The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 1/19/17

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of neurology news covering various developments in subspecialties, the pharmaceutical industry, and the overall state of health care as it affects neurologists.

— UCB Pharma has filed a supplemental NDA for its drug brivaracetam for indication as a monotherapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients aged 16 years and older. The drug is currently approved as adjunctive treatment. 

— Sarepta reported $5.4 million in sales of its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen in the December quarter despite a hefty price tag. 

— Biogen has settled a patent dispute with Danish biotech company Forward Pharma A/S over a key ingredient in Tecfidera, its top multiple sclerosis drug. 

— Are pharmacists the key to managing the growing Alzheimer’s dementia population? 

— Patient advocacy groups might not be the purists you expect, a feature from Stat News claims. The groups, which have played very active roles in new drug approvals, are increasingly supported by industry. 

— Biogen and Siemens are teaming up to develop more quantitative metrics for MRI in multiple sclerosis, with hopes that it will help better define patient prognosis and response to therapy. 

— The NFL and Texas Medical Center are calling for submissions for their 1st & Future sports tech competition. Pitches should focus on 1 of 3 categories: coach-player communication, athlete training, or athlete protection, and winners will receive a $50,000 check, acceptance into TMC’s accelerator, and Super Bowl tickets, of course. 

— Will “mini-brains” replace the animal model in neurological research? A group from Johns Hopkins trying to commercialize them hope so. 

— Canadian police are warning the medical community to be on the lookout for fake medical or research conferences after 2 fake neurological conferences were caught advertising a fake event. 

Stat News went inside a DEA drug lab, where chemists are busy analyzing compounds to try and identify the newest, most potent opioids. Watch the video below to learn more about the risky operation.