and the UCSF Memory and Aging Center web site that will allow people to spread the word about the initiative via email and websites, including disease-education associations. They have also created a Facebook group, "Defeat Dementia."

"The YouTube channel and these other forms of online communications will enable us to engage a broad audience in the fight against these illnesses," says Bruce Miller, MD, director of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. "All of the dementias - including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfelt Jakob disease, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease with Lewy Bodies -- share common features. They all are illnesses in which normal proteins are misprocessed.

"One goal is to increase awareness about the earliest signs of some of the less well known diseases, including FTD and CJD. If we can promote accurate diagnoses of patients, we can get them into clinical trials sooner. We believe that early intervention with novel therapies will be key to stalling and halting these diseases."

The channel is the latest outcome of the "Fight for Mike," an initiative by Silicon Valley leaders to save the life of one man - former Apple Computer Inc. and Netscape Computer Corp. marketing wunderkind Michael Homer - that has broadened to a mission to advance scientists' understanding of Homer's rare, fatal illness, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Understanding the disease, the UCSF scientists believe, will accelerate advances against the more common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease.

Homer was diagnosed with CJD last spring and is being treated at UCSF. The Fight for Mike is led by two of his best friends, Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway and Intuit chairman William V. Campbell.

The idea to create the video-sharing channel, itself, resulted from a brainstorming session involving UCSF physicians and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that was hosted last fall by YouTube CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley, a protégé of Homer's.
"Mike Homer is one of the great people to have helped build Silicon Valley," says Conway. "His extraordinary energy, creativity and passion helped drive the success of major companies and start ups. He also has been a superb father, husband and friend.

The Fight for Mike is intended to honor his spirit and drive the medical research underway at UCSF to cure CJD and related diseases. We're hoping the YouTube channel will support this effort."

The Fight for Mike, started last June, so far has raised more than $7 million for CJD research at UCSF, where Stanley B. Prusiner, MD -- who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for discovering the protein, known as prion (PREE-on) that causes CJD -- leads a major research enterprise focused on all neurodegenerative diseases.

The funding has already had an impact on several fronts -- including the establishment of stable research funding for Homer's physician, Michael Geschwind, MD, PhD, a premier clinician-researcher on the diagnosis and treatment of prion disorders; the recruitment of Michael Silber, PhD, a former leader in the pharmaceutical industry, to establish a Drug Discovery program; and research strategies to identify new drugs.

The idea for the YouTube channel was an outgrowth of broad thinking.
The Homer family had experienced what others had before them -- the challenges of navigating the medical system to get a diagnosis of a relatively rare neurodegenerative disease and, later, implementing the necessary care-giving strategies in their home. A public forum dedicated to educating the public about all aspects of CJD - and the other neurodegenerative diseases - could address this need.

The decision was made to create a web page dedicated to CJD on the UCSF Memory and Aging Center website. A YouTube channel, the group proposed, could host video for the page as well as well as video on other forms of dementia, including FTD, Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease. It could also serve as a portal to drive families and physicians to the UCSF Memory and Aging Center website for further information.
"I hope that the UCSF channel will provide scientists, researchers, and physicians a valuable communication tool as they search for solutions, and patients and their families another way to help cope with these tragic diseases," says YouTube's Hurley. "Mike is an inspirational friend, and I am grateful for the efforts that many have made in the quest to advance medical research of neurodegenerative diseases."

The "Fight for Mike" allocated $200,000 for UCSF to hire a company to create the CJD site on the Memory and Aging Center website. It will serve as a template for the creation of disease-specific site on each form of dementia in the coming years.
The CJD web site includes UCSF physician-researchers and nurses discussing CJD, information for caregivers, testimonials by caregivers, advice for physicians (infection control, interpreting tests, finding services); and the science of proteins and prions (Nobel laureate Prusiner, protein models, scientific talks, lab procedures, etc.) geared to basic and translational scientists.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.
UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.
For more information:
UCSF YouTube Channel
UCSF Memory and Aging Center web site
UCSF MAC CJD webpage

Source: Jennifer O'Brien
University of California - San Francisco 

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Biotech bailing on stem cells?

