Gene therapy – PBS

A treatment for Cystic Fibrosis. A cure for AIDS. The end of cancer. That’s what the newspapers promised us in the early 1990’s. Gene therapy was the answer to what ailed us. Scientists had at last learned how to insert healthy genes into unhealthy people. And those healthy genes would either replace the bad genes causing diseases like CF, sickle-cell anemia and hemophilia or stimulate the body’s own immune system to rid itself of HIV and some forms of cancer. A decade later, none of these treatments have come to fruition and research into gene therapy has become politically unpopular, making clinical trials hard to approve and research dollars hard to come by. But some researchers who are taking a different approach to gene therapy could be on the road to more success than ever before. – – – – – – – – – – – –

Early Promise

Almost as soon as Watson and Crick unwound the double helix in the 1950’s, researchers began considering the possibility- and ethics- of gene therapy. The goals were lofty- to fix inherited genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and hemophilia forever.

Gene therapists planned to isolate the relevant gene in question, prepare good copies of that gene, then deliver them to patients’ cells. The hope was that the treated cells would give rise to new generations of healthy cells for the rest of the patient’s life. The concept was elegant, but would require decades of research to locate the genes that cause illnesses.

By 1990, it was working in the lab. By inserting healthy genes into cells from CF patients, scientists were able to transmogrify the sick cells as if by magic into healthy cells.

That same year, four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva became the first person in history to receive gene therapy. Dr. W. French Anderson of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Dr. Michael Blaese and Dr. Kenneth Culver, both of the National Cancer Institute, performed the historic and controversial experiment.

DeSilva suffered from a rare immune disorder known as ADA deficiency that made her vulnerable to even the mildest infections. A single genetic defect- like a typo in a novel- left DeSilva unable to produce an important enzyme. Without that enzyme, DeSilva was likely to die a premature death.

Anderson, Blaese and Culver drew the girl’s blood and treated her defective white blood cells with the gene she lacked. The altered cells were then injected back into the girl, where- the scientists hoped- they would produce the enzyme she needed as well as produce future generations of normal cells.

Though the treatment proved safe, its efficacy is still in question. The treated cells did produce the enzyme, but failed to give rise to healthy new cells. DeSilva, who is today relatively healthy, still receives periodic gene therapy to maintain the necessary levels of the enzyme in her blood. She also takes doses of the enzyme itself, in the form of a drug called PEG-ADA, which makes it difficult to tell how well the gene therapy would have worked alone.

“It was a very logical approach,” says Dr. Jeffrey Isner, Chief of Vascular Medicine and Cardiovascular Research at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston as well as Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. “But in most cases the strategy failed, because the vectors we have today are not ready for prime time.” – – – – – – – – – – – – 4 pages: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

Photo: Dr. W. French Anderson

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Gene therapy – PBS

What Is Personalized Medicine And Why Is Obama Supporting It With A $215 Million Pledge?

The Obama administration is proposing to create a large database of patient information, including genetic profiles and medical histories, to further research into precision medicine, which aims to create customized treatments based on a patients genetic makeup and lifestyle choices.

Precision, or personalized, medicine works much the same way that an eyeglass prescription or a blood transfusion is prescribed, based on a patient’s exam results or blood type, and proponents believe this line of thinking may be extended to many more areas of medicine.

Jo Handelsman, associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology, has called the $215 million budget allocation for the Precision Medicine Initiative in Obamas proposed 2016 budget a move away from the one-size-fits-all approach to medicine.

Obama’s proposal grants $130 million to the National Institutes of Health to launch a national long-term study that will collect biological samples, genetic profiles and electronic health records from at least a million Americans.

Researchers may use an app to track the calorie consumption or environmental health impacts of participants through their smartphones and the database could include everything from their laboratory test results to MRI scans. Patient data will be anonymized and participation is strictly voluntary, the administration says. The system is meant to serve as a reservoir of information that researchers can tap while investigating the nuances of a particular disease in individual patients, or trying to identify genetic trends across treatment groups.

