Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pluristem's PLX-MS Shows Potential Benefit in the Prevention of ...

In Scientific First, Einstein Researchers Correct Decline In Organ Function Associated With Old Age
As people age, their cells become less efficient at getting rid of damaged protein - resulting in a buildup of toxic material that is especially pronounced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Pluristem's PLX-MS Shows Potential Benefit in the Prevention of ...
istockAnalyst.com - Salem,OR,USA
2005;106: 1755-1761 Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminate, is an autoimmune condition in which the ...
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RealPennies.com: RealPennies.com: Turning Pennies into dollars ...
Trading Markets (press release) - Los Angeles,CA,USA
Nutra Pharma Corp. , a biotechnology company that is developing drugs for HIV and Multiple Sclerosis, has announced recently that its wholly-owned drug ...
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MediciNova Reports Second Quarter 2008 Results
MarketWatch - USA
MediciNova completed a two-year Phase II clinical trial of MN-166 for the treatment of MS. MN-166 treatment resulted in positive findings on three ...
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Neurologist shares his week – and worries
WalesOnline - United Kingdom
This morning is our first day for infusing patients in a new clinical trial of a promising biological antibody therapy – Campath – for MS. ...
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Thymic Cortex Plays A Role In Immune Cell Selection
Scientists have made great strides in understanding how the thymusfunctions, including the timing, regulation, and mechanism of theprocess of negative selection, according to an article released onAugust 4, 2008 in the open-access journal PLoS Biology.

Impax's baclofen meets endpoint in phase-III trial
PharmaBiz Mon, 11 Aug 2008 3:21 AM PDT
Impax Laboratories, Inc announced that IPX056, an investigational extended-release formulation of baclofen, has met its clinical endpoints in a phase-III study of spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients.

Elan Seeks Fast Sale of Drug Delivery Unit: Sources
Ireland's Elan Corp has received first-round bids for its drug delivery unit and is hoping for a quick sale of the business, which may fetch as much as $1.3-1.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The move to spin off Elan Drug Technologies, which develops new formulations of medicines on a contract basis for other drug makers, will leave Elan focused on its own biotech drugs. The split has been discussed for some time but has gained importance in the past few weeks following renewed safety concerns over multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri and disappointment with tests of an experimental Alzheimer's therapy.

Icahn Ups Stake in Biogen, Says Stock Undervalued
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn reported yesterday that he owns a 6.03 percent stake in the common stock of biotechnology company Biogen Idec. Icahn said in a filing with the SEC he increased his stake "in the belief that the shares were undervalued."'

Fertility treatments balance risk and reward

By Valerie Ulene

Used to treat infertility, reproductive technology should not be entered into lightly. It can pose risks to the unborn child >>

Icahn buys up cheaper Biogen Idec shares

By John Carroll

Is Carl Icahn girding for a renewed war with Biogen Idec's management team? That's the question on Wall Street's mind after hearing the rebellion-prone investor had taken advantage of the recent plunge in the price of Biogen Idec shares to boost his ownership of the company to six percent.

Icahn had backed off of his fight to push the company into a sale after failing to gain enough votes to advance a slate of board members. The Wall Street Journal notes that he has made sounds recently suggesting he may try once again to spur an auction of the company.

- read the story from the Wall Street Journal

Related Articles:
Icahn loses a big round with Biogen Idec
Icahn accuses Biogen of lying about sales process
Biogen squares off against Icahn in board battle
Biogen: Tysabri patients have PML
Biogen CEO: Tysabri to reach $1B in 2008

Read more about: Biogen Idec, Carl Icahn


Icahn snaps up more of Biogen
FiercePharma - Washington,DC,USA
... ever since the company announced two new cases of the brain infection that can afflict patients taking its vaunted multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. ...
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Icahn still eyeing Biogen, increases stake
The Daily Deal (subscription) - New York,NY,USA
The Journal reports multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri's risk profile was the main reason other companies proved unwilling to bid for the company, ...
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Icahn Buys More Biogen on Tysabri Dip
Wall Street Journal Blogs - New York,NY,USA
Biogen’s stock got hammered earlier this month when old safety worries resurfaced for the company’s multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. For Carl Icahn, it was ...
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Elan seeks fast sale of drug delivery unit-sources
Reuters - USA
... fortnight following renewed safety concerns over multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri and disappointment with tests of an experimental Alzheimer's therapy. ...
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Markets News Tuesday: Elan rises 11% in New York Monday; Oil price ...
FinFacts Ireland - Ireland
Elan and its US partner Biogen Idec defended their multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri after disclosing two new cases of a potentially fatal side effect and ...
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Icahn Increases Stake in Biogen, Signaling Battle Is Far From Over
Wall Street Journal - USA
His latest purchase came after two new occurrences of a deadly brain infection were linked to the company's multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri. ...
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Icahn ups stake in Biogen
FT Alphaville - London,UK
Icahn’s latest purchase came after two new occurrences of a deadly brain infection were linked to Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri, ...
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Icahn Boosts Stake in Biogen Idec (BIIB) to 6% Following TYSABRI ...
StreetInsider.com (subscription) - Birmingham,MI,USA
Shares of Biogen Idec sank 28% on 8/1 after disclosing two additional TYSABRI-relate PML cases. The filing showed, Icahn accumulated large sums of stock ...
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Symptoms and Management

