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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Last week's failure of yet another Alzheimer's drug was just the latest setback in a field that has seen more than its fair share.
What they're saying: "I admit to you, we are getting pretty desperate," Samuel Gandy, associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, told Bloomberg after Biogen and Eisai pulled the plug on a once-promising drug that, in the end, did not appear to be working.
Between the lines: Most Alzheimer’s research to date has focused on a protein called beta amyloid, which forms large plaques on Alzheimer's patients' brains. Broadly speaking, the theory was that those plaques cause Alzheimer's, and that an effective treatment would break them up.
What's next: Research into other theories is happening, but most of it still in the earliest stages. And there is no broad agreement about where to go next — no consensus about what will work, only a growing consensus about what won't.
The bottom line: Scientists learn from failure; some of these aborted trials are still a form of progress. But as researchers head back to the drawing board to try to figure out how Alzheimer's works, we're likely a very long way from an effective treatment.
Eli Lilly says it's not making as much money off high-priced insulin as you might think, per the Wall Street Journal.
By the numbers: The list price for Humalog, Lilly's insulin, has risen 52% since 2014. It now stands at $594 per month.
Yes, but: This will be cold comfort to the uninsured and people with high deductibles, for whom rising list prices matter a great deal, especially for a drug people depend on to stay alive.
Go deeper: The outrage over insulin prices
China is gunning for the U.S.' position as the world leader in biotech, according to a new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
Details: The Chinese government has set up more than 110 bioscience research parks, including one in Shanghai referred to as "Pharma Valley." The Ministry of Science and Technology plans to build up to 20 more parks by 2020.
The Chinese are investing in specific therapeutic areas, including genomics. Chinese researchers are writing an increasing share of the world's academic papers on genomics.
Go deeper: China wants its own pharma industry
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
As much as it can feel like the defining issue in a political season that's already in hyperdrive, "Medicare for All" isn't actually breaking through everywhere.
Axios' Alexi McCammond recently had the chance to sit in on a focus group of swing voters in Wisconsin — people who had either voted for Barack Obama and Donald Trump, or Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton.
My thought bubble: This seems consistent with polling that shows people's opinions about "Medicare for All" can swing wildly when they hear arguments for or against it. Most people simply are not hardcore about this issue, at least for now.
Go deeper: What Medicare for All could look like
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