Are you a diabetes patient? then this news would certainly bring a ray of hope in your life. If Novocell is to be believed then the company might come up with an effective treatment against diabetes. Let me remind you that Novocell is a company which specializes in stem cell engineering. The company claims that it might be possible to repair insulin producing tissues which are affected by diabetes and said that stem cells from embryos could evolve and turn into cells which could provide insulin. If successful this treatment might be available in another three years. Emmanuel Baetge, chief scientific officer, Novocell said: The efficient, reproducible production of human embryonic stem cell derived, insulin producing endocrine cells through a process that mirrors the development of human pancreatic cells represents a critical step towards providing a renewable source of cells for diabetes therapy. This provides a foundation upon which we can build a standardized process for generating functional insulin-producing cells for the treatment of diabetic patients.
Until and unless there is a proper policy on a technology a country cannot make headway in it. Realizing this government of Kenya has approved a policy on biotechnology. This policy is concerned with how R&D and applications are to be undertaken in this field. The policy has outlined the safety procedures which need to be followed with respect to R&D and the products to be produced using biotechnology. The country has realized the role that biotechnology could play in improving food security, reducing poverty and conserving biodiversity and environment. The policy states that industry and trade are the major areas where biotechnology can be applied. Besides ensuring development the policy also states strong concerns regarding bio safety and the environment. Kenya has done a wonderful work by coming out with proper guidelines as it would certainly help nor only the country but also the technology.
The area of injectable generic drugs presents a host of opportunities for industry planners and venture capitalists. Health payers have been moving towards generic substitution and this combined with low commercialization of new drugs has enabled this market to register double digit growth. Most of the growth has been witnessed in mainstream drugs coupled with tablet administration and with oversupply in some areas this has led to falling margins for the generic companies. The business of injectable generic business has bypassed this trend as very few companies are producing injectables but this coupled with high prices and the market opportunities presented is expected to increase its attractiveness to a number of companies.
Have you heard about Platrol? It is being considered as one of the first anti platelet drug which has demonstrated forty percent more efficacy and very little toxicity resulting in higher therapeutic index when compared with Aspirin and other anti platelet drugs during clinical trials. Due to its inherent sustained release property it is also being hailed as a long term cardio protective drug. Platrol has been found out to behave in a similar fashion to Aspirin and has been found out to decrease blood clotting through a dual mechanism. When compared to Aspirin this drug does not have acidic group intact and studies have demonstrated that it does not have any toxicity. This drug has been found out to be effective among all drugs researched and US cardiologists have shown confidence in this drug and have stated that they would prescribe this drug due to lower toxicity when compared to Aspirin.
DNA of fifteen mouse strains has been successfully resequenced by researchers which are used in biomedical research. Around 8.3 million SNPs were discovered among the genomes of the fifteen mouse strains. This data would help the researchers in understanding the complex genetic traits and it would help the researchers in deciding as to how environmental agents would be influencing the development of disease. SNPs are single genetic variations which occur within a DNA sequence and as human beings and mice share some fundamental biological and behavioral processes therefore this data would help the researchers in understanding human genetic susceptibility in almost two hundred diseases such as diabetes, reproductive diseases, Parkinson’s, asthma etc. This is a very big milestone as this wealth of data would benefit the research community. David A. Schwartz, M.D, NIEHS stated: Each mouse strain is genetically unique. Now that we know the DNA variations for these mouse strains, we can compare the genetic makeup of one strain that acquires a certain disease to another strain that does not get the same disease. In this way researchers gain insight into the same processes that may cause one human to get a disease while another human in the same environment remains disease-free
All eyes are set at the flora exposition in Thailand as some people fear that the exotic foreign plants being displayed among the four million local trees might harm the local environment. Until and unless stricter measures are taken there is a chance that these foreign plants might lead to the contamination of the gene pool in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Officials of the agriculture department have been working hard for the past six months in order to ensure that these foreign plants did not damage their environment. A wide variety of species have been brought from countries such as South Africa and Japan. The country has banned genetically modified plants from the event in order to avoid any opposition from conservationists. It seems that genetically modified plants are not being welcomed by a number of countries who fear that these altered varieties could upset their surroundings.
As per the European commission very little GM food products are available in the EU market and this is being attributed to factors such as availability and consumer demand as compared to the new EU legislation. Since the time authorization came into effect in 2004, around ten GM strains were cleared for the EU market for maize meant for animal or human consumption. EU has already witnessed three major incidences of unauthorized GM products. Strict new labeling rules were enforced when authorized GM food reached the markets. GM food is quite uncommon in EU but GM animal feed is found in abundance due to biotech soy beans prevailing in the global production.
The rice traders don’t seem to be comfortable with Indian government plans of conducting field trials of GM rice as they feel it could have an impact on millions of farmers in the country. They fear that these trials could lead to the contamination of the seeds and have a dampening effect on the confidence of the consumers and dent the reputation of India as a reliable exporter of rice. They have stated their concern after the EU started testing all the long grain rice shipments from U.S after it came to light that imports from U.S were contaminated with GM rice. GM rice is banned in around twenty five countries in Europe. India had been conducting field trials of short grain rice since the year 2005 but it was only last month that Supreme Court had banned from conducting any more fresh trials. I think the traders are right on their part and the government should study the situation in depth before proceeding with the trials.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has come out with a drug known as IL-1 Trap which can be effectively used for treatment of CAPS or CIAS1-related autoinflammatory periodic syndromes. It is regarded as a rare inherited spectrum of inflammatory conditions and the symptoms of this disease are spontaneous systemic inflammation. People suffering from this disease get the inflammation when they get exposed to cold temperatures. Regeneron is looking forward to get the approval from FDA in the second quarter of 2007 after the open label extension study is completed. Already the drug has got orphan drug status and this status is granted in case of only those drugs which are being developed for treating rare diseases.
Scientists from South Africa are developing GM wine. For this purpose an application has been sent to the government for conducting field trials of GM grapes. In another application a former South African has applied for selling GM yeast used in winemaking. The GM yeast is expected to produce protein stable wines. Wine makers are saying that they won’t touch this wine. It will take some time before the wine is produced but it would not be released commercially but you would soon find GM yeast on the shelves. Consumer groups and environmentalists are objecting against the GM wine as they fear that it would lead to environmental contamination. Though there is an international ban on GM wine but scientists feel that this might change. Let’s see.