New Drug Approvals



About Alemtuzumab/LEMTRADA™

Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that selectively targets CD52, a protein abundant on T and B cells. Treatment with alemtuzumab results in the depletion of circulating T and B cells thought to be responsible for the damaging inflammatory process in MS. Alemtuzumab has minimal impact on other immune cells. The acute anti-inflammatory effect of alemtuzumab is immediately followed by the onset of a distinctive pattern of T and B cell repopulation that continues over time, rebalancing the immune system in a way that potentially reduces MS disease activity.

mar22, 2013

There was good news for French drug giant Sanofi this week as data from an extension study backed the long-term efficacy of its multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada.

Interim data from the first 12 months of the extension trial showed that relapse rates and sustained accumulation of disability were low among patients previously treated with Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)…

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New Drug Approvals


Biogen Idec Inc. won European Union backing for Tecfidera, one of the first therapies for multiple sclerosis available in an easy-to-take pill that analysts say may generate $3.25 billion in annual sales.

Current MS drugs, including Biogen’s Avonex and Tysabri, are given by injection or intravenous infusion, and patient anticipation for Tecfidera may drive it to capture as much as 20 percent of the market within a year, according to Eric Schmidt of Cowen & Co. Sanofi (SAN)’s oral MS drug, Aubagio, was also recommended for marketing authorization today in Europe.

Biogen’s drug, formerly known as BG-12, will follow Novartis AG’s Gilenya to the market in the EU as an oral option for the treatment of MS. Because of its safety profile and efficacy, Weston, Massachusetts-based Biogen’s Tecfidera may generate $3.25 billion by 2017


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“Preparation of flame-retarding poly(propylene carbonate)” Cyriac, A.; Lee, S. H; Varghese, J. K.; Park, J. H.; Jeon, J. Y.; Kim, S. J.; Lee, B. Y. Green Chem. 2011, 13, 3469-3475. DOI: 10.1039/C1GC15722A

During graduate school in California I was very aware of the tremendous amount of household furniture loaded with flame retardant polybrominated diphenyl ether chemicals. Those chemicals do a great job of reducing the flammability of numerous petroleum-based products. Unfortunately their non-covalent incorporation in the polymers speeds their environmental release.  Once in the environment, they break down slowly and bioaccumulate. Additionally there are numerous human health and ecological concerns with these chemicals, including their association with decreased fertility in humans (ref). That is why this paper on flame-retarding poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC) caught my eye. Another reason could have been the flames in their graphical abstract!

As luck would have it the chemistry is…

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