Altered minds: mescaline’s complicated history

Pharmacologists gave mescaline a fair trial. In the early and mid-twentieth century, it seemed more than plausible that the fashionable hallucinogen could be tamed into a therapeutic agent. After all, it had profound effects on the human body, and had been used for centuries in parts of the Americas as a gateway to ceremonial spiritual experience. But this psychoactive alkaloid never found its clinical indication, as science writer Mike Jay explains in Mescaline, his anthropological and medical history. In the 1950s, the attention of biomedical researchers abruptly switched to a newly synthesized molecule with similar hallucinogenic properties but fewer physical side effects: lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. First synthesized by Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann in 1938, LSD went on to become a recreational drug of choice in the 1960s hippy era. And, like mescaline, it teased psychiatrists without delivering a cure.

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IDBS announces data management partnership with PharmaEssentia Innovation Research Center

PR Newswire | January 24, 2024

IDBS announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Massachusetts-based PharmaEssentia Innovation Research Center (PIRC) on its Polar platform to help digitize data management and facilitate collaboration between the company's global research and development (R&D) teams. The Polar platform will provide PIRC, the newly established U.S. hub of PharmaEssentia's R&D efforts, the ability to electronically collaborate with its team headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, who have traditionally recorded experimental data on paper. "The IDBS Polar platform provides superior functionality beyond traditional Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) offerings, backed up by our broad customer base and customer support, as well as the ability to support languages like Mandarin," said Pietro Forgione, General Manager at IDBS. "We are proud to help PIRC better capture, structure and interrogate their key data from a single source of truth, thereby making their collaboration more efficient." "We are looking forward to partnering with IDBS, not only to implement the Polar platform to help us manage our data more efficiently and to more seamlessly collaborate with our R&D team in Taipei, but also to work together to further explore ways to bring our innovative therapeutics to market faster," said Lih-Ling Lin, Ph.D., PIRC Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, PharmaEssentia. About IDBS IDBS helps BioPharmaceutical organizations accelerate the discovery, development and manufacturing of the next generation of life-changing therapies that advance human health worldwide. From lab through manufacturing, IDBS leverages its 30+ years of experience working with a diverse list of customers – including 18 of the top 20 global BioPharma companies – and deep expertise in scientific informatics and process data management to tackle today's most complex challenges. Known for its signature IDBS E-WorkBook product, IDBS has extended solutions across the entire value chain for BioPharma Lifecycle Management (BPLM). Built on analytics-centric and cloud-native technology, IDBS Polar and IDBS PIMS platforms are powered by a digital data backbone to drive faster and smarter decisions in drug development and across the supply chain.

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FORTREA SELECTS COGNIZANT AS ITS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION PROVIDER

PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

Cognizant and Fortrea, a leading global provider of clinical development and patient access solutions to the life sciences industry, today announced that Cognizant has been selected as Fortrea's strategic technology transformation provider. By partnering with Cognizant, Fortrea aims to continue advancing its mission and delivering solutions to its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device customers – and to the patients those customers serve – within the confines of a sound and secure digital infrastructure. Over the four-year agreement, Cognizant is expected to transform Fortrea's global technology environment. Cognizant's approach to the project is expected to bring the speed and agility necessary for the deployment of the next generation hybrid cloud and platforms required for a new era of digital innovation for Fortrea. The state-of-the-art technologies and services are designed to empower Fortrea to transform into a "born digital" organization, enabling a seamless digital experience with agility and efficiency across many different touchpoints. In June 2023, Fortrea successfully completed its spin-off from its former parent company in a move designed to enhance its agility; capitalize on growth opportunities in phase I-IV clinical trials and patient access; and extend its leading positions in oncology, clinical pharmacology and partnership models. In 2024, Cognizant will play a fundamental role in the exit from Fortrea's Transition Service Agreements with its former parent company, facilitating a smooth switch and the establishment of the global Fortrea infrastructure, application management, and end-user services. Cognizant's strategic services are expected to elevate Fortrea's data and analytical capabilities with the goal of setting new standards in the CRO industry and driving modernization required to support Fortrea's global operations. Fortrea also expects to benefit from Cognizant's robust life sciences and healthcare technology experience to help address the evolving needs of its customers, including some of the industry's leading enterprises. "Today's announcement reflects Fortrea's renewed organizational agility following our spin-off," said Alejandro Martinez Galindo, Chief Information Officer of Fortrea. "We are selectively investing in clinical applications and platforms that give us and our customers an advantage in the race to bring life-changing treatments to patients faster. As we build the infrastructure that's essential to supporting these platforms and quickly delivering the insights our customers rely on, we have the opportunity to be 'born digital.' Our new modern ecosystem will be designed to speed decision making with innovation in clinical development. Cognizant's deep expertise will help make our vision a reality." "Cognizant is proud to partner with Fortrea as they leverage technology to build a world-class culture of excellence that benefits customers, patients, employees and shareholders," said Cognizant EVP, Software and Platform Engineering, Prasad Sankaran. "With our deep domain expertise in clinical trial platforms, medical administration automation and secure collaboration, we can help Fortrea fortify its position as an independent, best-in-class digital, global Contract Research Organization." "We're looking forward to bringing Cognizant expertise from across our service portfolio to support Fortrea's goal of providing a seamless digital experience for their customers. And we expect our work together will help Fortrea achieve a step-change from the legacy systems common across the industry, to a fully digital ecosystem leveraging the latest technology, which should result in better customer experiences and greater efficiency," said Cognizant EVP & President of the Americas, Surya Gummadi. About Cognizant Cognizant engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Together, we're improving everyday life. About Fortrea Fortrea is a leading global provider of clinical development and patient access solutions to the life sciences industry. We partner with emerging and large biopharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies to drive healthcare innovation that accelerates life changing therapies to patients in need. Fortrea provides phase I-IV clinical trial management, clinical pharmacology, differentiated technology-enabled trial solutions and post-approval services. Fortrea's solutions leverage three decades of experience spanning more than 20 therapeutic areas, a passion for scientific rigor, exceptional insights and a strong investigator site network. Our talented and diverse team of about 19,000 people working in more than 90 countries is scaled to deliver focused and agile solutions to customers globally.

