Research & Development

EMA recommends authorisation of first medicine specifically for IBS


IBSThe European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the authorisation of the first medicine specifically for the symptomatic treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the European Union (EU).

Nine Japanese pharmaceutical firms unite to combat H. pylori

JapanOn 31 August, nine Japanese pharmaceutical companies (Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Takeda Pharmaceutical, AstraZeneca, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Eisai, Astellas Pharma, Abbott Japan, Shionogi & Co and Taisho Pharmaceutical) announced that they had jointly submitted an application to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the approval of a therapy aimed at the elimination of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.

Astounding retail finding: messy is sexy

An over-cluttered, chaotic store reminiscent of a bazaar screams ‘bargain’ and has, in fact, been proven to increase product sales within that store.

Gene suppression significantly prolongs life in ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal, rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by weakness, muscle atrophy and spasticity due to the selective loss of both upper and lower motor neurons. ALS is the most common motor neuron disease, affecting more than 86 000 people worldwide, and with an average life expectancy of three to five years from onset. There is currently no cure for ALS, while most treatments, such as Sanofi-Aventis’s Rilutek (Riluzole), only succeed in prolonging life by a moderate extent. Hence, given the great unmet need, novel treatments with improved efficacy are needed.

Progress for Alzheimer’s following trial presentations

As anticipated, some promising results in the Alzheimer’s field were unveiled at the recently convened congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS), held from 8 to 11 September. Two industry leaders, Pfizer and GE Healthcare, both announced clinical trial results that will undoubtedly impact the current landscape of Alzheimer’s research. There are two major unmet needs that currently plague the field of Alzheimer’s: the lack of therapies that actually target and impact disease progression, and a dearth of early diagnostic biomarkers and imaging tools. Pfizer’s presentation gives new hope for anti-amyloid therapies, showing that they are effective in reducing amyloid and suggesting, as many have thought, that earlier intervention may yield better clinical outcomes, albeit with major side effects. GE Healthcare’s presentation of a novel and effective amyloid imaging agent highlights how the biotech industry is responding to the need for accurate early diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s.

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