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April 25, 2013Faster News for FasterCures

  Top News 
  Science and Technology 
  • UCLA to lead NIMH-financed autism drug discovery network
    The National Institute of Mental Health will fund a $9 million effort to develop drugs to treat autism spectrum disorders. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, will coordinate a network of researchers at other academic centers who will quickly identify new and existing compounds that might work against autism. Robert H. Ring, vice president of translational research at patient advocacy group Autism Speaks, will be a member of the panel choosing compounds for testing. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA partners with Corning on bogus malaria drug detector
    Corning will manufacture a handheld, battery-operated device developed by the FDA to detect fake or substandard malaria drugs. The device will be tested first in Ghana, then in other areas where malaria rates are high and counterfeit drugs are common. The FDA plans to distribute the device in coordination with the NIH, CDC, USAID and other organizations. Reuters (4/24), The Wall Street Journal (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Finance and Economics 
  • Startup aims to churn out other orphan drug startups
    Armed with $16 million in venture capital, former MedImmune boss David Mott's new enterprise Cydan will find and fund small firms with promising orphan drug candidates. Investor return will be through licensing deals with or acquisition by larger drugmakers. Mott plans to collaborate with parent and patient advocacy groups and will subcontract toxicology, pharmacology and other testing to reduce development risk. Xconomy/Boston (4/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Wellcome Trust announces new director
    Infectious diseases researcher Jeremy Farrar will leave the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to lead the Wellcome Trust, effective Oct. 1. Farrar "understands science and he understands people," said malaria researcher Nicholas White, who set up the research unit in Vietnam. (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy and Regulation 
  • South Africa eyes tougher rules for drug patent extensions
    Lawmakers in South Africa are considering changing patent laws to make it more difficult for drugmakers to extend patents by modifying an existing drug. Critics call the practice "evergreening" and say it blocks access to life-saving medicines by keeping prices artificially high. Reuters (4/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS committee approves guidance for Internet-based research
    An HHS advisory committee endorsed a set of 20 ethics recommendations to guide researchers relying on the Internet. For example, researchers conducting an online survey could rely on respondents to check a box confirming they have not misrepresented themselves, but for studies with more personal impact, such as a clinical trial, participants would have to prove their identities, age and understanding of the trial. Critics say the guidelines might subject more areas of research to scrutiny by institutional review boards, but supporters say it might allow those boards to be less guarded. Nature (free content) (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Society and Ethics 
  • Castellani: National Alzheimer's Plan requires collaboration
    Every part of the medical innovation ecosystem must work together if the federal government is serious about the successful implementation of its Alzheimer's plan, PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani writes. Strong partnerships and collective thinking among biopharmaceutical research companies, patient advocacy groups, federal research institutions and universities are needed to find efficient remedies to mitigate the financial and emotional burdens of Alzheimer's and other conditions, Castellani writes. Short-sighted policies that weaken progress and innovation should not endanger the country's strong research enterprise, he adds. The Hill/Congress Blog (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Patients, caregivers can share cancer info through online community
    A Web-based community for patients with cancer and their caregivers, called Smart Patients, was unveiled by Dr. Roni Zeiger, former chief health strategist at Google, and Gilles Frydman, founder of the Association of Cancer Online Resources. The website, which redesigned the database, enables patients to access, read and discuss clinical trials that could benefit them. It also allows users to share their knowledge of cancer by starting conversations and tagging them with keywords that will be helpful to other users. Forbes (4/24), (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

FasterCures / The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions is a nonprofit think tank and catalyst for action that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise. FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is nonpartisan and independent of interest groups.

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