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Feb 26, 2007

Avalon Pharmaceuticals Initiates Primary Screening Phase in Novartis Collaboration

  • Avalon Pharmaceuticals initiated the primary screening phase under its drug discovery collaboration with Novartis. The collaboration aims to discover small molecule therapeutic compounds targeted against a pathway selected by Novartis. The terms of the collaboration provide for upfront, research-support, and milestone payments.

    Avalon is using its AvalonRx® drug discovery platform to screen, identify, and characterize compounds from the Novartis  proprietary compound library. Following Avalon's successful identification of a screen signature by monitoring large-scale gene expression changes resulting from disrupting the selected pathway, the parties have agreed to initiate the primary screen against a large subset of Novartis' compound library. Under the terms of the agreement, the initiation of the screening phase triggers a $500,000 payment to Avalon for research support.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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