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Jul 31, 2007

Industrial Alliance for Drug Rescue Formed in Taiwan

  • Four Taiwan-based companies will together launch a pharmacogenomics-based drug rescue program under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan. The firms involved are  Vita Genomics, Protech Pharmaservices, Medigen Biotechnology, and TTY Biopharm. 

    “The alliance aims to create an internationally recognized drug resurrection business,” according to Ellson Chen, president and CEO of Vita Genomics, who also notes that “drug rescue is a high-risk, high-reward business and it is therefore critical and essential to have the support from the Taiwan government. Building the expertise of pharmacogenomics to assist drug development could enhance its global competitive edge toward the era of personalized medicine.”

    The collaboration is currently looking for and screening a list of potential drug candidate. Once a target drug is identified, the companies will develop biomarkers to screen subsets of patients who may respond better or avoid adverse responses to the test drug. 

    This approach is especially useful for drugs that have failed in Phase II or III clinical trials due to low efficacy or strong side effects, the consortium reports. The alliance is seeking partnership with drug companies and reports that it will be flexible in negotiating the license rights with all necessary parties involved, ranging from fee-for-service to royalty-based joint programs.

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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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