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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round-up of R&D news in brief

Xceleron technique 'makes human trials safer'
Contract research organisation, Xceleron, says it has the kind of technology to improve the safety of clinical trials. Chief executive, Professor Colin Garner said the firm's human microdosing technique makes human drug trials safer, permits human data to be obtained much faster than conventional methods and can reduce animal testing. ìThe US Food and Drug Administration has highlighted the lack of correlation between animal models and humans for drug safety and efficacy,î he said. ìRecent sad events in the phase I clinical trial at Northwick Park show how difficult it is to extrapolate animal data to humans.î

Wyeth sign Scottish research network deal
US firm, Wyeth, has signed a £50m deal with the government-funded development agency, Scottish Enterprise and the universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow as well as NHS Scotland to create a research network. The aim of the project is to identify new ways to treat patients with heart disease, cancer, depression and osteoporosis, by focusing on ìbiomarkersî, the natural molecules that indicate whether someone has a disease. Wyeth will invest £33m over five years with an option to extend for a further five years.

Positive data for Tykerb
GlaxoSmithKline's orally-delivered treatment for advanced breast cancer, Tykerb, has received positive data from an interim analysis of its phase III trial. The UK firm ended enrolment for the trial after its interim analysis of 321 patients found that Tykerb in combination with Xeloda delayed the time to disease progression by more than 50 per cent, compared to Xeloda alone. The first regulatory filings are now planned for the second half of 2006, compared with earlier guidance of late-2006 or early-2007. Analysts at Merrill Lynch described the results as ìa clear positive for sentiment towards the GSK pipelineî but noted that Tykerb is only likely to be allowed access to a relatively small portion of the breast cancer market.

30th September 2008

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