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Racially Specific Drugs.


It's supposed to be a stock forum for Nitromed Inc, which means it's not anything like or competing forum to Speakeasy. This company just got FDA approval for a new drug called Bidil. This particular drug is targeted ONLY at people of African descent. This particular drug treats a heart condition in African peoples but seems to not have much effect upon those of other racial groups, due to a particular difference in what causes this particular heart malady in African peoples. The approval came on Thursday, the stock price dropped a bit and then Friday before the stock opened it was Halted from being traded on. On Monday there is a Company Conference Call that will discuss the company, the approval, and no doubt the reason for Friday's trading halt.

I dropped by the forum to get some perspective, do some reading, see if I might run across any tidbits of interesting investor knowledge. It was like some racial war going on there! Certainly something I hadn't anticipated in a medical stock forum.

After seeing that, I began to wonder if drugs designed specifically to treat maladies for a particular racial group is going to present future social problems and accusations of racial preference in research or not? Don't we already have such drugs? Isn't Tay Sachs predominately a Jewish or Semetic disease, as sickle cell is African?

Will there now become an investing strategem among investors in pharmaceuticals based on the ability of a targeted race to pay and benefit from a particular drug? That may be the case of what's going on with NitroMed Inc, but I'm not sure. Typically when a new drug approval comes through from the FDA a stock's price will get an increase or at least a short term pop in price.

Anyone got answers or thoughts to the questions above? I'm thinking it's something that will become more of an issue in the coming years.
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Not racial, but sex biased.

In reply to: Racially Specific Drugs.

Most heart disease treatment is geared towards men. (White men at that)

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Yes, but...

In reply to: Not racial, but sex biased.

1. the recent rise in Heart Disease among women has tracked their entry into the wider workforce that has come to us from Women's Lib. Thus, the historical preference to study men WAS a reasonable choice. Cost constraints are omnipresent.

2. research on MEN with Breast Cancer proved quite productive. Fewer ''Female'' variables to contend with helped to highlight the underlying ''anyway causes'' that are hard to control for in women.

Be that as it most certainly is, there remains a dearth of studies on Women in many areas, which is sad, because while men and women only differ by one gene, the consequences of turning on or off that one gene are profound.

Note that the difference between Blacks and Whites is 6 genes, (less profound, but now shown to be MEDICALLY meaningful).

The ''controversiality'' (Political, NOT scientific) of this study, however, may cause political pressure to turn a blind eye to studies that note race and gender as ''variables''. Potentially, a horrible setback for Female oriented research. Not to mention a disservice to ALL races and ethnicities. (to wit, there may be White, Yellow, Red and Aboriginal drugs out there too you know.)

Ultimately, medicine will be able to characterize the best medication up front with genetic profiles that don't come with politically explosive labels attached. Until that day, however, we will have to suffer the slings and arrows of the politically correct ''Nie Kulturnie'' sp?

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That's a shame.

In reply to: Racially Specific Drugs.

I dunno, James. It could be in the same mindset of those who think research on meds for AIDS should be better spent on other diseases and conditions.

I did not read the responses in that forum because, from your description, I would find them upsetting.

I am not in the loop enough to know how many more could be inherent in different races , ethnicities. and global locations. if there are, they might come more to light as people immigrate here. (Akin to visitors from the US being subject to intestinal upsets south of the border.) But I have no idea about conditions of the body that threaten health.

Of course, Hereditary Hemochromastasia is prevelant, being common in those in the US of European decent, and they might not even know it! (I have often called here for the easy and cheap screening for it.)

If the stock fell because of racial bias, though, I find that appalling. It would be hard to understand how investors would let that enter into investment decisions, as well. It they thought the lives of those with the condition wasn't worth saving, vie on them!

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Jesse Jackson may agree with you James

In reply to: Racially Specific Drugs.

otherwise why the bottle of "Whiteout" on his desk....



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