The administration, with its messy record of privacy violations committed in the name of national security, will also grant $5 million to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to build a data system that it says will protect the identities of patients whose information is included in the database. The National Institutes of Health will also host a forum in mid-February to discuss the challenges of creating a national research group to populate the database. Much of the patient information may be pulled from existing studies, according to scientists familiar with the project who spoke on background to Science magazine.

Obama gave researchers a glimpse into his zeal for precision medicine during the 2015 State of the Union address, but he clarified the details Friday.I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right time, he said in his address.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has long taken this approach to develop customized drugs for small groups of patients who share the same genetic mutation for the disease. The organization worked with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to create a drug called Kalydeco, which treats a mutation present in only4 percent of patients with cystic fibrosis according to a 2012 study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. This focus on tailor-made medicine has nearly doubled the median life span of patients from 20 years to 40 years.

This research will dramatically advance our knowledge of diseases, how they originated and how we may prevent or treat them, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told the Washington Post.

Looking ahead, the administration is anxious to try to apply the same principles that have worked for cystic fibrosis to cancer. Obamas proposal requests $70 million for the National Cancer Institute to study the genetic underpinnings of several types of the disease, reports the New York Times.

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What Is Personalized Medicine And Why Is Obama Supporting It With A $215 Million Pledge?

Gene therapy Definition – Tests and Procedures – Mayo Clinic

Gene therapy is a treatment that involves altering the genes inside your body’s cells to stop disease.

Genes contain your DNA the code that controls much of your body’s form and function, from making you grow taller to regulating your body systems. Genes that don’t work properly can cause disease.

Gene therapy replaces a faulty gene or adds a new gene in an attempt to cure disease or improve your body’s ability to fight disease. Gene therapy holds promise for treating a wide range of diseases, including cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, diabetes, hemophilia and AIDS.

Researchers are still studying how and when to use gene therapy. Currently, in the United States, gene therapy is available only as part of a clinical trial.

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Gene therapy Definition – Tests and Procedures – Mayo Clinic

Why IVF parents opt for girls

EXCLUSIVE

Parents are increasingly asking to choose the sex of their children in an attempt to lower their baby’s risk of diseases and disorders ranging from cancer to autism, IVF doctors say.

Figures from one of Sydney’s top IVF clinics show about one in 20 parents seeking embryo screening are looking to have a female baby to reduce their risk of autism.

The question is, what is the best thing for that woman: continuing to try on her own and miscarrying versus doing IVF and testing the embryos? We can’t know for sure that everybody definitely benefits.

Fertility experts say the issue is the tip of the iceberg with a huge range of tests becoming available. Some clinics in the US now offer testing for up to 600 different genetic markers.

The medical director of the fertility company Genea, Mark Bowman, said his organisation had done more than 100 cycles of what is known as “pre-implantation genetic diagnosis” this year, mostly for conditions such as cystic fibrosis, where family members have the condition and a gene mutation is known to be responsible.

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“In a way these tests are the ultimate preventative medicine,” Associate Professor Bowman said.

National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines say sex selection is not allowed, except to prevent the transmission of a “serious genetic condition”, although some Australian couples travel overseas to have the procedure for ”family balancing”.

He said in about one in 20 cases parents sought pre-implantation diagnosis simply for sex selection to lower their risk of having a child with autism, after having an autistic child. Boys are about four times as likely as girls to have autism, but there is no genetic test for it.

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Why IVF parents opt for girls

Gene Therapy – American Medical Association

Gene therapy is a novel approach to treat, cure, or ultimately prevent disease by changing the expression of a persons genes. Gene therapy is in its infancy, and current therapies are primarily experimental, with most human clinical trials still in the research stages.

How does gene therapy work? Genes are composed of DNA that carries information needed to make proteins the building blocks of our bodies. Variations in the DNA sequence or code of a gene are called mutations, which often are harmless but sometimes can lead to serious disease. Gene therapy treats disease by repairing dysfunctional genes or by providing copies of missing genes.

