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Weekly Recap of June’s Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Breakthroughs

The current healthcare landscape is unveiling innovations and trends that promise to reshape the approach to health and wellness. From new treatment alternatives for uncurable diseases to technical advancements in improving diagnostic procedures, it is exciting to stand at the centre of innovation and progress. Let’s deep dive into latest technologies and trends that are expected to set the stage for healthier future.

 

Scientists Discover a New Treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

In June 2024, a study revealed the positive effects of artemisinin, a Chinese herbal extract for managing polycystic ovary syndrome. Primarily used as an antimalarial drug, it blocks the production of CYP11A1, an enzyme involved in testosterone production in the ovary. Based on the results of a pilot trial involving 19 women with PCOS, the drug showed significant reduction in hormone levels, while regular menstruation cycles were restored in 63% participants of the trial.

 

The World Health Organization reports that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects around 8-13% of women in their reproductive age. Considered as a lifestyle disorder, its incidence is on significant rise, taking a toll on the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health. There is no cure for PCOS. The management mostly relies on eating a healthy diet and following a consistent exercise regime. The administration of drugs for its treatment often leads to side effects and other fertility related complications. In such circumstances, a medicine that is not only functional but has zero to minimal side effects on the body is ground-breaking. The scientists involved in the study are currently planning to hold a larger clinical trial, focused on assessing the potential risks of taking the drug for a prolonged time span.

 

MIT Researchers Develop 3D Imaging System for Human Brain

On June 13, 2024, an MIT-based team revealed a revolutionary benchmark in neuroscience by enabling an imaging system to scale full hemispheres of the human brain. The team demonstrated the system driving a comparison between a selective brain region from two distinct donors, one with Alzheimer’s and another without the condition. The imaging system notes three key innovations. It includes “Megatome”, a device designed to slice the human brain hemispheres finely for an effective view. Another team member was involved in developing “mELAST”, which is responsible for keeping the brain slice intact, durable, visible, flexible, and expandable. Lastly, a computational system called “UNSLICE” was used to reconstruct the hemisphere in 3D for precise visualization and alignment.

 

The human brain has always been a delicate part of research amongst scientists. Even miniscule details can push the understanding of brain light years ahead. This innovation, which first allows the analysis of human brain at multiple scales, could be used to fully map human brains soon.

 

Breakthrough in PET Scanners as Scientists Unveil an Ultralow Dose Imaging Method

Researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting developed an ultralow dose imaging method in PET scanners. When undergoing a PET/CT scan, patients are subject to radiation exposure, both from radiopharmaceuticals as well as CT scan itself. This ultralow dose imaging method, when used in combination long axial field-of-view PET scanners cuts down radiation dose 50 times less in comparison to mammogram or a chest CT radiograph.

 

The new system uses LSO-TX, designed to leverage background radiation from Lutetium-176. Such advancements are expected to boost the application of PET scanners beyond its ongoing application and significantly expand its utility in research studies as well as enhanced treatment response assessments among others.

 

Eli Lily’s Alzheimer’s Drug Receives FDA’s Support

On June 10th, 2024, Eli Lilly revealed that the United States Food and Drug Administration showed unanimous support for donanemab, an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s treatment. This brought the drug one step closer to being used in patient treatment. The positive results for donanemab were based on a trial that involved 662 patients, wherein the drug showed efficacy in slowing down the loss of cognitive disabilities in patients.

 

This amyloid attacking antibody drug was in center of multiple controversies as the drug was first approved in 2021. However, later it was discovered that the FDA had not guided the manufacturers properly during the approval process. In addition, many insurers were not sure of its efficacy and declined to cover it. In wake of such events, the FDA advisory committee delayed its approval meeting, until a public meeting was called focused on discussing its efficacy in individuals affected from certain biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

As per EMR estimations, the global Alzheimer’s drugs market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period of 2024-2032. Such decisions may impact the market value positively in coming years.

 

Merck Introduces Efinopegdutide into Cardiometabolic Drugs Space

On June 12, 2024, Merck executives announced the company’s interest in the development of next-generation anti-obesity medications. The company is currently expanding its presence in the GLP-1 market and has efinopegdutide under development for metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) treatment. The United States FDA granted Fast Track designation to this GLP-1/glucagon receptor in June 2023. Along with MASH, it is also intended to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in patients. When tested against Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide, in a mid-stage study, the drug showed greater reduction in liver fat content, while offering similar weight loss.

 

Expert Market Research calculates that the anti-obesity drugs market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 43.72% during the forecast period of 2024-2032, with the values likely to reach USD 92.3 billion by 2032. Novo and Eli Lily have a significant market presence in the obesity space. With efinopegdutide, Merck is emphasizing on second- and third-generation opportunities, to aid benefits beyond weight reduction.

 

The healthcare market is evolving at a rapid pace, with major companies engaged in product launches, portfolio expansions and partnership initiatives. These recent highlights underscore the transition of technologies and medicines to address unmet needs of patients at an affordable and accessible cost.

 

*While we strive to always give you current and accurate information, the numbers depicted on the website are indicative and may differ from the actual numbers in the main report. At Expert Market Research, we aim to bring you the latest insights and trends in the market. Using our analyses and forecasts, stakeholders can understand the market dynamics, navigate challenges, and capitalize on opportunities to make data-driven strategic decisions.

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