Dr. Lee

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Neurology)
View BIO

Q :

I was diagnosed with RRMS in January with optic neuritis and brain lesions. I received IV steroids for three days which improved my vision. However four months later my vision still fluctuates -- better in the am and worse at night or if I am in a warm room. Is this waxing and waning of vision normal for optic neuritis? Will my vision ever return to normal?

A :

Yes, this is a normal response. After a bout of optic neuritis, it is not uncommon for you to re-experience some of the symptoms of your attack, especially when you are tired or when the body temperature is elevated (during a cold or when it is very hot outside). How much anyone recovers is variable however, and can take up to several months
8/12/2008 11:59:32 AM

More answers from Dr. Liesly Lee

More answers in the category: Symptoms and Management


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Chapter Contacts for State Issues

Issue Briefs and Background

National MS Society Homepage

Support Polling Place Access Legislation

Take Action!
Special Session Convened until the End of August
Many polling sites across the state are ill equipped to provide basic access to people with disabilities. In turn, this has severely affected our ability to go out and vote. Often times, barriers such as steep steps and narrow doorways impede the only available accessible routes to these buildings. Entrances that are accommodating to people with disabilities are frequently obscured from view and many polling sties do not display proper signage indicating the location of the accessible entrance. Furthermore, many polling sites are located in basements, which can only be reached by stairway. A lack of adequate handicapped parking spaces has been a deterrent as well.
A bill has been passed by the New York State Assembly that will help ensure that all people with disabilities can be accommodated in a fair and equitable manner at all polling sites by mandating that all sites comply with federal accessibility guidelines. The New York State Senate has not yet passed their version (S.6311) of this crucial legislation!
Take action now by asking your Senator to vote "yes" for S.6311 when it is reintroduced in the special session.
Tell them that New York State must take every step necessary to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to exercise their fundamental right to privately and independently cast their own votes.

To keep future MS activism messages out of your junk folder, add the following address to your contacts or safe sender list: MSActionNetwork@nmss.org

Top News

1. California's stem cell boom spurs research bonanza

By John Carroll

As head of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Alan Trounson is pushing hard to inspire a medical revolution in the space of a single decade. The Wall Street Journal looks at the rapidly changing research field, and how California's $3 billion commitment to stem cell research over 10 years has already triggered a $1.2 billion boom in spending on new research facilities.

The institute says the initial burst of investment has already drawn 24 top scientists to the state with 33 younger researchers joining the migration to California. But the new facilities being built will house 2,200 researchers, the equivalent of the entire membership of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Now Trounson is preparing to fund disease teams at a cost of $20 million each that can advance therapies to the clinic in five years. The institute is considering a new loan fund that would give the state a stake in commercial successes.

- read the article from the Wall Street Journal

Related Articles:
Stem cell agency names president
Calif. stem cell chief questioned in research probe
California grants ignite a boom of lab construction
California delivers millions for stem cell research
California--Top Five Regions Targeting Biotech, 2008

Read more about: California, Stem Cells, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Alan Trounson

2. Biotech's value creation chain starts with research link

By John Carroll

What's the real value of drug research? The Scientist analyzed the payoffs earned by success in the drug development field these days. With IPOs largely shelved this year--only one biotech has pulled it off in 2008--analysts focused on the dollar value of an experimental therapy in upfronts and milestones. A Phase I drug was likely to get $5 million to $10 million in an upfront fee and about $65 million in milestone payments. A Phase III drug, though, could expect $40 million to $100 million in fees and $150 million in milestones.

But it all starts at the research level. As The Scientist notes, biotech companies start in the minds of entrepreneurial scientists in academia and industry who have a novel idea for a new therapy. The intellectual property they patent becomes the core asset of an emerging biotech company. And the enterprise almost always relies on a variety of backers, anyone from a relative to a government grant or an angel investor, who puts up the original $1 million to $5 million needed to start work.

