The Multiple Myeloma Landscape

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, Genetics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs

BLOOD CANCER: MULTIPLE MYELOMA Plasma cells are the antibody-producing cells of our immune system which happen to play a critical role in our defense against infections. In multiple myeloma, plasma cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner, forming a cancerous mass known as a plasmacytoma. Marrow — which produces plasma — no longer functions in our defense, it simply takes … Read More

The Mechanics Of Melanoma

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Spectrum Of Therapies Melanoma accounts for less than 1% of skin cancer cases yet causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. If detected early enough, melanoma is almost always curable. If not, its ability to metastasize makes it difficult to treat. Melanoma is more common in young adults than many other types of cancer, with 25% of new cases occurring in people under age … Read More

Unwiring The Biology Of Fibrosis

Emily BurkeAntisense, Biologics, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Fibrotic Disease Innovations Fibrotic diseases — organ and tissue disorders that occur as a result of the buildup of excessive scar tissue — are sounding the alarm in the biotech sector. A silent epidemic creeping up on the Western world involves non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), or liver fibrosis associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Left untreated, NASH can lead to liver failure. Currently, … Read More

The Molecular Cause Of Obesity

Emily BurkeClinical Trials, Diabetes, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week

Targeting Fat Obesity is considered one of the most pressing public health issues of the day. According to the Center for Disease Control, 37% of adults and 17% of children in the U.S. are obese. The latest drug interventions work by attempting to suppress food intake, which has proven beneficial for some. However, there is still a large unmet need … Read More

Cancer Vaccines & Game Changers

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week

The Elusive Cancer Vaccine The promise of cancer vaccines have proven to be elusive. A new crop of biotechs are hoping to change that by taking advantage of the latest advances in genomics. Scientists are working overtime trying to develop cancer vaccines that train the immune system to recognize and fight an established tumor. In this WEEKLY, we’ll break down the science … Read More

Breaking Bad With NSCLC & SCLC

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

BREAKING BAD The hit TV series Breaking Bad features anti-hero Walter White, who starts out as a sympathetic character: a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher with a nagging cough that turns out to be lung cancer. Money problems precipitated by costly treatments, poor insurance, and a modest salary push him to start cooking up meth to ensure the financial security … Read More

The Medicine Machine

Emily BurkeCocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Modern Technology & Mother Nature For thousands of years, nature has been the best medicine cabinet around. Natural products are drugs derived from nature, typically plants or microbes, and have been especially useful in fighting cancer and infectious disease. Drugs from nature can be highly effective. Think Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (New York, NY) Taxol, the breast cancer drug derived from the sap … Read More

The ABCs Of Hepatitis

Emily BurkeDrug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Hepatitis Viruses Explained Curing disease is serious business. Lou Reed, the infamous leader of the rock band Velvet Underground, died in 2013 of complications from hepatitis C and liver disease. Death is the most profound fear for people living with hepatitis C, but with today’s treatments patients can beat this disease. Thank you Gilead’s (Foster City, CA) Harvoni or AbbVie’s (North … Read More

Breaking Down Lung Cancer

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Lung Cancer Primer The hit TV series Breaking Bad features anti-hero Walter White, who starts out as a sympathetic character: a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher with a nagging cough that turns out to be lung cancer. Money problems precipitated by costly treatments, poor insurance, and a modest salary push him to start cooking up meth to ensure the financial security of … Read More

Immune System Checkpoint Therapies On The Case

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Diagnostics, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Monoclonal Antibodies, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

Cancer, Meet Your Newest Opponent Immune checkpoint therapies received a lot of airtime at American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago last week. The release of promising new clinical data has everyone buzzing about more cures for more cancers as a follow-on to last year’s race to the market. The hype seems to be justified. Simply put, these … Read More

First-in-Class: 2014 Drug Approvals

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

The FDA ushered in six new drugs just before the close of 2014, bringing the final tally to 41– the highest rate since 1996, when the agency approved 53 drugs. 2014 drug approvals were notable not only for their quantity, but also their quality. A number of new drugs utilized first-in-class mechanisms, and new pathways always put a skip in … Read More

Biotech’s Battlefront: Monoclonal Antibodies

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Drugs, The WEEKLY

Since their premier on the scene, monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have demanded top billing on the biotech marquee, creating a cast of therapeutics used to treat diseases like autoimmune disorders and cancer. The first player debuted in 1986 when Janssen-Cilag’s OKT3 gained FDA approval to treat transplant rejection patients. Fast forward to 2013, where half of the top ten best selling … Read More

Sculpting A Better Life For Sickle Cell Patients

Emily BurkeBiologics, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, FDA, Genetics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Disease, Orphan Drugs, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

With the recent announcement of two new biologics in Phase I studies for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), WEEKLY takes a closer look at the treatments for this autosomal recessive disease, afflicting approximately 100,000 Americans and 25 million globally. Sickle cell anemia is caused by an SNP in the beta globin gene, which codes for hemoglobin—an oxygen-binding protein in red blood … Read More

Squeezing The Juice Out Of Drug Metabolism

Emily BurkeCardiovascular Disease, Drug Targets, HIV, Mechanism of Action, Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

When popping a pill, we seldom think about what happens next—to the pill, or even to our bodies. We assume the body welcomes any extra help to fix the problem, but the reaction is quite contrary. A swallowed pill (small molecule drug) is instantly labeled by our body as foreign and the reaction of our body is to immediately get … Read More

Playing Detective With Checkpoint Therapies

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, HIV, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

PLAYING DETECTIVE WITH CHECKPOINT THERAPIES Over the past two weeks, we have discussed cancer immunotherapies that involve training T-cells (the detective warriors of our immune system) into seeking and destroying cancer cells. This week, we will take a look into another approach that has been creating a lot of recent excitement: checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Simply put, investigators believe they have … Read More