To reverse disease caused by genetic damage, researchers isolate normal DNA and package it into a vehicle known as a vector, which acts as a molecular delivery truck. Vectors composed of viral DNA sequences have been used successfully in human gene therapy trials. Doctors infect a target cell usually from a tissue affected by the illness, such as liver or lung cellswith the vector. The vector unloads its DNA cargo, which then begins producing the proper proteins and restores the cell to normal. Problems can arise if the DNA is inserted into the wrong place in the genome. For example, in rare instances the DNA may be inserted into a regulatory gene, improperly turning it on or off, leading to cancer.

Researchers continue to optimize viral vectors as well as develop non-viral vectors that may have fewer unexpected side effects. Nonviral gene delivery involves complexing DNA with an agent that allows it to enter a cell nonspecifically. DNA delivered in this manner is usually expressed for only a limited time because it rarely integrates into the host cell genome.

Initial efforts in gene therapy focused on delivering a normal copy of a missing or defective gene, but current programs are applying gene delivery technology across a broader spectrum of conditions. Researchers are now utilizing gene therapy to :

What diseases could be treated with gene therapy? About 4,000 diseases have been traced to gene disorders. Current and possible candidates for gene therapy include cancer, AIDS, cystic fibrosis, Parkinsons and Alzheimers diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cardiovascular disease and arthritis.

In cases such as cystic fibrosis or hemophilia, disease results from a mutation in a single gene. In other scenarios like hypertension or high cholesterol, certain genetic variations may interact with environmental stimuli to cause disease.

Has gene therapy been successfully used in humans? Gene therapy is likely to be most successful with diseases caused by single gene defects. The first successful gene therapy on humans was performed in 1990 by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The therapy treated a four-year-old child for adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency, a rare genetic disease in which children are born with severe immunodeficiency and are prone to repeated serious infections.

Since 1990, gene therapy had been tested in human clinical trials for treating such diseases as severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID), cystic fibrosis, Canavan’s disease, and Gaucher’s disease. In 2003, more than 600 gene therapy clinical trials were under way in the United States but only a handful of these are in advanced stages. SCID, in which children lack natural defenses against infection and can only survive in isolated environments, remains the only disease cured by gene therapy.

Are genetic alterations from gene therapy passed on to children? Gene therapy can be targeted to somatic (body) or germ (egg and sperm) cells. In somatic gene therapy, the patients genome is changed, but the change is not passed along to the next generation. In germline gene therapy, the patients egg or sperm cells are changed with the goal of passing on changes to their offspring. Existing gene therapy treatments and experiments are all somatic.

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Gene Therapy – American Medical Association

The Human Genome: A User’s Guide – , Catherine A. Mori – Video



The Human Genome: A User's Guide – , Catherine A. Mori
ll4.me The Human Genome: A User's Guide – , Catherine A. Mori The Human Genome: A User's Guide provides a concise discussion of contemporary and relevant topics in human genetics. It begins coverage of the fundamental concepts of genetics and heredity, then illustrates these concepts as they relate to the development of human sexual differentiation and sexuality. The book describes the role of the X and Y chromosomes, the role of hormone-controlled differential gene expression in sex determination, and the role of genetics in sexual orientation and sex-role development. The Human Genome discusses the interface between science and society, covering the basic intellectual processes that underlie genetic analysis and gene therapy. It also looks at the use of cloning techniques to search for genes responsible for such human disease states as cystic fibrosis, cancer, AIDS, and mental illness. Written in an inviting and engaging style, The Human Genome meets the interests and answers the questions of today's students.Key Features:* Offers a concise discussion of contemporary human genetics and relevant topics* Accessible to the reader with no formal science background* Reviews the fundamental principles that underlie genetic analysis, prenatal diagnosis, and gene therapy* Makes use of the most up-to-date information on the genetic aspects of AIDS, sexual orientation, and gender research* Includes a controversial discussion of gene therapy and the “old” and “new” eugenics …From:TempletonBriViews:0 0ratingsTime:00:12More inPeople Blogs

