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Jan 31, 2012

Poll on ‘Strategy for UK Life Sciences’ Shows Divide

  • The jury seems to be out on how effective the U.K.’s new strategy for enhancing its competitiveness in biopharma will be, if a recent GEN poll is any evidence. More than one-third of respondents (35.6%) said they didn't think the plan would do very much, though more than half gave the strategy better marks by predicting it would be “a great deal” effective (25.4%) or “somewhat” effective (28.8%). The remaining 10.2% of respondents were undecided.

    Prime Minister David Cameron recently unveiled “Strategy for UK Life Sciences” with the intent of shepherding more biopharma companies to market and keeping them growing. The strategy calls for the U.K. to launch a £180 million ($278.6 million) fund to push startup companies past the “valley of death,” a £130 million ($201.2 million) personalized medicine research fund, and a £50 million ($77.4 million) cell therapy technology center among other components. The strategy also promises a new initiative to speed up approvals of new drugs.

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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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