This week in drug discovery (18-22 December) 

News round-up for 18-22 December by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer.

There have been some ground-breaking advances in women’s health this week, with new treatments for hot flushes and pregnancy sickness, and a discovery that could aid in development of treatments for secondary breast cancer. In other news, the FDA approved a promising antibody-drug conjugate for bladder cancer and trial results demonstrated that psilocybin could reduce depression symptoms in cancer patients.

The top stories:

Scientists discover potential treatment for pregnancy sickness

A new study has shown why seven in 10 women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – and why some women become so sick they need to be admitted to hospital.

Novel hot flushes treatment approved in UK and EU

Astellas’ Veoza (fezolinetant) will soon be available to some women in the UK suffering from vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause following approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Discovery lights the way for new secondary breast cancer drugs

Using a novel approach, researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research, London have uncovered details of secondary breast cancer in the brain and spinal cord that may help with developing effective treatments.

Psychedelic reduces depressive symptoms in cancer patients

Results from a Phase II clinical trial indicate that psilocybin may benefit individuals with cancer and major depression. In the study, trial participants treated with psilocybin not only experienced a lessening of depressive symptoms but also spoke highly of the therapy.

Bladder cancer therapy reduces risk of death by 50%

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) enfortumab vedotin-ejfv (Padcev) in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer (la/mUC).

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