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The Human Genome: A User’s Guide – , Catherine A. Mori – Video

NHS in England Funds KALYDECO™ (ivacaftor), the First Medicine to Treat the Underlying Cause of Cystic Fibrosis, for …

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) announced today that a decision has been made by the National Health Service (NHS) in England to fund KALYDECO (ivacaftor), the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), for people ages 6 and older who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease for which there is no cure. It is caused by a defective or missing CFTR protein resulting from mutations in the CFTR gene. In people with the G551D mutation, ivacaftor helps the defective CFTR protein function more normally. In England, several hundred of the nearly 8,000 people with CF are believed to have at least one copy of the G551D mutation.

Todays announcement concludes a comprehensive and robust clinical and economic evaluation of the medicine by the NHS in England. Vertex has agreed to a patient access scheme with the NHS, the details of which remain confidential. Vertex will make ivacaftor available to eligible people with CF as quickly as possible and anticipates reimbursement to begin in the second quarter of 2013.

We are pleased to have been able to work with the NHS to receive a decision to fund ivacaftor so quickly, said Simon Bedson, General Manager of Vertex Europe. We will be working with the NHS to help them to implement this decision as quickly as possible to ensure that people with cystic fibrosis who are eligible for ivacaftor can access it without delay.

Ivacaftor changes the way we treat cystic fibrosis because now, for the first time, we are able to target the underlying cause of the disease in those with the G551D mutation, instead of just the symptoms and complications, said Jane Davies, M.D., Royal Brompton Hospital and Imperial College, London.

Health technology appraisals are ongoing with the relevant authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Vertexs goal is to help all eligible people with cystic fibrosis in the UK gain access to this medicine as soon as possible.

Ivacaftor was discovered as part of a collaboration with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

About Ivacaftor

Ivacaftor is the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of CF in people with the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene. Known as a CFTR potentiator, ivacaftor is an oral medicine that aims to help the CFTR protein function more normally once it reaches the cell surface, to help hydrate and clear mucus from the airways. Ivacaftor (150mg, q12h) was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2012, by the European Medicines Agency in July 2012 and by Health Canada in November 2012 for use in people with CF ages 6 and older who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in the CFTR gene.

Vertex retains worldwide rights to develop and commercialize ivacaftor. A Marketing Authorization application is under review by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.

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NHS in England Funds KALYDECO™ (ivacaftor), the First Medicine to Treat the Underlying Cause of Cystic Fibrosis, for …

Producing Viral Vectors for Clinical Trials With On-Site Clinical Manufacturing Facility – Video



Producing Viral Vectors for Clinical Trials With On-Site Clinical Manufacturing Facility
Viral gene therapy is being tested as treatment for numerous diseases, including cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, muscle diseases, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson's. While gene therapy is still available only as part of a clinical trial, scientists, clinicians and families hold hope that it will eventually become a fundamental part of modern medicine and provide treatment for the currently untreatable. Modified viruses used to deliver genetic material into cells, known as viral vectors, have become the go-to delivery capsule in gene therapy. Investigators use viral vectors to efficiently target certain cells and deliver genetic material into the cell nucleus where native genes reside. Nationwide Children's has a unique facility that specializes in creating these viral vectors – a rare, incredibly beneficial asset to our Research Institute – called the Clinical Manufacturing Cleanroom Facility. So far, the Cleanroom Facility has produced several vectors for use in investigational new drug studies, and products for phase I clinical trials for the congenital blindness disorder, choroideremia, muscular dystrophy and inclusion body myositis. Additional trials focused on spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne and limb girdle muscular dystrophies are in the works. Having this facility on-site allows for expedited clinical trials at a much more affordable price, which all comes back to being able to offer the best possible care for all of our patients …From:NationwideChildrensViews:5 0ratingsTime:01:33More inNonprofits Activism

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Producing Viral Vectors for Clinical Trials With On-Site Clinical Manufacturing Facility – Video

A genetic counsellor share’s the job’s highs and lows

Genetic counsellors guide people and families through the complicated nature of a genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer and mental illness. The Star spoke with Riyana Babul-Hirji, a genetic counsellor at Sick Kids Hospital, about the job.

