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Emerald Lake SafetyNews

Click the tabs below to see what ELS and others are doing to improve drug safety.

March 19, 2024: ELS' Head of Research Moderates NASEM Obesity Workshop

ELS’ Head of Research, Dr. Christina Chow, moderates a workshop organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to discuss the relationship between medications and obesity. Watch Dr. David Greenblatt, co-author of ELS' obesity-related research, present how certain medications are unsafe and/or ineffective in people with obesity.

October 22, 2023: USA Today highlights ELS’ research in people with obesity

USA Today does a deep dive on the numerous medications that are unsafe and ineffective in people with obesity. The detailed article features ELS’ discoveries on brexpiprazole (Rexulti®) and posaconazole (Noxafil®), quotes from ELS collaborators and key thought leaders, and patient interviews describing the impact of improper dosing. Visit USA Today for the full story.

October 17, 2023: Largest MS Conference honors ELS’ PML discovery

ELS’ finding that rare genomic variants lead to PML shared Best of MSMilan2023 honors at the 9,000 person ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS Meeting. Out of the 1,500 abstracts, it was one of eight to get the designation in its content area. Watch conference videos of the lead author and read the press release.

October 14, 2023: ELS presents research at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting

In collaborations with obesity medicine physician Dr. Caroline Apovian and mathematics professor Dr. Diana Thomas, ELS highlights examples of how drug trials and dosing instructions do not ensure medications will be safe and effective for people with obesity. Read about the story in STAT and learn more about the research being presented at ObesityWeek2023 here.

September 11, 2023: ELS’ PML-genetic research highlighted at ANA’s Annual Meeting

ELS’ PML-causing genetic discovery and its life-saving applicability to patients on numerous medications was heralded at the American Neurological Association’s (ANA) 2023 Annual Meeting. The news was also covered by Healio and HealthDay.

August 30, 2023: ELS and obesity experts call for improved drug dosing and proper labeling

A new publication in Health Affairs Forefront by the ELS research team and Dr. William Dietz, Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance at GW, argues that drug manufacturers should be required to update their labels to ensure people with obesity receive safe and effective dosing. Click to read the full publication and the press release issued by GW.

March 16, 2023: MS/PML experts recommend preventative genetic testing based on ELS research

In response to ELS' December publication linking specific mutations to PML (see post below), two independent experts in the field advocate for genetic testing to become a routine part of patient care. The editorial was highlighted up by major news outlets such as Multiple Sclerosis News Today, Inside Precision Medicine, and others.

December 14, 2022: ELS publishes genetic link to PML, highlighted by major news outlets

The ELS team’s work was published in Frontiers in Neurology and may lead to an 11% reduction in PML caused by immune-modifying medications. Major news outlets covered the groundbreaking research, such as STAT, Healio, Healthday, and more. (see Mar 15, 2021 post below for more details about the research)

November 9, 2022: ELS obesity research presented at special FDA Meeting

ELS research collaborator, Dr. David J. Greenblatt, presents multiple actionable obesity-related discoveries at a special all day FDA workshop. (Links: video, slides)

November 4, 2022: ELS presents research at The Obesity Society’s Annual Meeting

ELS Head of Research, Dr. Christina Chow, presents their brexpiprazole (Rexulti®)-obesity discovery at The Obesity Society’s Annual Meeting (Poster-474). (see Aug 26, 2021 post below for more details about the research)

January 26, 2022: ELS invited to present recent work at upcoming ACCP event

ELS has been invited to present its 2021 brexpiprazole-obesity discovery at upcoming American College of Clinical Pharmacology (ACCP) forum event. (see Aug 26, 2021 post below for paper details, ACCP website for presentation details)

September 3, 2021: ELS' infliximab (Remicade®)-DILI genomic association replicated by independent research

Icelandic research team validates key parts of ELS discovery that specific HLA alleles are associated with substantially elevated infliximab-DILI risks. (See Feb 6, 2020 post below on original work with UNC and Vanderbilt collaborators)

September 2, 2021: Oscar B. Hunter Award

ASCPT has announced that ELS research collaborator Dr. David J. Greenblatt will receive the 2022 Oscar B. Hunter Career Award in Therapeutics.

August 26, 2021: Drug Discovery — Obesity effects on pharmacokinetics leave patients undertreated while taking popular schizophrenia and depression drug brexpiprazole (Rexulti®)

ELS publishes important brexpiprazole-obesity findings in conjunction with former FDA Review Division Heads Dr. Thomas Laughren (Psychiatry) and Dr. Lawrence Lesko (Clinical Pharmacology). These papers show that obese patients do not reach therapeutic exposures of this anti-psychotic medication as expected following existing instructions.

March 15, 2021: Historic PML-genomic risk replication milestone

ELS PML research consortium assembles the largest genomic sample set of PML cases and exposure-matched controls (1,000+) in effort to replicate prior PML-genomic discoveries. Effort now includes samples from research teams at 8 major University and Government centers worldwide.

