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The evolving nature of cancers, by which they develop resistance to drugs, is one of the biggest research challenges in the field of oncology. With even the most advanced therapies often thwarted by sudden relapse in patients, how does cancer drug resistance work, and how are researchers working to tackle the issue? We find out.

We also take a look at the BeHEARD Challenge, which offers rare disease research projects a chance to win grants and other support to accelerate their work, consider the definition of over the counter drugs after India’s decision to rethink which medicines can and cannot be sold without prescriptions, and investigate the pharmaceutical properties of the slipper limpet.

Finally, we track the achievements to date in the eradication of polio and speak to Dundee University about how the institution’s work is having a significant impact on areas including cancer, arthritis and diabetes research.

In this issue

Irresistible Treatments
The evolving nature of cancers, by which they develop resistance to drugs, is one of the biggest challenges in the field of oncology. Abi Millar finds out how cancer drug resistance works.
Read the article here.

Being Heard
Researchers working in rare diseases can struggle to access funding, a situation the Rare Genomics Institute aims to address. Abi Millar reports on how the institute’s annual BeHEARD challenge is helping research projects get underway.
Read the article here.

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Defining OTC Drugs
India has decided to rethink which medicines can and can’t be sold without prescriptions, in an attempt to create a definition for over the counter drugs. Abi Millar takes a closer look at this categorisation of drugs.
Read the article here.

A Biotech Treasure Chest
Welsh start-up Mikota has started to harvest the invasive slipper limpet to make a range of new biotech products. Elly Earls finds out how it’s done and when the products will be hitting the market.
Read the article here.

The Fight Against Polio
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes that the world could have seen its last new case of polio in 2017. The eradication of polio would mark the end of years of struggle to contain the disease, and a triumph in public health. Chris Lo reports.
Read the article here.

Dundee University: Influential Institution
Dundee University has been named the most influential pharmaceutical research institution in the world. Elly Earls meets the university’s principal and vice chancellor Professor Sir Pete Downes to find out more about this incredible seat of learning.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

As pressure increases on the pharma industry to speed up the drug development and approvals process while maintaining safety, ‘seamless’ clinical trials – where phases are combined – are garnering attention. We find out more about the benefits of this adaptive approach to drug development.

We also round up the biggest differences between drug pricing models and policies around the world, take a closer look at the tragic consequences of the recent explosion of fentanyl abuse and its appropriation by the illegal drug trade, and find out more about a new compound that, when combined with standard antiretrovirals, has been shown to suppress HIV production in infected cells.

Finally, we look into the potential of a new project to develop mRNA cancer vaccines, and speak to University of Surrey scientists about their work on developing nanoparticles which heat up to temperature high enough to kill cancerous cells, before self-regulating to cool down.

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