All articles by Daniel Garrun
Micro-machines: nanotech offers new possibilities for disease detection and drug delivery
For the first time, miniscule molecular machines designed for early disease detection and targeted drug delivery have been shown to work in living cells. Elly Earls meets the researchers behind the breakthrough to find out more.
Using shark antibodies to treat Alzheimer’s disease
Dutch biotech company Crossbeta Biosciences has been granted an exclusive license to three beta-amyloid oligomer (AßO)-specific shark antibodies, identified under a collaboration with Australian company AdAlta. These ‘i-bodies’ are considered to have huge disease-specific potential for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but how do they work? Abi Millar finds out.
India’s drug price overhaul: a question of balance
India’s drug pricing policy is set for an overhaul, but has the government struck the right balance between ensuring affordable access to medicines and creating a regulatory landscape that works for the industry? Elly Earls investigates.
How rebuilding entire immune systems could be the key to curing MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be stopped in its tracks by a radical new therapy involving the complete replacement of the immune system, but what are the risks and can the medical community be convinced? Elly Earls investigates.
Taking the sting out of painkillers: how close are we to ending the opiate epidemic?
The so-called opiate epidemic has been much discussed, with the addictive characteristics of opioid painkillers taking a serious toll on public health. So what are the latest innovations in painkillers that don’t rely on addictive and abusable opioids, and could these advances be the key to analgesics that do the job without the harm?
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Psilocybin vs. depression: London study overcomes obstacles to show encouraging results
Researchers at Imperial College London have conducted a small-scale clinical trial to test the effect of psilocybin, the active component in ‘magic mushrooms’, on 12 patients with treatment-resistant depression. While the results were encouraging – with all 12 volunteers seeing an alleviation of symptoms – regulatory restrictions and ethical objections could severely hamper the eventual development of a treatment. Abi Millar asks whether these obstacles are insuperable.
How text mining is opening up clinical research
Text mining – the use of advanced computational methods to sift through reams of textual data– could speed up the clinical research process, driving new discoveries. Elly Earls meets Professor Sophia Ananiadou, director of the National Centre for Text Mining at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, to find out how.
Could clinical trial data go mobile?
Mobile health solutions such as Fitbit are growing ever more popular with consumers, but they have yet to make much impact in clinical research. Kara Dennis, managing director of mHealth at Medidata, explains how new data technologies might be integrated into the drug development process, tracking patients’ health outcomes in real time and shaking up the template for clinical trials. Abi Millar reports.
Gut Bacteria: manipulating the microbiome
It has long been known that gut bacteria affect the way we interact with medicines, but the underlying mechanisms are only just beginning to be understood. The Biotechnology company Symberix is at the forefront of research, developing a drug that reduces the side effects of the chemotherapy drug irinotecan by modulating the gut microbiota. Abi Millar found out more.
Groundbreaking medicine: the T-cell revolution
Researchers across the world are working on a ground-breaking new avenue of cancer treatment, using T-cells to unlock the body’s own powerful defences. With the latest research showing ‘unprecedented’ results in clinical trials, hype is growing. So what makes the latest wave of T-cell therapies so potent and how might they affect cancer care? Abi Millar finds out.