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Search Results For: M

Term Definition
M Protein A substance in the blood that physicians use to determine the severity of multiple myeloma.
Macaque Monkeys One of twelve short-tailed species of monkeys of the genus Macaca that can be both arboreal and ground dwelling. Includes Rhesus monkey.
Macrolide An antibiotic class that targets the 50S ribosomal subunit of bacteria, blocking the ability to synthesize proteins. Macrolides are derived from Streptomyces (spore forming bacteria that grow slowly in soil or water and somewhat appear like fungi) and have a complex chemical (meacrocyclic) structure. Zithromax (azithromycin), Biaxin (clarithromycin), and Erythromycin, in all of its forms, are macrolides.
Macrophage A white blood cell which destroys invading bacteria and cells by engulfing (eating) them, a process called phagocytosis.
Macular Degeneration A progressive disorder affecting the central part of the retina causing gradual loss of central vision.
Magnetic Targeted Carriers Technology (FeRx) A novel, experimental, proprietary delivery system designed to decrease drug toxicity currently in clinical trials for delivery of chemotherapy agents.
Magnitude of Treatment Effect The degree to which an intervention produces or contributes to an outcome. The most basic measurements for quantifying its extent are the relative and absolute benefit increases, risk reductions, and risk increases. The statistics describing relationships between two or more sets of numbers are the statistics that really matter in research. Qualitative terms like trivial, small, moderate, and large, are also frequently used to discuss results in terms of comparative magnitudes.
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) A family of proteins that present antigens to T cells. Class I MHC molecules, found on nearly all cells in the body, present antigens to CD8+ cytotoxic T cells. Class II MHC molecules, found on “professional” antigen presenting cells like macrophages and dendritic cells, present antigens to CD4+ helper T cells.

MHC molecules are the most polymorphic proteins coded by the human genome, with hundreds of alleles in the population. Every person (except for identical twins) has a distinct set of MHC proteins. Differences in MHC proteins are largely responsible for tissue and organ graft rejection.

