All articles by Natalie Healey

Natalie Healey

Surgery without scars

Researchers at Stanford University might have solved the mystery of why we form scars and even found a drug that can prevent it.

What’s in a drug name?

Naming a new drug and getting it approved is far from simple. So, what does it take to ensure a new drug name passes the requirements?

Human challenge trials: Covid-19 exit strategy or ethical nightmare?

The UK is leading the way with implementing human challenge trials as a way to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Natalie Healey explores this unique study design, including the ethical and safety considerations and what it could teach us about the virus that causes Covid-19.

Breast cancer research: addressing the premenopausal problem

Premenopausal women have been largely absent from hormonal breast cancer drug trials resulting in treatment delays for this patient population. However, new draft guidance from the US FDA urges pharma companies to reconsider. Natalie Healey finds out more.

A new hope for slowing disability in MS

ChariotMS will be the first multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trial to include people who can’t walk. Natalie Healey talks to the MS Society about the trial and explores why new treatment options for patients with advanced stages of the illness are so desperately needed.

Q&A: How do you fast-track a vaccine? UCL scientists weigh in

It usually takes around a decade to bring a new vaccine to market, but several Covid-19 candidates have already shown promising results in late-stage trials and one has already received emergency approval. UCL’s Stephen Morris and Beatrice Melinek spoke with Natalie Healey to discuss how the pharmaceutical industry has dramatically reduced development timelines during the crisis.

Brewprint: using yeast to make plant-based drugs

Many of our most important medicines are derived from nature, but the supply chain is vulnerable to upheavals such as wildfires or pandemics. Natalie Healey speaks to synthetic biologist Professor Christina Smolke who has successfully used yeast to produce plant-based drugs, such as opioids and tropane alkaloids.

Unequal access: understanding cancer treatment disparity in Europe

Cancer patients in Western Europe are more able to access new cancer medicines and oncology clinical trials than people in the east of the continent. Natalie Healey examines the reasons behind this disparity and the impact that it could have for patients.

How Covid-19 has put clinical research’s diversity problem in the spotlight

Covid-19 clinical trials have been criticised for their lack of patient diversity, despite the illness disproportionately affecting BAME people. Natalie Healey explores why diversity in clinical trial recruitment is so challenging to get right and what could help pharmaceutical companies overcome the barriers.

Hiring from home: pharma recruitment in the age of Covid-19

UK healthcare recruitment company Carrot Pharma has been advising pharma firms on how to use remote technology to maintain hiring and onboard new staff during the coronavirus restrictions. Natalie Healey spoke to the company to talk about recruitment challenges and opportunities facing the pharma sector in the wake of Covid-19.