Q: Whatdoes a genetic counsellor do?

A: Once a diagnosis is made, genetic counsellors help the family understand the genetic basis of that condition. Often one of the underlying feelings with parents is guilt, feeling like its something that they did that caused this in their child. So some of what we do is explain that its not something theyve done, its something that was inherited and we cant control it.

Another part of what we do is to keep families updated in terms of research. And if they are thinking about another pregnancy, what their options are and risks are. We also address any psychosocial effects as well as being advocates for them for resources and other things they may need. And we look at the implications for family members and how they go about communicating this with those family members.

Q: What kind of training do you need?

A: All genetic counsellors have a masters of science in medical genetics and genetic counselling. We work collaboratively with clinical geneticists as well as a multidisciplinary team.

Q: Whats the most common myth about genetic counselling?

A: I teach a first year course in genetic counselling (at U of T) and I ask the students on the first day of class, when they told people they were thinking of becoming a genetic counsellor, what was the reaction?

The response is often that they dont quite understand what a genetic counsellor does, and the first thing they think of is eugenics. That were here helping parents to have that designer baby. Its not that all. Its helping families adjust to the genetic condition that they may be at risk for and help them make choices that are right for them.

Q: How do you break bad news to people?

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A genetic counsellor share’s the job’s highs and lows

New Jersey Medical School Researchers Develop DNA Sequencing Tests for Hereditary Diseases

Newswise NEWARKScientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ-NJMS) have developed new DNA sequencing tests that hold significant promise for decreasing costs associated with diagnosing cancer and hereditary diseases, including cysticfibrosis.

Officials at the New Jersey Department of Health approved the use of the new Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Carrier and Diagnosis Test, which was created at the Institute for Genomic Medicine at UMDNJ-NJMS. Using a semiconductor mechanism that was developed by San Francisco-based Ion Torrent, the microchip tests the entire gene for mutations. IGM now offers this certified Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory service for hospitals as well as obstetrics and gynecology practices throughout the Garden State.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation web site, More than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene. This chronic disease impacts the lungs and the digestive system. It occurs when a child inherits one defective CF genefrom each parent. Statistics show New Jersey averages 125,000 births of children who are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis annually.

We believe the adaptation of this new sequencing technology will drastically improve our ability to analyze genetic disorders, said Marvin N. Schwalb, PhD, director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine. Traditional CF sequencing testing costs thousands of dollars making the test unavailable for carrier screening. This new test costs less than $200. Most importantly, the genetic carrier test we developed improves the diagnosis rate to 98 percent. While the test provides significant improvement for all populations, the improved rate is particularly valuable for minorities because current carrier screening methods only detects approximately 65% of mutations in these populations.

The new technology provides many advances including the ability to test as many as 96 samples on a single platform and the fact that the equipment cost 1/10 as much as the previous technology.

IGM has developed another test, which was also approved by the NJHSS, for mitochondrial DNA. Mutations in mitochondria cause a wide variety of diseases, such eye and neuromuscular system disorders and possible cancer.

Schwalb, a professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at NJMS, said, We are proud of the fact that the IGM is a world leader in the advancement of genetic diagnosis. DNA sequencing will keep us very busy for a while. In the state of New Jersey, there is nothing thatcompares to this advancement and this is just the beginning.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Marvin Schwalb, contact Kaylyn Kendall Dines at 973-972-1216.

About New Jersey Medical School:

Founded in 1954 as the Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, UMDNJNew Jersey Medical School was the state’s first medical school. Today, it is part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. NJMS has four mission areas: education, research, clinical care, and community outreach. It has 22 academic departments and more than 60 centers and institutes. In addition to offering the MD degree to its students, NJMS also offers, MD/PhD, MD/MPH, and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education.

