Finding alternatives to animal testing is an important endeavor. While the practice has been banned in the cosmetic products industry since 2013, it's still a central part of evaluating the effectiveness and dangers of new medication, with researchers usually using laboratory rodents to test out their latest drugs. Now, a team lead by scientists at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology has created a microbioreactor that has the potential to provide medication testing using cultured liver cells rather than animals.
A new study conducted by Baylor College of Medicine in the US has provided the first evidence that medicines aren't negatively affected by spending time in space. The research looked at samples returned from the International Space Station (ISS), and represents the first step in a new avenue of study.
A team from the John Innes Center in the UK has developed a method for producing large quantities of beneficial compounds by growing them in tomatoes. Given how high yielding the fruit is, it could be used to produce the substances on an industrial scale.
Keeping track of multiple medications can be challenging, particularly if they aren't all simple one-a-day doses. That's why South Carolina-based PharmRight Corporation has developed Livi. It's a cloud-connected pill dispenser that can manage a 90-day supply of up to 15 medications at once, letting users know when to take what, and letting caregivers know if they miss a dose.
Anyone who has to take medication on a regular basis, especially at different points during the day, can attest that remembering to take pills at the right time can be challenging. Lumma is a new device being developed to make that experience a little less painful by keeping track of your medication and notifying you when it's time to take it.
The term "designer drug" may soon refer less to the illicit kind and
more to custom creations by the pharmaceutical industry. Aprecia
Pharmaceuticals Company has just had its proprietary ZipDose Technology
platform approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This
marks the very first instance that the FDA has given the green light for
a 3D-printed drug product.
Researchers at MIT have developed a new material that shows promise for use in ultra-long drug delivery systems, as well as electronic monitoring of the stomach and weight-loss intervention. A type of polymer gel, the material is flexible and pH-responsive, allowing it to reside in the stomach for long periods of time before safety dissolving in the small intestine.
Building on previous work, researchers at Duke University have developed a new technology that wraps nanoshells in a thin film of drug-infused hydrogel, adding additional firepower to the already promising targeted cancer treatment. The hydrogel is loaded with cancer-fighting drugs and coated onto the nanoshells, which heat up when exposed to infrared light and release the chemotherapeutic drugs, delivering a one-two punch, directly to the tumour.
Scientists believe they can isolate the medical benefits of THC from the "unwanted side effects". By blocking a particular receptor, the cognitive effects of THC, including memory loss, anxiety and dependence can be suppressed, whist the analgesic and tumor-inhibiting properties remain.
When asked to name an endangered species, rhinos are probably one of the
first animals to come to most peoples' minds. In both Africa and Asia,
poaching is causing populations to plummet, due mainly to demand for
rhino horn as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine – whether or
not it actually has any medicinal value is another question
altogether. In any case, San Francisco-based biotech startup Pembient is
developing what it hopes could be a solution: inexpensive bioengineered
rhino horn, which could out-compete the genuine item.