March 9, 2021: ASCPT Headline Session

ELS Head of Research, Dr. Christina Chow, Co-Chairs a Drug Safety Symposium at ASCPT 2021 Annual Meeting. See ASCPT website for event details.

February 6, 2021: ELS research tops journal’s year end list

ELS’ inflixmab (Remicade®)-induced DILI publication tops The Pharmacogenomics Journal’s year end list as being one of its most cited, shared, and downloaded articles in 2020. (see Feb 6, 2020 post below for more details about the research)

October 25, 2020: ELS-licensed work highlighted at Major Cancer Research Conference

Discovery and replication work led by Dr. Federico Innocenti, showing a link between specific genetic variants and bevacizumab (Avastin®)-induced hypertension, is presented at the EORTC-NCI-AACR Conference. The research is highlighted in plenary session and pre-event media presentations.

February 6, 2020: ELS publishes discovery of HLA alleles linked to inflixmab (Remicade®)-induced DILI

Working with field-leading experts at UNC to adjudicate DILI cases, ELS built a cutting-edge set of software tools to review Vanderbilt BioVU patient records for validated infliximab-DILI cases, which were then sequenced for HLA allele types. The work identifies several high odds ratio alleles linked to developing DILI.

September 9, 2019: ACCP Obesity Research Session

ELS Head of Research, Dr. Christina Chow, Co-Chairs a Symposium on Obesity-related Drug Safety Research at this year’s ACCP Annual Meeting.

July 26, 2018: Interferon-β-induced DILI publication

ELS research partner publishes genomic link to interferon-β-induced DILI in Nature Genetics.

June 15, 2018: ELS ACCP Presentations

ELS presents multiple clinical research posters at the ACCP 2018 Annual Meeting.

April 3, 2018: NashBio Genomic and Bioinformatics launch partner

ELS joined NashBio, the open research wing of Vanderbilt’s BioVU patient record and genomic information database, as a research launch partner. ELS is one of only five firms picked to work with NashBio at launch.

Merck Official Warns of Safety Risk with Pfizer Covid Pill

In an interview with the Financial Times, a Merck SVP said the Pfizer antiviral pill may be unsuitable for some people due to the risk of a drug-drug interaction. Read his full comments and see Pfizer's response.

One in Three Approved Drugs Required Further Warnings Over Time

A decade-long study finds that a third of the drugs approved by the FDA had postmarket safety events. The FDA required manufacturers to add new warnings, provide safety information, and even withdraw some of the drugs from the market.

FDA Requires Warnings for JAK Inhibitors

In one of the biggest drug safety stories of 2021, warnings for the increased risk of serious heart-related events, cancer, blood clots, and death were added to the arthritis drugs.

FDA to Update Generic Chemotherapy Drug Labels

The FDA will update generic chemotherapy drug labels that no longer have brand name reference products to ensure that the labels reflect how they are being used today. The push, known as Project Renewal, will make sure “you know the right doses and pediatric uses” along with any new indications.

Solving a Case of Rapldly Progressive Dementia

Check out this great success story highlighting the other side of drug safety: ensuring proper patient medication use at home. You’ll never guess what the secret was to finding the cure…

Pharmacies Fail to Warn Patients of Dangerous Drug Combinations

Watch as reporters test pharmacies by bringing them prescriptions for dangerous drug combinations. Spoiler: Half of the pharmacies issue prescriptions without even a warning.

Experts Say Drug Labels Need a Makeover

Ever think to yourself that the information on your medication label is too scary, overwhelming, or confusing? The Academy of Medical Sciences says this needs to change.

Should We Have His and Hers Medicine Cabinets?

Learn how a team in Europe found out that the efficacy of certain drugs are different in men and women. Some researchers are even calling for companies to manufacture gender-specific versions of their drugs.

Overprescribing the Elderly

Nearly half of people between the ages of 70 and 79 take at least five pills a day, while for some that number exceeds 20 medications. This report describes the polypharmacy problem, highlights a growing “deprescribing” movement, and offers advice to individuals.

The Little Red Pill Being Pushed in Nursing Homes

Why is a drug prescribed for a condition that affects less than 1% of all Americans selling for nearly $300 million a year? You will never believe the tangled web of deceit from the company, doctors, pharmacists, and even nurses.

The Dangers of Ibuprofen

A cautionary tale: Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) was hospitalized and needed emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer, probably caused by prolonged ibuprofen use. This case study reminds us that over the counter drugs still have their risks.

Rethinking the "Aspirin a Day" Mantra

For decades, Americans were told to take low-dose aspirin daily to prevent heart disease and stroke. Now, a US Task Force says adults 60 and older should not start the daily regimen due to the risk of side effects, like bleeding.

Common Medications Can Raise Blood Pressure

A large study published in JAMA uncovered that popular pain relievers and antidepressants, as well as herbal supplements, can contribute to hypertension -- a risk often unknown to patients and overlooked by doctors.