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Scientists turn skin cells into bone; ED pill

Tuesday, 07 May 2013

SCIENTISTS TURN SKIN CELLS INTO BONES

Researchers have made human bone in a laboratory dish and successfully transplanted it into mice, an early step in the quest to grow replacement bones for patients, reports the Wall Street Journal (p7).

The WSJ reports that Guiseppe Maria de Peppo, a tissue engineer at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and colleagues used a method known as reprogramming to change human skin cells into embryo-like stem cells, which can become all other cells in the body.

Certain chemicals were then added to induce these cells to turn into bone, according to the article, based on the experiment published in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

PFIZER TO SELL VIAGRA VIA ITS OWN WEBSITE

Pfizer is to begin selling its Viagra (sildenafil) erectile dysfunction pill direct to customers via its own website, reports The Daily Telegraph (Business, p1).

The newspaper reports that the drugmaker has made the decision to fight against the counterfeiting, which means that 80% of Viagra pills sold online turn out to be fakes.

This costs Pfizer sales and also leaves buyers exposed to "unsexy ingredients", including pesticides, paint and printer ink, according to the newspaper.

Matthew Bassiur, Pfizer's vice president of global security, said shy men who bought online were "playing Russian roulette" calling the factories making fake Viagra "deplorable".

He reportedly said: "You wouldn't even want to walk in them, let alone ingest anything made in them."

Men will still need a prescription to buy pills at viagra.com and they are pricier than the fakes at $25 per tablet, although Pfizer is offering three free tablets with a first order and a 30% discount with a second, according to the story.

The article then gives a brief history of Viagra, commenting on how it "took the world by storm" after its launch in 1998.

According to the newspaper Pfizer has a patent on Viagra until 2020, but fakes have hit sales, which fell 7% in the first three months of 2013 to $461 million.

Other drug makers may well be keeping an eye on the Viagra online site as a new route to market drugs for embarrassing afflictions, such as hair loss, according to the report.

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