Posted by Andrea Gawrylewski

[Entry posted at 23rd July 2008 02:26 PM GMT]View comments(3) | Comment on this blog   
The announcement last week of Advanced Cell Technology's imminent closure is evidence that embryonic stem cell technology may be too nascent for fruitful biotech innovation, according to some industry analysts.

For the past 10 years Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) has been a spotlight company for endeavors in embryonic stem cell research and cloning. But in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last Tuesday (July 15), the company said it was out of money and would likely be closing shop by the end of this month.

So what happened? Investment in embryonic stem cell research was at its peak when states including California and Massachusetts pointedly secured billions of dollars for the research, Stephen Dunn, director of research at Dawson James, told The Scientist.

In response to such governmental enthusiasm, investors put money into stem cell companies such as ACT, Osiris, and Bioheart. But with almost no therapeutic advances to show for the cash, the hype has died down. Recent advances in adult stem cells, Dunn added, such as last year's reprogramming studies, have redirected investor focus.

"We've had advances in adult stem cells and [FDA] approvals. Where do you think Wall Street money is going to go?" Dunn asked.

One company's troubles don't necessarily spell the end of embryonic stem cell research in biotech, Ren Benjamin, senior biotech analyst at Rodman and Renshaw, told The Scientist. "The reality of the situation is not that [embryonic stem cell] therapies don't work or have potential, but rather there is a relatively long road ahead of us to prove and develop these therapeutics." And companies will have to work harder to secure funding whenever they can, not just when they need it, he added.

But Dunn believes that ACT's recent trouble is not a sign of things to come, but rather a symptom of a current dearth of funding for this type of research. "The science is good," he said. But "there are a lot of hurdles to making a commercial success out of a company" focusing on embryonic stem cells. "They are still in the basic science stage. In reality, from a commercialization standpoint, they are far behind other companies."

ACT declined to comment on the current state of its research programs, but a statement from company CEO William Caldwell sent to The Scientist said: "Yes the company is suffering severely under the prolonged and worsening capital markets. So are GM and other auto manufacturers, most major retailers, airlines, oil services industry and almost all micro cap and emerging growth biotech firms. We are hunkering down to survive an environment which we believe is only going to get worse."

"We are killing ourselves to secure funding" to stay in business, a spokesperson for ACT told The Scientist.
Correction: In the original version of this article the company name Bioheart was misspelled. The Scientist has corrected the spelling and regrets the error.


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By David Douglas NEW YORK JUL 22, 2008 (Reuters Health) - The human monoclonal antibody ofatumumab was well tolerated by patients with relapsed or ...
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KELOLAND.COM - Vitamin D Helps Lungs

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It's a tedious hobby, but David Rose doesn't mind. Building miniature ships keeps his hands occupied - something cigarettes did for the last 40 years. Between his 3-Pack a day habit and his job working with asbestos, Rose was living a risky life. 

"I got down in the pit with a broom and swept all this stuff up to the end and shoveled it out with a shovel. I lived in a cloud of asbestos for a year and a half." 
Eventually he developed lung cancer, but because he caught it early, doctors were able to remove it. To keep it from coming back, scientists are trying a new approach - they're giving patients high doses of vitamin D. 

According to Dr. Alex Adjei of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, "In cancer cells grown in the lab, as well as in animal models, that it can actually stop cells from dividing, and growing and spreading." 

This is crucial for lung cancer patients. By the time many are diagnosed, the disease is already advanced and treatment options are limited. 

"With an agent that's shown as much activity as vitamin D, that, in this population, we have an opportunity to slow the progression to lung cancer and maybe reverse it,” says Dr. Mary Ellen Reid. 

Rose signed up for the study in an effort to keep his lung cancer in check and to help doctors build new defenses against this deadly disease.,72110



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