When all else fails, pump it in.
Drugmaker Eli Lilly
Eli Lilly's drug based on glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF, is designed to promote survival of nerve cells that die in Parkinson's patients. But the drug needs to get to the specific part of the brain to work. Take it orally, and it'll likely be broken down by the acid in the stomach. Inject it, and the concentration in the brain where it's needed won't be high enough.
Enter Medtronic, which has a catheter pump system that could deliver a constant supply of drug to the specific area of the brain. If it works, it could potentially slow the disease progression, which would be better than current drugs, which essentially just treat the symptoms.
Not that we should expect to see a dropoff in sales of current offerings like Teva Pharmaceuticals's
Furthermore, there's no guarantee it'll work. Back in 2004, Amgen
Trying to pump the drug in is worth a shot. Investors just shouldn't get pumped up about the chances for the drug-device to work.
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Novartis and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries are Motley Fool Global Gains recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Medtronic and Teva. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.