Pressure Grows To Create Drugs For ‘Superbugs’

Government officials, drug companies and medical experts, faced with outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” are pushing to speed up the approval of new antibiotics, a move that is raising safety concerns among some critics.

The need for new antibiotics is so urgent, supporters of an overhaul say, that lengthy studies involving hundreds or thousands of patients should be waived in favor of directly testing such drugs in very sick patients.  Influential lawmakers have said they are prepared to support legislation that allows for faster testing.

The Health and Human Services Department last month announced an agreement under which it will pay $40 million to a major drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline, to help it develop medications to combat antibiotic resistance and biological agents that terrorists might use.  Under the plan, the federal government could give the drug company as much as $200 million over the next five years.

“We are facing a huge crisis worldwide not having an antibiotics pipeline,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.  “It is bad now, and the infectious disease docs are frantic.  But what is worse is the thought of where we will be five to 10 years from now.”

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/health/experts-debate-plan-to-speed-antibiotic-development.html?hp&_r=0

DeMedici II Will Buy Former GlaxoSmithKline Building For New String Theory School

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new performing arts charter high school says it has sealed a deal to open in the fall at GlaxoSmithKline‘s former North American headquarters at 16th and Vine Streets.

Under terms that will be announced Thursday, a nonprofit associated with the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School has agreed to buy the curving, eight-story building for $29 million for the String Theory High School for the Arts and Sciences.  It will be the first charter high school in the city focused on the performing arts.

The nonprofit, DeMedici Corporation II, expects to finance the property with tax-exempt bonds from the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID), according to Mary D’Anella, spokeswoman for String Theory Schools, which manages the charter.

“It’s the most exciting high school this city has opened in a generation,” said Angela Corosanite, chief executive officer of the nonprofit String Theory, and founder of it and the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130328_DeMedici_II_will_buy_former_GlaxoSmithKline_building_for_new_String_Theory_School.html

More Solar Projects Funded By Pennsylvania

I recently posted an article about a solar project in Allentown that received grant money from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Here are three more entities that received state grants for solar energy projects. 

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare LP is receiving $1,000,000 toward the construction of a 3-megawatt rooftop array at their Manchester Township, York County regional distribution center.  The company is using this technology to cut down on energy costs and have a more energy-efficient network of facilities.

Morningstar Marketplace in Jackson Township, York County will receive $733,200 toward a 926-kilowatt ground-mounted array.

Blue Renewable Energy in Adams County will receive $457,500 toward a 366-kilowatt solar system at Gettysburg College.

Just sayin…. there is money out there for all kinds of projects.  Even in this economy!