The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 3/16/17

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.

— Just over a month after the FDA passed down a controversial approval, Marathon Pharmaceuticals has sold its $89,000 per year Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug deflazacort to PTC Therapeutics for $140 million in cash and stock. The move comes after Marathon chose to delay market availability of the drug due to severe backlash from regulators and patient advocacy groups who were alarmed by the old, generic drug’s sky-high price. 

— Sealed court documents reveal a laundry list of abuses by the National Football League in its handling of prescription drugs, including powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories. 

— President Trump’s first budget proposal would cut $5.8 billion — nearly 20% — of the National Institute of Health’s budget. The FDA, meanwhile, would see its approval fees nearly double in return for a speedier approval process. 

— An op-ed explores why clinical trial results fail to translate into benefits for patients. 

— Researchers have engineered a humanized antibody that blocks CD47 signaling, successfully killing pediatric tumor cells in a glioma model. 

— The FDA has approved a mobile app that can detect early stages of clinically relevant cognitive impairment. 

— Will rats provide the ultimate breakthrough in autism research