This week in drug discovery (13-17 September) 

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 13-17 September 

The news in the drug discovery industry this week has demonstrated the potential that remains untapped for a number of industries at large as well as taking early steps towards future cures and treatments. DDW’s Megan Thomas has rounded up five stories which showcase this breakthrough potential.  

1. First patient receives low-dose psilocybin for rare headache disorder 

Beckley Psytech has dosed the first patient in a world-first clinical trial exploring the effects of psilocybin for treating Short-lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform Headache Attacks (SUNHA).   

2. Breakthrough Therapy Designation granted in China for lymphoma drug 

Hutchmed has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the Center for Drug Evaluation of China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for amdizalisib (HMPL-689), a highly selective and potent PI3Kδ inhibitor, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL), a subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). 

3. ‘EU biosimilar wave’ can be used to predict future biosimilar activity 

GlobalData has predicted that the arrival of biosimilar therapies in the EU will continue to fall in the coming years following a wave pattern that has been occurring since 2006.   

4. Illumina and Merck partner to identify cancer mutations 

Illumina and Merck have partnered to develop and commercialise tests that identify genetic mutations used in the assessment of homologous recombination deficiency (HRD).   

5. Research reveals drug targets for memory enhancement 

Bristol-led research has identified specific drug targets within the neural circuits that encode memories, paving the way for significant advances in the treatment of a broad spectrum of brain disorders.     

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