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JuneauEmpire.com: Local: Rush is on as dividend deadline drops 03/31/05

Today is the last day to file for the 2005 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.

The Permanent Fund Dividend Division is expecting 70,000 Alaskans to file today - 60,000 by paper and 10,000 online.

"Every year, we see a big spike in the last week, with the biggest one on March 31," said Paul Dick, chief of operations of the division. "The deadline is the motivator for some people."

The division projects about 631,000 people will have applied for the 2005 dividend. The state will announce the amount of the 2005 dividend Sept. 21.

Last year the division denied 1,300 dividend applications because of late filing.

The dividend program, which was enacted in 1982, distributes a share of fund investment earnings to every qualified Alaska resident every year. Last year, about 600,760 Alaskans received $919.84 each.

Rush here.

March 31, 2005 in alaska | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elan shares dive on drug setback

Shares in Irish drugmaker Elan have plummeted once more after a third case of disease linked to Tysabri, its multiple sclerosis treatment.

Elan suspended the drug after two patients were found to have caught the rare disease, one of whom later died.

The newly revealed case - which also ended with the death of the patient - could mean Tysabri never makes it back onto the market, analysts warned.

By the close of trading, Elan shares were down 56% to 2.43 euros.

More here.

March 31, 2005 in follow the money..., stocks, tysabri | Permalink | Comments (0)

Serono plans multiple sclerosis treatment by inhalation


Serono of Switzerland is planning to expand its billion dollar multiple sclerosis franchise with a new version of interferon beta that would do away with the need for injections, reports Phil Taylor.

The company already sells an injectable drug for MS, Rebif (interferon beta 1a) and has small molecule, orally active drugs in its pipeline. These could now been joined by an inhaleable formulation that would provide a more patient-friendly alternative to the current injectable drugs for MS, and could improve efficacy.

Inhale here.

March 31, 2005 in rebif, research, treatment, worth following... | Permalink | Comments (0)

Second death may doom multiple sclerosis drug

Cambridge life-sciences company Biogen Idec Inc. last night was plunged deeper into crisis by news that yet another patient taking its troubled Tysabri drug had died of the rare condition PML.     

That's the third patient discovered to have developed PML, a neurological disorder, while taking Tysabri and the second to die from the disease. ``This is a worst-case scenario,'' Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges said last night. ``There is now a 1-in-10 chance that this drug ever comes back.''

More here.


March 31, 2005 in antegren , avonex, bummer, tysabri | Permalink | Comments (0)

MS is just a part of life for Foulston

In retrospect, Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston says, the years of not knowing what was wrong, of being brushed off by doctors, of asking herself whether she just might be a nut case probably were for the good.

If someone had told her 30 years ago that she was disabled, she might have lived her life differently.

Instead, she proved to herself that, while multiple sclerosis will always be a part of her life, it doesn't control her.

More here.

March 21, 2005 in people | Permalink | Comments (0)

FDA, Biogen Warn Over MS Drug Avonex

Biogen Idec's multiple sclerosis drug Avonex can cause severe liver damage, U.S. regulatory officials and the company warned on Wednesday, the latest in a series of blows to MS patients.

More here.

I'm not sure this is news to us, but it's more bad news for Biogen.

March 18, 2005 in avonex | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hopes of simple blood test for MS

It may be possible to develop a simple blood test to diagnose multiple sclerosis, scientists believe.

MS is currently diagnosed through a combination of scans, tests and physical examination, and can be difficult to spot.

But researchers found people with relapsing-remitting MS have a distinct pattern of proteins in their blood.

More here.

March 16, 2005 in diagnosis | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tysabri Is No Vioxx

And more.

March 2, 2005 in tysabri | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Virus That Took Down Tysabri

The multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri might have squashed competition from some of the world's biotech giants, but in the end it was pushed off the market by a virus smaller than the tiniest transistors on any computer chip.

More here.

March 2, 2005 in tysabri | Permalink | Comments (0)

Biogen Idec Turns to Expert for Tysabri Help

To get answers about why two patients taking its new multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri apparently came down with a rare, often deadly brain disease, Biogen Idec Inc. of Cambridge is turning to Dr. Igor J. Koralnik, a 42-year-old neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who may know more about the disease than anyone else.

More here.

March 2, 2005 in antegren , tysabri | Permalink | Comments (0)