Week 49: Caffeine affinity explored, new hot-beds for biotech start-ups, Canine Leishmaniasis treatment break through

Posted on December 14, 2018 in Drug Development

Is there a scientific reason behind caffeine affinity?

BioTechniques brings us enlightening information regarding caffeine and evolution in humans. Taste is a way to warn of us substances that are dangerous for consumption, specifically bitter taste. Caffeine falls into the category of tasting bitter, so why do some of us love it so much?

Researchers at Northwestern University have conducted a study that links taste sensitivity and coffee consumption. The study found that oddly enough, people who has an increased sensitivity to taste, had an increased coffee consumption. They think there is an acknowledgement within the brain that the benefits of caffeine override the evolutionary process of determining whether the bitter taste is detrimental to health. 

Scientists Discover a New Way to Heal Fracture Repair

GEN reports that scientists and doctors out of Duke University have discovered a new pathway behind why fractures in youth heal at a faster rate than those in older populations. While it’s been common knowledge that this is the case, there have been struggles to find out exactly why. This study uncovered that younger macrophages secrete a healing-promoting protein at a higher rate to facilitate tissue and fracture repair compared to older macrophages. The implications of this study can not only reach to increasing healing rates in fractures from falls in the elderly populations, but help reduce the costs associated with these injuries, which can reach, on average, to $30,000.

Asia Based Biotech Companies Increase

Novotech has increased its staff by 40% and expanded collaborations with 10 other institutions in South Korea, as covered by Outsourcing-Pharma. The increase in biotech start-ups across the area, being attributed to faster approval times from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) and ethics committee (EC), taking around two months on average.

It has been reported that western-based small- and medium-sized biotech companies has increased by 17% over the previous twelve-month period. In the report referenced, it is projected that the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in South Korea is estimated to increase by 19.9% by 2020, compared to the CAGR of 10.4% in North America. The same report also indicated that three key factors come in to play when deciding to place clinical trials in Asia: speed, cost-effectiveness, and world data acceptability.

China is following suit and increasing accessibility in their market, by making several regulatory changes to accelerate innovation and increase their riole in the global drug development. As a result, the pharmaceutical market in China has changed significantly over the last five years, such as the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) decreasing their approval timelines. With the changes made, China has outpaced Japan as the second largest global market by adopting a patient-centric practices, advancing precision medicine, and utilizing adaptive trials while implementing real world data.

FiercePharma adds to this, stating that Changzhou Qianghong Bio-Pharma is constructing a $145bn facility that they say, when complete, will add 200 million tablets and 60 million injections to production alongside making molecular diagnosis reagents. Some Chinese companies are increasing their strategy and production to be competitive with western companies in the drug making space.

UK Cell and Gene Market Make Post-Brexit Preparations, EU Steps Up Their GMP Game

BioPharma-Reporter weighs in on the state of the UK market and how it is creating a space to attract companies once Brexit is complete by continuing to increase government funding and expanding GMP licensed facilities.

Elsewhere, the FDA has added five more European Union member states to conduct GMP inspections, PharmTech reports. The five states include Belgium, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, and Finland via the mutual recognition agreement (MRA). This agreement between the European Union (EU) and US allow for the recognition of manufacturing sites for human medicine between the two regions, making it a total of 20 countries included on the list. The end goal is to include all EU member states in this agreement by July 15th, 2019.

In the UK, US-based Atlantic Research Group (ARG) has purchased their first office overseas, acquiring CCA Clinical Research, covered by Outsourcing-Pharma. This decade long partnership has led to an increase in staff up to approximately 100 employees, allowing for a smooth integration of companies. But it does not stop here, with ARG’s CEO Paul Bishop stating that they will now look at other companies around the world to align with.


Canine Leishmaniasis Key Treatment May Be Found in Vaccines

American Veterinarian states that University of Iowa researchers have discovered that the vaccine used to prevent Canine Leishmaniasis (CanL) can also be utilized in treatment. This zoonotic disease, typically transmitted by sand flea bites in tropical countries, but can be found in more than 70 countries globally with most dogs infected meeting a fatal end despite treatment available. This disease can also be transmitted from mother to offspring and is believed to have been introduced to the US by native foxhounds breeding with imported dogs from afflicted countries. Southern European countries report a 20% infection rate in their population and a spread north. Brazil sees a higher rate of infected dogs—in the millions—with euthanasia being implemented in afflicted dogs to prevent the spread of infection to humans.

The study was also reported in Vaccine and is the first clinical trial of the injectable, LeishTec, in infected dogs. The results indicated a safe reduction of the disease in infected dogs, particularly the foxhounds mentioned. This is said to be a step in the right direction to help dogs globally and combat the disease.