- read the article from The Scientist

Related Articles:
Where's the ROI on drug R&D budgets?
M&A activity heats up as biotech IPOs struggle
Tips for funding a biotech start-up

Read more about: funding, M&A, drug development, pipeline

3. Protein therapies could delay aging process

By John Carroll

For the first time, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have been able to prevent the age-related decline of the liver--a process that could have significant implications for preventing a host of age-related ailments like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The researchers were able to prevent the accumulation of harmful proteins inside a liver, stopping the aging process in the organ. Their work highlights the potential of new therapies that boost protein clearance.

"Our study showed that functions can be maintained in older animals so long as damaged proteins continue to be efficiently removed--strongly supporting the idea that protein buildup in cells plays an important role in aging itself," said Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo. "Even more important, these results show that it's possible to correct this protein 'logjam' that occurs in our cells as we get older, thereby perhaps helping us to enjoy healthier lives well into old age."

- read the AFP article

Related Articles:
Sirtris advances new therapies to combat aging
Buck Institute to tackle aging research with stem cell funds
Resveratrol potential fires interest in longevity drugs

Read more about: aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson Disease, Liver enzymes

4. Team tackles new drug design for cancer

By John Carroll

Australian scientists, who have been studying a key protein that controls the spread of blood cancer cells when it is damaged, are now designing a drug they say can stop the cancer--along with asthma and other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The therapy is being designed to attach itself to the protein and inhibit signals spurring cancer cells to multiply.

"If we can stop the signal for the proliferation of uncontrolled growth of the cells then we can stop the leukemia in its tracks," said Professor Michael Parker at St. Vincent's Institute in Melbourne. "Normally in drug design it would be 15 years from start to finish but, because of the nature of the surface we have to split apart, the way ahead is antibodies--and that is very straightforward technology. So I would expect the drug development would be a lot faster."

- read the report in the Herald Sun

Read more about: proteins, Cancer, rheumatoud arthritis, Michael Parker

5. Genetic tinkering creates obesity-resistant mice

By John Carroll

A research team developed a group of transgenic mice that were unable to release a subset of GABA neurotransmitters, creating a breed of rodents that was resistant to obesity. The scientific team says the mice ate the same amount as a control group, but that they were engineered to burn energy at a much faster pace. The genetic tinkering also made the mice more resistant to the hormone ghrelin, which creates a feeling of hunger.

The researchers also helped explain the role of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons that receive the GABA signal.

"The function of AgRP neurons is probably to reserve the energy for maintaining life," said lead study author Qingchun Tong. "So if the animal doesn't have enough food, the animal should have some strategy to preserve energy, and this group of neurons, by releasing GABA, restrains energy expenditure to maintain enough energy to survive under the conditions in which food is not readily available."

- see this report for more

Related Articles:
Obesity drugs pose weighty problems for researchers
LRPR1: A new target for obesity, diabetes
Common virus is a culprit in obesity
Molecular research points to new obesity therapy

Read more about: obesity, ghrelin, genetics, genetic engineering

Also Noted

Stem Cell Research

Researchers at Queensland University of Technology say they have created embryonic stem cells from synthetic proteins. The method is cheaper and easier to use than natural ESCs, while also voiding any ethical arguments raised against the field. Report

Dr. George Daley and a group of researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have developed stem cells from the skin tissue and bone marrow of people suffering from 10 different diseases. By watching the diseases develop in the lab, researchers will gain new insights into how they can be treated and prevented. Story


A new study points to a genetic variant that raises the risk of anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Story

A gene variant has been linked to a heightened sense of pleasure from smoking, increasing a person's risk of addiction and cancer. Report

Cancer Research

An aggressive brain tumor that afflicts children starts in normal brain stem cells is triggered by oncogene, according to scientists at Dana-Farber and UC San Francisco. Report

Professor David Lane, the chairman of A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council, has received the Royal Gold Medal for his contribution to cancer research through his discovery of p53 tumor suppressor gene. Report

A team of Monash University researchers has uncovered the role of a family of enzymes in the mutation of benign or less aggressive tumors into more aggressive, potentially fatal, cancers in the human body. Release

And Finally... Researchers at UC Berkley have developed a prism that bends light the "wrong way." And it has the potential to render objects invisible. The client: The Pentagon. Report

Invisibility shield appears possible

By John Johnson Jr.

A UC Berkeley team finds materials that bend light around an object -- a big step toward a cloaking device. The technology could also be used as a 'super lens' to make smaller computer chips. >>

A Bug's Life.. In A Bubble
Hundreds of insect species live mainly underwater, but how do they breathe? University of Alberta researcher Morris Flynn did a study to find out how these species are able to remain underwater without drowning.

