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  • News in Brief

    Drug candidate fails to improve symptoms of fragile X syndrome

    An experimental drug for the genetic disorder fragile X syndrome was ineffective in two studies in people.

    The syndrome, which is caused by a mutation on the X chromosome, can cause intellectual disability, attention deficit disorder and autism spectrum disorders.

    The drug candidate, called mavoglurant, had shown promise in mice with a genetic condition similar to fragile X. The...

    01/13/2016 - 14:00 Genetics, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Dropping blood pressure to 120 lowers heart woes, data confirm

    Aggressive treatment for high blood pressure saves lives, newly released data from a recently halted clinical trial suggests.

    Using drugs to lower systolic blood pressure to less than 120 millimeters of mercury cut people’s risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular woes by 25 percent, researchers report November 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That’s compared with...

    11/09/2015 - 14:16 Clinical Trials, Health
  • News

    Antibodies to fight Alzheimer’s may have unexpected consequences

    In an unexpected twist, two antibodies designed to fight Alzheimer’s disease instead made nerve cells in mice misbehave more.

    The results, published online November 9 in Nature Neuroscience, highlight how little is known about how these drugs actually work, says study coauthor Marc Aurel Busche of Technical University Munich. “We need to understand what these antibodies do in the brains...

    11/09/2015 - 11:00 Health, Clinical Trials, Neuroscience
  • News

    Daily drug shown effective in preventing HIV infections

    After a decade of controversy and halting progress, preexposure prophylaxis may finally be about to take its place in the vanguard of AIDS prevention. 

    In September, for the first time, the World Health Organization expanded the population recommended for this option, which involves taking daily doses of antiviral medication. If a person is exposed to HIV, the drugs should defeat the...

    10/27/2015 - 11:00 Health, Biomedicine, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Study finds benefits from lowering blood pressure, but questions remain

    A new study proclaims some dramatic benefits of using medication to lower blood pressure, but some scientists are advising caution.

    Aggressive treatment of high blood pressure comes with risks, and the study, a large clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, has not yet been peer-reviewed or published.

    Until then, changes to blood pressure guidelines and...

    09/18/2015 - 13:00 Health, Clinical Trials, Biomedicine
  • News in Brief

    Clinical trial suggests new blood pressure standard

    It’s time to rethink current blood pressure guidelines.

    Using drugs to lower people’s systolic blood pressure, the pressure when the heart contracts, to less than 120 millimeters of mercury could cut heart attack, stroke and death rates. These are the preliminary results suggested by a clinical trial of more than 9,300 people ages 50 and older with high blood pressure.


    09/11/2015 - 17:58 Health, Clinical Trials
  • Scicurious

    With flibanserin approval, a complicated drug takes the spotlight

    Ever since Viagra was first approved for men, female advocates have been waiting for their “little pink pill.” On August 18, the day arrived: Flibanserin — a failed antidepressant — received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to boost sexual desire in women. Immediately articles and blog posts were published that questioned the new drug. Some noted its low efficacy and interactions...

    09/03/2015 - 16:48 Clinical Trials, Biomedicine, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Earlier is better for HIV treatment

    People infected with HIV benefit from starting a drug regimen early, an international study finds.

    HIV depletes immune cells called CD4 T cells. Normally there are 500 to 1,200 of these cells per cubic millimeter of blood. HIV can drive that amount below 350 or 250, levels that have typically marked starting points for treatment. Some evidence had suggested that treating HIV-positive...

    08/26/2015 - 17:00 Clinical Trials, Health
  • News

    Ebola vaccine protects people in West Africa

    The first large test of an Ebola vaccine in the field shows strong protection against the lethal virus. With the epidemic in West Africa now in retreat, the shot might hasten disease elimination in Guinea, which still has cases cropping up.

    “This is a huge advance in the Ebola field,” says Thomas Geisbert, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It’s been...

    07/31/2015 - 17:38 Clinical Trials, Biomedicine
  • News

    New cancer drugs wake up sleeping killer T cells

    Cancer relies on a bag of tricks that can render it virtually invisible to the body’s disease-fighting apparatus. Tumors even co-opt “checkpoint” proteins found on the immune system’s T cells. These proteins normally prevent the immune system from running amok. When activated, these checkpoints can turn a T cell from a bristling warrior ready for a fight into a dozing sentinel — and cancer...

    06/25/2015 - 08:30 Cancer, Clinical Trials