Tag Archives: clinical trials

Politics and Science Collide…Again

Donald Trump declared to astounded Republicans today that “George Washington was no hero!”

“He lost all those battles!” Trump yelled, frothing at the mouth.  “I like winners!  Even Benedict Arnold won battles!”

In other news, apparently starting up your own pharma company doesn’t guarantee success.  But it could be worth a try (1).

In scarcely related news, an Alzheimer clinical trial is under threat since USC poached researchers Paul Aisen et al. from UCSD (2).  “Aisen has headed the Alzheimer’s disease Cooperative Study since 2007 and is running a clinical trial to determine if a drug developed by Eli Lilly can slow or prevent Alzheimer’s in people who do not yet have memory problems.”

“Who cares about Alzheimer’s patients?” screamed Donald Trump as he writhed on the ground.  “They’re idiots!  Just ask them what they had for lunch yesterday – they don’t know!”  At this time it is not clear who landed the first punch in the ensuing melee.  Possibly someone who recalled that The Donald’s own father died of Alzheimer’s (3).  “Teletubbies are killing your children!” Trump’s voice cut through the pile.  Everyone who had launched themselves onto the stage stopped and sat up.  “Yes, you heard me right!  While they watch some pink triangle, the winners of the world are honing their boxing skills (4)!”  The right-wing lunatic fringe crowd burst into cheers and hoisted a jubilant Trump onto their shoulders in a victory lap around Iowa.


(1) http://www.dddmag.com/news/2015/07/fda-bans-founder-fake-us-pharma-company-worth-12m

(2) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/battle-erupts-over-poached-researcher/story-e6frgcjx-1227449544532

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Trump

(4) http://www.biospace.com/News/toddlers-who-chill-in-front-of-tv-are-at-later/384860/source=Featured

Funding Gets a Kick in the Pants

Rupert gets a call from crack(ed) fundraiser Frida de Thirteenth, who has a great idea.  “Surely you have heard of Kickstarter?” she says.  “Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals can raise money for drug development and clinical trials.”

“But Kickstarter is where people donate, not invest,” Rupert says.  “It’s enough to start up and do some limited project.  Who would just give us millions of dollars for a clinical trial?”

“Frida understands your confusion,” says Frida.  “That’s why KickPantser exists.”

“Ki – What kind of name is KickPantser?”

“KickPantser is to sustain an ongoing concern through gifts,” Frida says.  Cappuccino must donate millions to a central funding organization.  They in turn give grants for development and clinical trials.  To Cappuccino.”

“Hmmm…” Rupert ponders the idea.

Episode 23: What’s In a Name?

Rupert Madasheck was not the only CEO in the club’s cherrywood paneled room that day.  Gazing up into the distance at the crystal chandeliers, he eased himself into an overstuffed chair next to fellow CEO Gjioughneh Kqueuerillieux.  As he glanced around the room at the executives lounging at the Jonathan Club, Rupert asked Gjioughneh how things were going.

“Terrible,” Gjioughneh said.  “We were just informed that the PMA for our OctoPlex gel was rejected.”  Gjioughneh stared down at his folded hands and sighed.  “I just don’t understand it.  You can’t ask for better clinical trial outcomes.   It’s been on the market outside the US for a decade.  The manufacturing profile is top notch.  What else do they want?”  His fingers gnarled around each other in a knot.

“What exactly does this, um, this Octomom do?” Rupert asked.

“OctoPlex, not Octomom,” Gjioughneh said without looking up.  “It lessens the pain from failed surgery, particularly botched jobs to relieve Restless Third Leg Syndrome.”

“Oh, yes,” said Rupert.  “The syndrome that’s not just for congressmen anymore.  There’s surgery for that?”

“As a last resort,” Gjioughneh said.  “The drugs available for it just can’t stop all the scandals, so people need to take drastic surgical measures.  But surgery has a lot of problems and high chance of lifelong pain.  Too bad there’s a political angle.”

At the word ‘political,’ Rupert hunched his shoulders as if leaning into a rainstorm.   He remembered the never-ending stream of politicians sending lewd photos of themselves to would-be mistresses.  “Don’t tell me Congress wants your gel all to themselves.”

“No, it’s worse.  Congress wants to save money by cutting funding to the FDA.  So they are retaliating to make the House of Reprehensibles feel the pain.  We really believe the rejection is bull,” Gjioughneh said. “I’ve decided we’ll file a petition for reconsideration.”

Rupert looked up with a startled expression.  “You could do that?  Won’t it just annoy them?”

“We’re going with the ‘creates jobs in the US’ angle.  Once we get approval we can put a dent in the unemployment rate.”  Gjioughneh’s eyes glazed suddenly in rapt attention and he pulled out his vibrating YouPhone.  After fumbling for a second, he held it to his ear and said, “Gjioughneh here.”

Knowing that cell phone use is frowned upon at the Jonathan Club, Rupert looked away and twiddled his thumbs patiently while Gjioughneh listened to his call.  Should he edge away and leave Gjioughneh in peace?  Should he pull his own phone out for a quick game of Sudoku while pretending to work?  Would Gjioughneh be escorted to the floor with the phone booths?  Before Rupert could decide, Gjioughneh put the phone down.

“Rupert, I want to get out of this business,” Gjioughneh said.  “Turns out the FDA denial was based on the fact that no one at FDA could figure out how to pronounce the name of our company.”

Rupert’s eyebrows shot up.  “They couldn’t pronounce ‘FzGnque’ so they rejected Octomom?  I can’t believe that.”

“OctoPlex.”  Gjioughneh shook his head sadly.  “You’re close.  It’s pronounced ‘FzGnque.’  But it’s true.  They were too embarrassed to contact us.”  He frowned and looked around the room.  “We can change our name to FrzeuQ if they want.  And who are they to complain anyway?” he added.  “Is it ‘FDA’ or the FDA?”

Yes, this story was inspired by an actual news article.  Brownie points for finding the original source! –      The BixoBrat

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