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April 30, 2015

Pharma Technology Focus – Issue 35

In this issue: How pharmacogenomics is paving the way for personalised drug plans, new ideas for flu vaccine development, fighting antimicrobial resistance on all fronts, why a regulatory re-think is needed to unlock the potential of regenerative medicine and more

By Susanne Hauner

Pharma Technology Focus Issue 35

Pharma Technology Focus is now free for the iPad. Download our app from Newsstand to read the latest issue and browse our back issues for free.

By combining pharmacology with genomics the field of pharmacogenomics is opening up new possibilities or healthcare. We speak to researchers to find out how this discipline could be paving the way for individualised drug plan.

We also speak to UK-based SEEK about its work to create a universal flu vaccine and its candidate Flu-v which is currently in phase II trials, and find out how the UK’s ‘war cabinet’ against antimicrobial resistance is tackling the growing problem with a coordinated effort across all seven research councils.

Researchers have revealed the structure of a protein associated with several anxiety disorders, a discovery that could eventually lead to better treatments. We take a closer look at this breakthrough. We also find out why researchers from Rockefeller University in the US are digging up soil around the world in the search for new clinically relevant molecules, and ask pioneers in regenerative medicine which regulatory and economic hurdles need to be overcome before promising therapies can progress from the lab into mainstream healthcare.

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In this issue

It’s All in the GenesPharmacogenomics could open up the possibility of tailoring treatments to individuals’ genetic make-up, but only if healthcare professionals understand its potential. Elly Earls speaks to the authors of a new book on the topic to find out why education is needed.Read the article.

The Need for New IdeasThis year’s Annual Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration Conference set out to encourage innovation in a field dogged by disappointing trial results. GlobalData analyst for neurology Kyle Nicholson, PharmD, reports from the event.Read the article.

SEEKing a Universal Flu VaccineWhen it comes to flu vaccines, a universal immunotherapeutic is the holy grail. Abi Millar finds out how UK company SEEK aims to get there first with its Flu-v vaccine, due to enter phase IIb this year.Read the article.

At War with the SuperbugsA year after the formation of the UK’s ‘war cabinet’ against antimicrobial resistance, Chris Lo asks the experts overseeing this cross-council research initiative how we can counter a deadly threat that is rendering vital antibiotic treatments useless.Read the article.

Unlocking AnxietyResearchers have revealed the structure of a protein associated with several anxiety disorders, a discovery that could eventually lead to better treatments. Elly Earls finds out more about the breakthrough.Read the article.

Drugs from DirtResearchers at Rockefeller University are working to identify new, clinically relevant molecules from soil bacteria and develop the tools to reproduce them. Chris Lo asks Dr Sean Brady about the potential for soil to yield a new crop of drugs.Read the article.

Regenerating MedicineRegenerative medicine therapies hold great promise for healthcare but their potential is yet to be realised, with a raft of legal, regulatory and economic challenges standing in the way. Abi Millar finds out how a collaborative approach could help us reach new frontiers in medicine.Read the article.

The Changing Face of RIMA 2014 Gens & Associates survey of pharmaceutical companies traced changing attitudes to regulatory information management. Sophie Daniel, head of quality at ProductLife Group, explains the trends revealed by the findings.Read the article.

Next issue preview

In a bid to improve the survival rate in lung cancer treatments, a world-first clinical trial in the UK is testing the use of stem cells from bone marrow that have been genetically modified to find and destroy cancer cells. We find out how this approach aims to improve the outlook for sufferers of one of the deadliest forms of cancer. We also profile a promising hepatitis B drug in Phase III trials and look into a study using bioengineered bacteria to create a new pathway for sustained drug delivery.

As Apple moves into the medical field with its ResearchKit, we ask what the platform will add to clinical data collection and processing. Moreover, we explore the big data applications that promise to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the pharma companies, and investigate a report from Lund University claiming that the pharma industry in Europe is violating regulations on the marketing of drugs.

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