Breast Cancer Subtypes

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Cancer, Genetics, Mechanism of Action

FOUR MOLECULAR VARIANTS EXPLAINED Hearing your doctor utter the words HER2-positive, HR-positive, triple-negative, or BRCA mutation can be devastating — even for the most resilient person. Simply put, breast cancer is a complex disease. A diagnosis can be derived from any combination of the factors listed above — or, none at all. The National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD) has outlined four molecular subtypes of the disease. … Read More

Decoding Your Genes

Emily BurkeBiotech Basics, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, Drug Approvals, Easily Confused, FDA, Genetics, Genomics, Orphan Disease, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

The Skinny On DNA Testing 23andMe (Mountain View, CA) recently found itself back in the limelight after the disease risk section of its mail-in DNA kit received an OK from the FDA. The Silicon Valley biotech had to halt sales of its direct-to-consumer genetics testing back in 2013 after regulatory officials grew concerned over marketing claims and the possibility of consumers misinterpreting the test results. 23andMe rebooted a limited part of … Read More

The Intrigue Of HIF

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

The Versatility Of HIFs Quite a few headlines touting a term called “HIF compound” or “hypoxia-inducible factor compound” have intrigued us here at WEEKLY headquarters. GlaxoSmithKline (London, England), Akebia Therapeutics (Cambridge, MA) and more have HIF-inducing drugs in the pipeline which may prove to be attractive alternatives to Amgen’s (Thousand Oaks, CA) injectable Epogen currently on the market. In earlier stages of research, HIFs are being studied for their connection to tumor … 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

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

Attack Of The Migraine

Emily BurkeClinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

New Avenues For Migraine Therapy Migraines. One of the most convenient excuses to get out of work or dinner with your mother-in-law. More than just a headache, migraines often include symptoms like intense pain, nausea, dizziness, and extreme sensitivity to light or noise. They can last anywhere from a few hours to days on end. Episodes may be as frequent as several times a … Read More

Unmasking Multiple Sclerosis

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

 Many Channels Available To Impede MS Progression Continuing our series on central nervous system (CNS) disorders—previously covering Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s—we pivot to unmask Multiple Sclerosis this week. Famous faces suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) include former talk show host Montel Williams and Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Sigler. MS typically occurs in susceptible individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, and there are … 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

The Powered Exoskeleton

Emily BurkeBusiness of Biotech, Medical Device, Orphan Disease, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BODY Last WEEKLY’s focus on Duchenne muscular dystrophy got us to thinking, what products are available for those with limited mobility? A new type of medical device called a powered exoskeleton certainly caught our eye. Originally conceived as a tool to aid soldiers in lifting heavy objects, medical device companies are turning to exoskeletons as a way to dramatically improve quality of … Read More

Potential Of PCSK9 Inhibitors

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

$23 Billion Blockbuster? The PCSK9 inhibitor buzz keeps rolling, especially since sitting before the FDA Advisory Committee earlier this month.  Amgen’s (Thousand Oaks, CA) Repatha and Sanofi’s (Paris, France) Praluent are a new class of cholesterol lowing drug looking to win final approvals by late summer. Both companies are pioneers in the realm of biologics (monoclonal antibodies) aimed at the heart. Early use restrictions … Read More

Targeting Breast Cancer

Emily BurkeCancer, Drug Approvals, Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, Genetics, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

The Subtypes of Breast Cancer Hearing your doctor utter the words HER2-positive, HR-positive, triple-negative, or BRCA mutation can be devastating—even for the most resilient person. Simply put, all are linked to breast cancer. Breast cancer is complex and a diagnosis can be caused by all, some, or even none of the factors listed above. In fact, the National Cancer Institute’s (Bethesda, … Read More

Driving Down The Epigenetic Highway

Emily BurkeBusiness of Biotech, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, FDA, Genetics, Genomics, The WEEKLY

Biotechnology is enjoying another banner year on Wall Street. Currently, there are at least 39 companies queued for an IPO. This led us at the WEEKLY to wonder: what is the actual science behind each company’s promise that leads public markets to invest billions of dollars? This week and next, we are popping open the hood and checking out what … 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

Inhaling Insulin Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

INSULIN INHALED Injections are a part of life for most diabetics. Type 1 patients inject insulin into themselves multiple times per day, and as many as 40% of type 2 diabetics require at least one daily injection. Thanks to the FDA’s approval of MannKind Corporation’s inhalable insulin therapy called Afrezza, needles just might be a thing of the past for … Read More

Scabbing Now A “Walk In The Park” For Hemophilia A Sufferers

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

SCABBING NOW A WALK IN THE PARK FOR HEMOPHILIA A SUFFERERS Imagine tripping over your feet, face-planting on a sidewalk. You are in shorts, your knees scrape, and you are bloody. You clean it off, and soon you are the proud owner of some new scabs. Life goes on. Let’s say you are the one of the 5,000 men with … Read More