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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round-up of drug discovery and development stories.

Low libido spray effective

An investigative spray formula for the treatment of low libido in women has been successful in phase IIb clinical trials. Testosterone MDTS, made by Australian pharmaceutical company, Acrux, demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the number of satisfactory sexual events after 16 weeks for the second highest dose of testosterone compared with placebo. ìThese results are a significant milestone for Acrux in bringing our novel product to global markets,î said Acrux's chief executive officer, Dr Igor Gonda.

Drug-resistant HIV strain found

US health officials have discovered a new, highly-resistant strain of the HIV virus in a New York resident. The officials discovered the strain, 3-DCR, in the mid-40-year-old man after he developed AIDS between two and 20 months after contracting HIV. The strain is ìdifficult or impossible to treatî and is resistant to three out of four common anti-retroviral drugs, officials said.

Stem cell research gets go-ahead

The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has granted Dolly the Sheep's creator, Professor Ian Wilmut, permission to clone human embryos. Professor Wilmut will use the same technique he used to create Dolly to generate embryonic stem cells to study motor neurone disease. It is only the second licence the HFEA has granted that allows embryonic stem cell research to be conducted.

Scientists launch barcoding project

A group of international scientists are planning to catalogue every species of creature on Earth. At the International Conference for the Barcoding of Life, held in London last week, researchers announced the start of two projects that would catalogue all the known species of fish and birds in the world. A third project will catalogue all of the 8,000 species of plants found in Costa Rica, South America. ìAbout 1.7 million species of creature are known,î said Dr Richard Lane, director of Science at the Natural History Museum, London. ìHowever, we suspect there are anything from 10-30 million species on Earth.î

30th September 2008

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