The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 11/3/16

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. Keep your finger on the pulse of neurology with The Handoff.

— In case you missed it, check out Neurology Advisor’s coverage of the 2016 Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting

— If you haven’t heard enough about the eteplirsen controversy, JAMA has published a viewpoint on the approval’s implications for FDA policy

— Biogen has something up its sleeve after it dropped development of one promising MS drug to advance another that failed to meet primary and secondary endpoints in a Phase 2 trial. 

— A Duke neurologist has launched a hassle-free, open trial for a potential ALS treatment using virtual patient portal PatientsLikeMe.

— NIH researchers have proposed a biological-based assessment tool for diagnosing addiction disorders that takes into account addiction-related behaviors, brain imaging, and genetic data.

— Need a job? The US FDA reportedly has 700 unfilled positions on its drug approval team — most of which they are struggling to fill due to stiff competition from high-paying pharmaceutical companies.

— The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation is injecting $2.7 million into research grants towards proposals to help solve, treat, and end the disease. Researchers can apply here

— The influencers behind have launched a tracker tool that shows which pharmaceutical companies and institutions are failing to report clinical trial data. 

— Salk Institute researchers have created a software program that tracks blepharospasm in an effort to objectify clinical measurement. The technology may eventually help in the diagnosis of tic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. 

— Sanofi has joined forces with Fiocruz, a Brazillian research center, to advance development of a vaccine for Zika virus.  

— The Federal Trade Commission is knee-deep in a legal battle over “product hopping,” the term used to describe subtle reformulations of drugs in order to extend patents and protect against generic copycats. 

— Working on a new, exciting drug? NINDS reviews how to write and submit an Investigational Drug Application for biologic therapy in the video below. 

For previous installments of The Handoff, go here.