Sunday, 27 November 2011

Survey results: Big Pharma



"I don't find this result surprising given the current reputational issues Big Pharma have with the general public.However, I disagree with these results. If it wasn't for Big Pharma we wouldn't have DMTs for MS or the exciting pipeline that currently exists."


"MS'ers may be surprised but there are currently two PPMS and one SPMS trial recruiting sponsored by Big Pharma. The anti-Lingo trial that is targeting remyelination is also a Big Pharma project. All these have been profiled on this blog in the recent past."


"What is worrying however is the bad publicity "big money" brings to the field."


"It is also becoming increasingly difficult to get investigator trials sponsored, for example funding for a recent vitamin D trial was turned down in the UK. We are not sure why as the trial was well designed, the case for vitamin D is compelling and the study was powered to be definitive. May be next time?"

"We are about to submit a grant to test an anti-EBV drug in MS. Again the case is compelling for this trial. Let's hope the reviewers' and funders' think the same."

"I wonder if Danone and/or Nestle would be interested in funding a probiotic trial in MS? Please complete the new poll to let us know. You never know your response may be the beginning of a powerful lobby."

7 comments:

  1. Which MS patients would the anti-EBV drug be aimed at? What do you mean by compelling? Would this be a trial on humans? NMSS has most funds, so guessing they are on you list of possible funders.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the reasons for the results of the 'big pharma' questionnaire is the same as ever - people are essentially not very well informed about the real facts of the matter. I don't know why this is, I think people tend to believe the shocking tabloidesque headlines and articles. And I suppose the facts that are available are fairly well buried and people need time and resources to dig them out - another reason for you to continue with your excellent blog! BTW which is the SPMS trial that is recruiting?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just want to second the above poster's comment in that I too am very happy to see you continue this blog. It's a great site and I want to thank you for doing it.

    I think that as better drugs,eventually,get to market for PPMS'ers, there will be a sea change in the way pharamas are viewed. There's massive distrust right now but that's only because of the lack of helpful products.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Re "There's massive distrust right now but that's only because of the lack of helpful products."

    which, by the way, does not prevent pharma industry to thrive over MS.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Re: "Which MS patients would the anti-EBV drug be aimed at? What do you mean by compelling? Would this be a trial on humans?"

    RRMS first; they are the easiest group to show an effect in. If positive we would target people with progressive disease in a second phase.

    Compelling: how long is a piece of string. This blog is full of EBV posts. It is clear that EBV plays a key role in the pathology of MS, possibly a causative role. When, where and how it acts is part of our ongoing research. One way of testing this theory is by doing a treatment trial.

    We are hoping to get funding from the MRC. We are re-applying to the NMSS for funding to cover our LP neuroprotective trial. We have a lot of grant writing to do this December, very little holidays for us.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Prof G,

    Sorry, I'd translated compelling as meaning a possibly positive treatment effect.

    Would it not be possible to do a small trial c.30 people? I'm guessing an anti-viral wouldn't be expensive + some MRI + write-up. This proof of concept study would be a good springboard to get funders interested in larger studiesm

    ReplyDelete
  7. Re: "Would it not be possible to do a small trial c.30 people? I'm guessing an anti-viral wouldn't be expensive + some MRI + write-up. This proof of concept study would be a good springboard to get funders interested in larger studies?"

    Yes, that is exactly our strategy.

    ReplyDelete

Please note that all comments are moderated and any personal or marketing-related submissions will not be shown.