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Frontage Laboratories Acquires Accelera S.r.l.'s Bioanalytical and DMPK Businesses

PR Newswire | January 03, 2024

Frontage Laboratories, Inc. today announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Frontage Europe S.r.l., it has completed the acquisition of the Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics businesses of Accelera S.r.l (Accelera). Accelera is a premier Contract Research Organization located in Nerviano, within the Lombardy region of Italy, part of the well-established NMS Group S.p.A. which has positioned itself as a global niche player in delivering discovery & preclinical studies and clinical bioanalysis to pharma and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other healthcare stakeholders. "Today marks a very significant achievement in the 23-year history of Frontage Laboratories, as we establish a base of operations in continental Europe. Accelera has developed a tremendous reputation for high quality R&D services and we look forward to welcoming their Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics teams to the Frontage family," said Dr. Abdul Mutlib, CEO of Frontage. "We envision this strategic acquisition as a first step in establishing Frontage's footprint in Europe, with the intent of adding other service areas in the continent. We believe both existing Frontage and Accelera clients stand to benefit greatly by leveraging Frontage's increasingly global platform. In addition, we are looking forward to partnering with the remaining Accelera business on exciting opportunities to service clients across our organizations." According to Dr. Song Li, Founder and Chairman of Frontage: "It has been a long-standing goal of Frontage to expand our operations in Europe. We consider ourselves fortunate to capitalize on our outstanding relationship with the Accelera team, which has enabled us to bring our plans to fruition. We are very enthusiastic about working together as we further develop the Frontage platform in Europe, starting from a footprint in the Biopark in Nerviano Lombardy, where Accelera and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl have already established a long-standing and efficient value chain. As always, our ongoing focus will remain on delivering the highest levels of quality, technology and expertise to our clients." "We are thrilled to join forces with Frontage as part of this strategic acquisition that marks a significant milestone in Accelera's journey," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera. "Accelera has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality R&D services through all phases of drug research and development with extensive experience in oncology. This unique occasion opens up new horizons for collaboration and growth. On one hand, we will further focus on offering top-notch In-vivo (end-to-end services) for multiple emerging modalities. At the same time, we look forward to exploring exciting opportunities to serve our clients across continents through our ongoing collaboration. This partnership reflects our commitment to advancing research and providing innovative solutions in the European market and beyond," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera S.r.l. "Having Frontage as part of the growing partners operating from our Biopark is a landmark moment for us. In addition to the endless potential of the Accelera-Frontage collaboration, Nerviano Medical Sciences can leverage Frontage's world-class capabilities to drive breakthrough advancements in our drug discovery and development process. By uniting our strengths, we believe we can accelerate the pace of innovation and make a lasting difference in the field where all companies of this strong alliance operate and thrive here in Nerviano," said Hugues Dolgos, CEO of NMS Group S.p.A and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl. About Frontage Frontage Holdings Corp (1521.HK), together with its wholly owned subsidiary Frontage Laboratories, Inc., is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) which provides integrated, science-driven, product development services from drug discovery to late phase clinical process to enable biopharmaceutical companies to achieve their development goals. Comprehensive services include drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical testing and formulation development, preclinical and clinical trial material manufacturing, bioanalysis, preclinical safety and toxicology assessment and early phase clinical studies. Frontage has enabled many biotechnology companies and leading pharmaceutical companies of varying sizes to advance a myriad of new molecules through development and to successfully file global regulatory submissions. About NMS Group NMS Group is the largest oncological R&D company in Italy with more than 400 employees, of whom more than half are highly educated individuals dedicated to innovative research, development and manufacturing. The NMS kinase inhibitor discovery platform as well as the antibody-conjugating payload platform are the driving forces of the group's innovation, securing global recognition of NMS in personalized therapy. Recently entrectinib, originally discovered by NMS, which is a targeted kinase inhibitor used to treat NTRK1/2/3 and ROS1 dependent solid tumors that was licensed to Ignyta, now a member of the Roche Group, gained approvals for commercialization in all major markets. This is further evidence of the competitiveness of the drug discovery platform of NMS Group. NMS Group has three subsidiaries. NMS S.r.l. is a FIC / BIC focused drug research and development company with a robust pipeline of more than a dozen anti-cancer projects, and three of the projects are currently in early clinical development.

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