Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
  12
12 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
4 comments
General News

Son of Neurontin Meets the Fibromyalgia Epidemic

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to None 1/26/09

Become a Fan
  (71 fans)

opednews.com

Evanston, IL

Who says technology transfer doesn't pay?

Pregablin, discovered by Northwestern University chemist Richard Silverman in 1989 to become Pfizer's Lyrica, earned the university a cool $700 million when it sold royalties in Dec. 2007.

The nerve pain-cum-seizure pill is funding the $100 million Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics & Diagnostics--currently a hole in the ground on the way to the student union--which will employ 245 this fall. Views of Lake Michigan and the duck pond included.

And, thanks to FDA approval in 2007 of Lyrica as the first US drug for the pain condition fibromyalgia, it may earn as much as its molecular relative--Pfizer's Neurontin (gabapentin)--which made $3 billion a year before its patent ran out in 2004.

No wonder they call Lyrica son of Neurontin.

Of course there have  been setbacks on the road to marketing Lyrica.

In 2001, Pfizer had to freeze pain trials and restrict pregablin in patients when test mice developed cancerous tumors. Profit warning! But when rats tests were okay, Toni Hoover, a vice president with Pfizer's now defunct Ann Arbor, MI labs sounded the all clear. "The FDA has found that the benefit of taking the drug outweighs any risk," she told the Detroit News.

Pfizer brass failed to embrace Silverman the way it embraced the $564 million he made for them in Lyrica's first three months. ("They had a launch party for the drug, and I asked to come. Nope. No party for me. They take your stuff and tell you to go away," he told the Chicago Tribune.)

And Lyrica's not approved for the "social phobia" detailed in Pfizer original marketing plans. Yet.

But as long as pharma can get a drug approved in advance of its uses and people will take an antipsychotic for the blues or a seizure med for migraines, Lyrica has a future.

Initial articles about Lyrica which, like Neurontin, is an anti-seizure drug that modulates calcium channels to dampen the excitability of nerve endings, were positive.

"Well tolerated," said Arthritis and Rheumatism in 2005.

"Proven efficacy" and "No new adverse events," said Drugs of Today in 2005 and 2007.

"Durability of effect for relieving FM pain," said the journal Pain in 2008.

Unfortunately the articles were all written by Pfizer paid doctors.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative pubic health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I have fibro. My mother had had polymyalgia and I ... by Jennifer Hathaway on Monday, Jan 26, 2009 at 8:33:56 PM
My ex-wife has CRPS and these hacks have had her o... by Patrick Lafferty on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 1:31:23 PM
Fibromyalgia is a symptom of untreated or UNDER tr... by kanawah on Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009 at 5:55:26 PM
Thank you thank you, I will explore this further.... by Jennifer Hathaway on Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 2:38:34 PM