Microchips and Video Games: Innovations in Healthcare

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeOnce upon a time in the world of healthcare, the only competition for a pharmaceutical company was other pharmaceutical companies.

Times have changed. Pharma companies are now competing with many nontraditional players in the healthcare arena, including electronic and mobile health firms, retailers, financial services companies and IT firms. Healthcare is no longer about just making a new medicine, but about creating greater value for patients, providers and payers, and encouraging a more active and healthy lifestyle.

In PharmTech, we often talk about manufacturing innovations, such as new dosage forms or more efficient manufacturing techniques, but today I’m going to look at some of the innovations that have been made in the healthcare industry as a whole. Read more »

Video: AAPS 2012 Student Awards

Student Innovation Across the Pharma Sciences


Could Ben Venue’s Manufacturing Suspension Have Been Avoided?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorWhen only a handful of manufacturers supply a given drug, production problems at any of those companies can lead to a shortage. Earlier this year, problems at Ben Venue’s Bedford, Ohio, site contributed to shortages of the cancer drug Doxil. The shortages are likely to continue now that Ben Venue has suspended manufacturing at the plant. Read more »

Two Early Cancer Studies Show Promise

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThe coming patent cliff and the nation’s continuing economic problems have tightened many drugmakers’ R&D budgets. Cancer research has remained a priority, however, as GE Healthcare’s recent $1-billion investment in oncology demonstrates. Two recent studies show the importance of this research by offering glimmers of hope. Read more »

Of Crocuses and Cancer

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeEvery now and then, media headlines become excited by a new potential ‘cure’ for cancer. Usually, this excitement stems from the results of very early research, which often involves a vegetable. Tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and beetroot have all had their turn in the spotlight over the years. Read more »

Georgia Researchers Develop Multicompartment Gel Capsules

Erik Greb PharmTech editorA dosage form that delivers several drugs, either at once or in succession, can have many benefits for patients. The administered drugs could have synergistic effects when delivered together, and the convenient dosage form could improve patient compliance. And, of course, reformulating several drugs for codelivery could help breathe new life into a company’s patents. All of these advantages came to mind when I learned about a multiple-compartment gel capsule developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Read more »

Magnetic Pills A Sign Of The Future?

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeInnovative research is constantly being carried out in the pharma industry so it’s easy to start letting your eyes glide over some of the developments taking place. This week though a lot of eyes have been pulled to a study involving magnetically controlled pills. Many people would rather take drugs orally than via injection, but tablets do not always dissolve at exactly the right site in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for absorption into the bloodstream. Magnetically-controlled pills, however, enable a tablet to be held in place at the correct site in the GI tract to optimize absorption. Read more »

A 20/20 View for the Next Decade

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The start of a new year, particularly a new decade, brings a sense of resolve that helps to bring a clarity of purpose. Looking back at 2009, we have chronicled much change in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries—the megamergers, the impact of the financial crisis on the emerging pharma sector, slowing pharmaceutical industry growth, the rise of emerging markets, and the resulting changes on the supplier base. All important concerns, but in the spirit of the beginning of a new year and decade, I would like to take a moment to look at the heart of the matter for the pharmaceutical industry—the promise of new drug development. Read more »

Moving Stem-Cell Therapy to the Clinic

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor This week the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which is the California state body responsible for stem-cell research funding, and two international partners in Canada and the United Kingdom, announced awards totaling $230 million to 14 research teams in California, Canada, and the UK to develop stem-cell-based therapies for 11 diseases. The funding, in the form of four-year grants, marks the first CIRM funding that is explicitly expected to result in filings with the US Food and Drug Administration for initial human clinical testing of therapies based on stem-cell research, according to a CIRM press release. Read more »

Equality for Boys?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorI’ve been paying attention to Merck’s (Whitehouse Station, NJ) Gardasil vaccine ever since I first heard of it because it’s a subject that combines biopharmaceuticals, gender issues, and the politics of public health. At first, critics contended that giving young girls Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine would not just prevent cervical cancer, but also promote promiscuity. This concern may have subsided, but two new wrinkles in the Gardasil story came to light on Friday. Read more »

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