Bad Childhood Experiences Tied to Early Drinking

New Bacterial Species Found In Human Mouth
Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria in the mouth. The finding could help scientists to understand tooth decay and gum disease and may lead to better treatments, according to research published in the August issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Scientists Identify Another Piece Of The Weight-Control Puzzle - Research Finds Role For GABA Neurotransmitter In Maintaining Energy Balance
Controlling body weight is a complicated process, as any frustrated dieter might attest. But as scientists continue to investigate the brain's intricate neurocircuitry and its role in maintaining energy balance, they are forming a clearer picture of the myriad events that lead to weight gain and weight loss.

Researchers Hunt Normal Cells That Give Rise to Cancer

Brain Imaging May Allow Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Gene Variant May Predispose Some to Anxiety

A disease cell line library

Researchers have created 20 disease-specific pluripotent cell lines from skin and bone marrow cells of patients with genetic disorders

By Andrea Gawrylewski

Diagnostic applications of enzyme assay

A non-scientist user seeks expert advice

By The Scientist Community

FDA's new conflict rules

Physicians or researchers with more than $50,000 of financial interests in industry are now barred from advisory panels

By Bob Grant

Shining hope for her son with Down syndrome
By Karen Sosnoski
One mom was bereft at son's diagnosis of Down syndrome. Then she saw the girl by the side of the road and found illumination. >>

Vitamin D

Low level of Vitamin D linked to higher risk of death
Hamilton Spectator - Hamilton,ON,Canada
AP Adults with low blood levels of vitamin D face a 26 per cent higher risk of death than those with adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin, ...
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Two studies cite need for more Vitamin D
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA
By Don Sapatkin Two unrelated research reports yesterday added to a growing pile of evidence on the importance of Vitamin D while offering little guidance ...
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Low levels of vitamin D 'linked to chronic pain in women'
Hindu - Chennai,India
London (PTI): Women suffering from chronic pain may benefit from an extra daily dose of vitamin D, a new study has suggested. Researchers in Britain have ...
See all stories on this topic

Low Vitamin D levels lead to early death for many Wisconsinites ...
WIBA-AM - Madison,WI,USA
By The Wheeler Service Wisconsinites have a higher risk of death than people living in southern states because we get less Vitamin D due to our lower ...
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Low Vitamin D Linked To Higher Death Risk
OfficialWire - New York,NY,USA
by UPI NewsTrack NEW YORK, NY — (OfficialWire) — 08/12/08 -- Studies suggest a lack of vitamin D adds to heart and cancer risk, but those with vitamin D ...
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Low vitamin D levels 'up death risk'
Smash Hits - India
Washington, Aug 12 (ANI): Individuals with lower levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of death from all causes, suggests a new study published in the ...
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Low vitamin D raises risk of death, US study finds
Times Colonist - Victoria,British Columbia,Canada
CHICAGO -- Adults with a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to die than those with high levels, another indication of the nutrient's vital role in ...
See all stories on this topic

Vitamin D focus of Healthline
Vineland Daily Journal - Vineland,NJ,USA
VINELAND -- The importance of vitamin D in the diet is the focus of this month's Healthline, sponsored by The Daily Journal and South Jersey Healthcare. ...
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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Chronic Pain In Women
Medical News Today (press release) - UK
Low vitamin D levels may contribute to chronic pain among women, suggests research published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. ...
See all stories on this topic

Low Vitamin D Levels Pose Large Threat To Health; Overall 26 ...
Science Daily (press release) - USA
12, 2008) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins are reporting what is believed to be the most conclusive evidence to date that inadequate levels of vitamin D, ...
See all stories on this topic

Immunogenicity of Therapeutic Proteins

September 10-12 | Bethesda, MD

Industry practices in immunogenicity assessment are becoming more unified though challenges still exist in terms of technology and reduction to practice. This conference will review key aspects of assay development and validation discuss challenges in implementation of these assays, data interpretation and relevance to clinical outcomes. Current knowledge and future trends of immunogenicity of therapeutic proteins will be explored.
Information & Registration Read Conference Program

Presented in Collaboration with American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

DIA Members - Register by August 20th and Save $185

Oligonucleotides-based Therapeutics Conference
September 22-24
Falls Church, VA

FDA Critical Path Transporter Workshop
October 2-3
North Bethesda, MD

Drug Information Association | 800 Enterprise Road Suite 200 | Horsham, PA 19044
T. +1.215.442.6100 | F.+1.215.442.6199 | email: Opt Out |

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