PHARMACY

Report: Grand Rapids, Mich., company seeks to bring diabetes drug alternatives to market

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Metabolic Solutions Development Co. is looking to bring an alternative diabetes drug to market, according to published reports.

The company is said to be in the end stages of Phase 2A clinical studies involving diabetic patients. The new treatment may help Type 2 diabetics control their blood glucose levels without producing the harmful side effects diabetes drugs currently on the market. Those side effects include weight gain, high blood pressure and a condition that leads to edema.

“Type 2 diabetes is a very complicated disease, but most patients ultimately die from cardiovascular disease,” said Mark Olesnavage, CEO. “Weight gain, high blood pressure and edema can increase those risks. We believe that this is the first time a West Michigan company has come up with a new drug compound that’s in Phase 2 clinical trials. After Upjohn pulled out of the state, there is no one doing drug development, and we are a little startup that’s already undertaking the trials.”

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Researchers discover ways to prevent infection of cells

BY Alaric DeArment

MADISON, Wis. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to block biological communications between cells that lead to viral infections and tumors.

In a study supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from UW-Madison and other universities created a set of synthetic molecules that interacted with the HIV protein gp41 to prevent the infection of cells. Several viruses, including HIV, Ebola and influenza, use interactions between viral and cellular proteins to infect cells.

“There’s a lot of information transfer that occurs when proteins come together, and one would often like to block that information flow,” UW-Madison chemistry professor Samuel Gellman said in a statement.

While it remains unclear whether this method can be used to create anti-HIV drugs, Gellman said it did could potentially lead to new ways of thinking about designing antiviral drug molecules.

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Behavioral Health Central to relaunch Web portal

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. In an effort to bring together clinicians, patients, payers, executives and administrators on one central Web portal, Behavioral Health Central is relaunching the www.BehavioralHealthCentral.com site.

The new Web portal provides industry and clinical news, resources and tools, and social networking capabilities designed to bring together all of the major stakeholders in behavioral healthcare. 

“This new genesis of our site brings everyone to the table so they all have access to similar resources and information,” stated Jim Miller, president of BHC. “It’s a recognition that, in the end, we’re all striving for the same thing — better treatment pathways, leading to improved outcomes for patients.”

Another key feature of the new site is the addition of nationwide directories that allow professionals and consumers to quickly locate treatment facilities, therapists, vendors, drug information, association lists and more.

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