Medical Tidbits, CHANTIX®/CHAMPIX® (varenicline) Results from the Largest Global Clinical Trial of Smoking Cessation Medicines Published in The Lancet

smoking cessation clinical trial

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced results published in The Lancet from the largest clinical trial of approved smoking cessation medicines, called EAGLES (Evaluating Adverse Events in a Global Smoking Cessation Study). This smoking cessation trial included 8,144 adult smokers and was designed to compare the neuropsychiatric safety of CHANTIX®/CHAMPIX® (varenicline) and bupropion with placebo and nicotine patch in adult smokers with and without a history of psychiatric disorders. The authors concluded that the trial did not show a significant increase in the incidence of the composite primary safety endpoint of serious neuropsychiatric adverse events with CHANTIX/CHAMPIX or bupropion compared to placebo and nicotine patch. Differences between incidence rates were considered significant if their associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were entirely above or below zero. Approximately half of the trial participants had a history of psychiatric disorders, either past and in remission or present and clinically stable. The psychiatric diagnoses included primarily depressive, bipolar, anxiety and psychotic disorders. read more

Recursion Pharmaceuticals Announces Research Agreement With Sanofi Genzyme

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Recursion Pharmaceuticals today announced a research agreement with Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, to deploy its drug repurposing platform to identify new uses for Sanofi’s clinical stage molecules across dozens of genetic diseases.

“Rare diseases are the perfect targets for our unbiased, target-agnostic discovery platform as relatively little is known about these conditions. Our application of cutting edge machine-learning technology allows us to leverage experiments across biology to enable identification of new indications for our partners.”

Recursion generates human cellular models of many diseases and uses computer vision to extract thousands of morphological measures at the level of individual cells. Molecules are then screened for their ability to rescue phenotypic defects associated with each disease. Recursion has already used the platform to generate an internal pipeline of candidates for a handful of genetic diseases, with a lead asset nearing IND for the treatment of Cerebral Cavernous Malformation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will provide Recursion with a number of small molecules, and Recursion will screen these molecules across its extensive and rapidly expanding library of genetic disease models. Sanofi Genzyme will have the option to develop products targeting any new indications identified. read more

Quintiles Receives Technology Security Award from IDG’s CSO Magazine for Fourth Consecutive Year

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Quintiles, the world’s leading provider of biopharmaceutical services, announced today that it has been named to the 2016 CSO50 by IDG’s CSO magazine. This award recognizes the company’s innovative identity management solution designed to expedite activities related to the delivery of clinical trials while simultaneously protecting confidential user data. This is the company’s fourth consecutive year receiving the prestigious security award. read more

Intellia Therapeutics Appoints Perry Karsen as Chairman of Its Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., a leading gene-editing company, has named Perry Karsen as the Chairman of its Board of Directors. Mr. Karsen held leadership positions at Celgene Corporation, including Chief Operations Officer and Executive Vice President and most recently, Chief Executive Officer of Celgene’s cellular therapeutics division. Previously, Mr. Karsen was President and Chief Executive Officer of Pearl Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company subsequently acquired by AstraZeneca. He also held executive positions at Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech (a member of the Roche Group) and Abbott Laboratories. Currently, Mr. Karsen serves on the board of directors of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Voyager Therapeutics, Jounce Therapeutics, and Pliant Therapeutics. He also serves on the boards of the Gladstone Foundation and the Sonoma Land Trust. Mr. Karsen is a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and was a former member of the board of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM).

SpinalCyte, LLC Receives New Canadian Patent for Spinal Disc Tissue Engineering

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SpinalCyte, LLC, a Texas-based tissue engineering technology company focused on regrowth of the spinal disc nucleus using human dermal fibroblasts, announced today the issuance of Canadian Patent No. 2641170, “Methods And Compositions For Repair Of Cartilage Using An In Vivo Bioreactor.” The technology described in the patent involves incorporating a matrix constructed of a synthetic polymer, a natural hydrogel, or a synthetic hydrogel to expose the fibroblasts to a mechanical strain using intermittent hydrostatic pressure and/or fluid shear stress. Other claims provide for growth factors such as BMP-2, BMP-4, BMP-6, BMP-7, transforming growth factor (TGF-β), and insulin growth factor (IGF-I). read more

Pharnext Announces the Opening of the First U.S. Study Site for its PLEO-CMT International Pivotal Phase 3 Trial in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Type 1A

PARIS, April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Pharnext today announced the opening of the first U.S. trial site for its PLEO-CMT pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of its lead pleodrug PXT3003 in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Type 1A (CMT1A). The clinical trial, which began enrolling patients in December 2015 in Europe, is intended to determine whether PXT3003 is effective and well tolerated in patients with CMT1A. PXT3003, developed using Pharnext’s Pleotherapy R&D platform, is an oral fixed-low dose combination of (RS)-baclofen, naltrexone hydrochloride and D-sorbitol.

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BD Collaborates with Sight Diagnostics to Introduce Parasight Malaria Detection Device in India

NEW DELHI, April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) today announced a collaboration with Sight Diagnostics Ltd. (SightDX), to introduce the Parasight Malaria Detection Platform in India. Through this agreement BD will market the Parasight Platform in the Indian diagnostics market, adding to BD’s extensive infectious disease diagnostics portfolio. The collaboration will represent the first malaria diagnostics offering from BD. Varun Khanna, managing director, BD India and South Asia said, “Our collaboration with Sight Diagnostics is aligned with our purpose of advancing the world of health by bringing technology solutions for malaria diagnosis to India. I am confident that this strategic collaboration equips us better than ever before in disease diagnostics and will catalyse BD’s role in reducing the global malaria burden

Imaging Advantage Announces Groundbreaking Healthcare Innovation Initiative with MIT Researchers to Develop Artificial Intelligence X-Ray Engine

PHOENIX, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Imaging Advantage LLC (IA), the largest platform provider of cloud based radiology service in the United States, announced today the launch of a machine learning research initiative with leading faculty members from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, titled Singularity Healthcare ®.

Singularity is developing an artificial intelligence engine to be seamlessly incorporated into IA’s proprietary exam routing technology, to instantly pre-read digital x-rays and identify potential areas of injury and disease, while continuously learning from IA’s expanding database of 7 billion images.  The algorithm will be applied before X-Ray images are routed to one of the 500 board certified radiologists connected in the cloud to IA’s platform.  read more

Human Longevity, Inc. Announces 10 Year Deal with AstraZeneca to Sequence and Analyze Patient Samples from AstraZeneca Clinical Trials  

PRNewswire/ — Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the genomics-based, technology-driven company working to revolutionize the practice of medicine, announced today a 10 year deal with AstraZeneca to sequence and analyze up to 500,000 DNA samples from AstraZeneca clinical trials. The genomic insights from the collaboration will be added to the HLI Knowledgebase™, building upon what is already the most comprehensive database of its kind. The deal was announced today at a press conference with AstraZeneca in Cambridge, UK. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  read more





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