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New Jersey Medical School Researchers Develop DNA Sequencing Tests for Hereditary Diseases

3 Health-Care Stocks Crushing the Market

May isn’t in the books yet, but three health-care stocks have shot to the stratosphere. Unsurprisingly, the month’s top gainers are all from the biotech space, but not all are small-cap companies. Let’s take a moment to reflect on their dramatic moves, and which one has the most room to keep running, over the holiday weekend.

Company

May Gain

YTD Gain

Market Cap

Source: Yahoo! Finance as of 5/24/12.

Obesity drug makers have been on a tear, as it appears the FDA is softening its hard-line stance against a lifestyle drug who’s counterpart, diet and exercise, has few adverse effects. Arena has been the biggest winner, but competitor Vivus (Nasdaq: VVUS) is up 154% while Orexigen (Nasdaq: OREX) has seen a 113% gain year-to-date. All three received rejections from the FDA, but on their second go-round both Arena and Vivus sailed past their advisory panels with 18-4 and 20-2 recommendations for approval, respectively. Vivus’ approval date was pushed back three months as the company had to file a new risk mitigation strategy giving Arena a chance to get to market first. However, a few short months head start shouldn’t determine the winner. That will come down to which drug doctors prefer prescribing given their efficacy and side effects.

Vertex is on a roll. It seemed just as investors grew concerned the sun was already setting on its blockbuster Hepatitis C drug Incivek, thanks to advanced next-gen drugs close to approval like Gilead’s, Vertex showed it was no one-trick pony. By combing approved cystic fibrosis treatment Kalydeco with experimental drug VX-809, Vertex was able to expand its use from a mutation seen in 4% of CF patients to one in half and report a successful phase 2 trial. Kalydeco is the only drug that treats the underlying condition, and unlike Hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis patients aren’t cured by taking the drug, creating a sustainable revenue stream. Now, VX-809 has a long way before possible approval, but investors’ enthusiasm is not misplaced about this potential blockbuster.

Finally Xenoport, which has tumbled as much as 68% since getting Horizant approved, has seen a recent resurgence. The restless leg syndrome drug failed to launch as expected, leading to infighting between Xenoport and partner GlaxoSmithKline. Investors also got caught up in the first drug approval enthusiasm, neglecting the fact that Horizant was going up against cheap generic competition, but the pendulum may have swung too far the other way. The company is inching closer to profitability and has a sparkling balance sheet with $85 million in net cash and less than $8 million in cash burn the past 12 months. It also recently filed an investigational NDA for a potential multiple sclerosis treatment, although investors should not assign much value to that drug until it progresses further.

While all three of these stocks have room to run, Arena is the likeliest winner if it gets FDA approval, but that is easier said than done, and it faces a tough competitor in Vivus. I’m always leery of investing in small-cap biotechs like Xenoport struggling to launch a drug and running higher on no news. Vertex is the safest play of the three. It is a cash cow with approved drugs and a pipeline filled with phase 2 candidates, not to mention the chance to completely dominate the CF market. However, investors may want to wait for a pullback before picking up shares.

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3 Health-Care Stocks Crushing the Market

Emory medical school gets $5 million gift

ATLANTA (AP) – The Emory University School of Medicine has received a commitment for a $5 million gift for its pediatrics department.

The money from the Marcus Foundation, Inc., will be used to create the Marcus Society in Pediatrics. The society will be the “intellectual home” for 15 Marcus Professors in Pediatrics_six existing Marcus Professors and nine who are newly funded. The society will also host an annual visiting scholar.

The nine new Marcus Professors will specialize in the following areas: rheumatology, general pediatrics/adolescent medicine, emergency medicine/faculty development, cystic fibrosis, neurology, immunology, cardiology, general academic pediatrics/hospital medicine and hospital epidemiology/infection control. The six existing Marcus Professors specialize in pulmonology, infectious diseases, nephrology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and neonatology.

The foundation and the department of pediatrics have a longstanding philanthropic relationship.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Emory medical school gets $5 million gift