Pharma Technology Focus Issue 35

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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 Genes
Pharmacogenomics 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.
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The Need for New Ideas
This 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.
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SEEKing a Universal Flu Vaccine
When 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.
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At War with the Superbugs
A 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.
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Unlocking Anxiety
Researchers 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.
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Drugs from Dirt
Researchers 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.
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Regenerating Medicine
Regenerative 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.
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The Changing Face of RIM
A 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.
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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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