QR Pharma is a five-year-old start up based in Berwyn, but the young company has connected with well-known people and groups as it seeks funding to make drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
In 2012, QR Pharma got $468,000 from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) to conduct research on compound called Posiphen as a potential treatment for Parkinson's. This grant is for work that will be led by Dr. Robert Nussbaum of the University of California, San Francisco and Jack T. Rogers, an associate professor of psychiatry at the genetics and aging research unit of Massachusetts General Hospital.
On Tuesday, QR Pharma said it it got $3 million from the U.S. Army to study Posiphen as a treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI). This grant is to study the medication in two different trials in mice and it will be conducted in conjunction with the University of California Los Angeles. The UCLA doctors involved are Marie-Francoise Chesselet and David Hovda. Chesselet is chairwoman of the neurobiology department at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Hovda has been honored by the Army for his work in developing ways to treat TBI.
Among the many illogical aspects of American healthcare is that pharmaceutical companies pay fees to the federal government to help fund the process of drug evaluation at the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA is supposed to protect citizens from bad food and drugs. This is what tax money is supposed to do, just like other sensible government functions.
The drug companies want the FDA approval for legal but also commercial reasons: If consumers think the government checked out the food and drugs, then perhaps the food and drugs are safe enough to consume.
Shire trying to convince Europeans, like Americans, that most kids have ADHD...and then most adults?
Sometimes children are fidgety. Sometimes they have lots of energy. Sometimes parents and adults can't find a time or place for them to run around. Sometimes children can't focus on what adults would like them to read, either Dr. Seuss or Shakespeare.
Sometimes all of that is also true of adults.
Shire Pharmaceuticals argues that much of that fidgeting is because of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and people should be prescribed Shire's medicine. And once those children grow up, having gotten used to the medicine, they should stay on it forever. Or at least until they die.
Drugmaker Merck & Co., said Tuesday morning that it will cut about 8,500 jobs from commercial and research-and-development departments in hopes of reducing annual operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015.
Merck is based, for the moment, in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and has operations elsewhere in New Jersey and suburban Philadelphia, including West Point and Blue Bell.
A Merck spokeswoman would not specify how many jobs will be eliminated at each facility or whether Philly-area facilities will be shut entirely.
Romances go bad for folks in the pharmaceutical business, like most others, but rarely this bad.
A Bristol-Myers Squibb chemist, Tianle Li, was sentenced to life in prison Monday for poisoning her husband with thallium, which she ordered through work in 2010. She was unhappy with the couple's pending divorce.
The family lived in Monroe Township and Tianle Li worked at the BMS facility in Lawrenceville. Xiaoye Wang, computer software engineer, got one of his degrees at Penn.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which has been under pressure from Wall Street to cut costs and which said in May it would close a Bucks County factory by 2017, has renewed leases for three facilities in Montgomery County and a fourth in Bucks County, spokeswoman Denise Bradley said Friday.
Teva, based in Israel, is the world's largest generic drugmaker by revenue.
In its 2012 annual report, Teva included its Americas' headquarters among four facilities in the North Wales area of Montgomery County.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca still faces huge challenges amid a changing healthcare landscape, but a Reuters story Monday quotes a couple investors and an analyst as saying chief executive Pascal Soriot is making slow, if uncertain, progress.
AstraZeneca is now based in London, but Soriot has said the company will shift headquarters to Cambridge, United Kingdom, in hopes of being closer to academic and research people. AstraZeneca still has a lot of folks in Wilmington and Newark, Del., even after cutting thousands of jobs and moving others to Gaithersburg, Md.
As always, the caveat with investors and and some analysts is that positive comments can raise the stock price.
Federal appeals court decision in a Teva case is latest in debate over using state or federal courts
A decision this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is the latest in a debate about whether multiple lawsuits alleging harm to patients from the same pharmaceutical product should be heard in state courts or federal courts.
The 2-1 opinion by the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit, which conservatives generally view as much too liberal, favored Judith Romo, other plaintiffs and their attorneys and against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County.
Conservatives and business groups hope the decision in Romo v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA will eventually lead to a Supreme Court hearing to settle the issue. With a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, business groups like their chances in that venue.