Malaria Contracted from the bite of specific mosquitoes infected with one of many species of Plasmodium parasites, it is the most common infectious disease in the world, affecting approximately 40% of the Earth’s population. Acute infection can be life-threatening and chronic infection range can be debilitating and degenerative.
Malignant (1) Regarding abnormal growths, it implies potential or actual spread to other areas of the body (potential or actual metastasis), and implies the existence of cancer. (2) Resistant to treatment or severe, as in malignant hypertension.
Mammalian Cell Culture The technique for growing mammalian (usually mouse or human derived) cells in the laboratory.
MAP Kinases A family of intracellular signaling proteins involved in many biological processes, including cell division. MAP stands for mitogen activated protein.
Market Capitalization A company’s common stock price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding.
Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) Application to the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) to begin marketing drugs and biologics to the public. Analogous to a BLA or an NDA in the U.S.
Mass Spectrometry One of several techniques in which some sort of instrument is used in order to produce ions from atoms or molecules which are then separated according to their charge-to-mass ratios and detected.
Mast Cells White blood cells that release histamine and other mediators of allergy and asthma.
Matrix Metalloproteinases A class of pro-angiogenic proteases that specifically degrades extracellular matrix.
MEDIPAD (Élan) A drug delivery system that can deliver a particular amount of a drug for up to 48 hours from a patch on the chest. This drug delivery system combines the simplicity of a patch with the delivery capabilities of an infusion pump.
Megakaryocyte A huge bone marrow cell that is an ancestor of platelets.
Melanocortin Any of a group of pituitary peptide hormones that include adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and the a, b, and g-melanocyte-stimulating hormones. Melanocortins bind to G-protein coupled receptors. These ligands and their receptors participate in the control of many well-characterized endocrine, autonomic, and central nervous system activities. The most well studied biological phenomena related to these proteins are inflammation, appetite regulation, body weight regulation, insulin regulation, and skin pigmentary regulation.
Melanoma A pigmented tumor of the skin and, in rare instances, of the mucous membranes. A malignant melanoma tumor may be invasive and spread to lymph nodes and other sites more frequently than other skin cancers.
Meningitis Inflammation of the meninges - the 3-layered covering of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
Mesenchymal Cells The stem cells that give rise to connective tissues including bone marrow stroma, bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon, muscle, and fat.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) An RNA molecule transcribed from DNA and, typically, translated into the amino acid sequence of a polypeptide/protein.
Meta-Analysis An analysis of analyses. The statistical analysis of a collection of analyses for the purpose of integrating the findings. A strong meta-analysis collects trials of similar methodology in order to enhance the statistical power to detect outcomes.
Metabolic Disorders (1) disorders characterized by the presence of the body chemistry’s inability to either convert small molecules into larger ones (anabolic disorders) or large molecules into smaller ones (catabolic disorders) (2) generic term for “inborn errors of metabolism,” devastating, often childhood, diseases caused by an absent or malfunctioning enzymatic protein (3) euphemistic term in drug discovery press releases and public discourse for obesity and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Metabolism The universe of chemical changes occurring in a tissue, this consists of creating large molecules from smaller ones (anabolic changes) and small molecules from larger ones (catabolic changes).
Metabolite A product of metabolism; usually referring to a product of catabolism or a waste product.
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy A genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase A. The group of disorders known as leukodystrophies affect growth of the myelin sheath of nerve fibers in the central nervous system.
Metastasis Cells that have spread from an original location. The metastatic cells, typically cancerous, are of the type of the original source. So, if a metastatic cancer arose in the colon and metastasized to the liver, the cells growing in the liver are colon cancer cells.
Metastatic The spread of tumor cells from an original location in the body to a secondary location via the lymph system or blood circulation. To metastasize effectively, tumor cells must detach from their original location, invade a blood or lymphatic vessel travel in the circulation and establish a new cellular colony.
Metastatin An anti-angiogenic formulation in discovery/pre-clinical testing at EntreMed.
Microbe An organism of microscopic or ultramicroscopic size.
Microbeads Plastic spheres, the size of mammalian cells or smaller, capable of being used as binding surfaces for proteins and other biological reagents.
Microorganism An organism of microscopic or ultramicroscopic size.
Micropor Technology (Altea Genomics) Convenience-based proprietary drug delivery technology allowing controllable, transdermal delivery of macromolecular (large molecule) drugs through microscopic pores in the outermost dead layer of skin cells. The technology has delivered physiologically relevant amounts of peptides, proteins, and DNA in pilot clinical studies.
Microtubules Elements in the cytoplasm of cells that participate in chromosome movement during phases of the cell cycle leading to cell division.
Migraine Headaches Any of several sorts of vascular headaches some associated with a symptom complex including any or all of the following: vertigo, nausea and vomiting, photophobia (light hypersensitivity), and scintillating appearances of light (scintillating scotomata).
Mild Cognitive Impairment A evolving diagnosis that represents some transition zone between mild memory impairment and a more severe cognitive decline such as that seen in Alzheimer disease (AD), vascular dementia, and other dementing illnesses. It is a useful concept when studying the prevention of AD because it identifies high-risk patients. It is a detrimental concept when used loosely as it may encourage failures to detect other types of cognitive disturbances. Great variability in diagnostic criteria and neuropsychologic testing exists such that the precise, global criteria for this diagnosis remains uncertain. Also known as “incipient dementia” and “isolated memory impairment,” amongst many other non-specific terms.
Mimetic Relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting mimicry. Pharmacologic compounds can mimic specific biologic and pharmacologic functions, typically in the context of a receptor interaction. Often, they physically resemble a functionally relevant portion of the molecule they mimic. Their administration is often preferred to that of the mimicked compound due to more appealing phamacokinetics and/or a more acceptable safety and tolerability profile, often due to the lack of a discarded portion of the parent compound.
Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) A five-minute screening test designed to assess basic cognitive function in a number of different areas such as orientation, short term memory, recall, writing, calculation, and higher integrative functioning. It provides a rapid way to determine if more sophisticated testing is necessary. Also known as mental status exam and mini-mental state exam.
Mitochondrion The principle energy source of a cell, it is a cytoplasmic organelle in which is located enzymes specifically designed to catalyze reactions that, in total, produce energy. It is also within this organelle that our non-nuclear genetic material (mitochondrial DNA) is housed, virtually all of which is transmitted to subsequent generations by a motherâ??s ovum (egg). "Mitochondria" is the plural form.
MLH1 Gene A gene whose mutations play a key role in the susceptibility to HNPCC-hereditary colon and endometrial cancer.
MMAC1 Gene A gene whose mutations have been found to play a role in the most common and most lethal brain cancer, glioblastoma, in addition to advanced cancers of the prostate, breast and skin, and involved in other cancers such as those of the blood, bladder, lung and testis. "
Modalities Treatment methods
MODAS (Élan) An acronym for Multiporous Oral Drug Absorption System, it is a proprietary drug delivery technology which formulates a tablet in such a way as to facilitate more predictable particle release rates and absorption.
Model Organism An organism used for research purposes, commonly E. coli bacteria, yeast, fruit flies, and mice.
Monoamine Oxidase B (MAO-B) An enzyme involved in the catabolism of amines such as dopamine and phenylethylamine. MAO-B’s activity has been implicated in oxidative stress that underlies the acceleration of neurodegenerative processes. Thus, its inhibition tends to have effects that retard this process. Selegiline is the prototypical inhibitor of this enzyme.
Monoclonal Antibody A laboratory-engineered antibody, derived from a single cell, that recognizes a specific antigen.
Monocytes White blood cells involved in interacting with T cells, often with phagocytic (cell eating) properties.
Monotherapy A single therapeutic agent.
Morbidity Illness short of death.
Morphelan An oral form of morphine designed to have both rapid onset and long duration.
Morphine The prototypic opiate analgesic (pain medication) with agonist activity at kappa and mu receptors.
Movement Disorders The broad category of neurological diseases featuring impaired involuntary movement, including Parkinson disease, essential tremor, other types of tremors, dyskinesias, and dystonia.
MSH2 Gene A gene whose mutations play a key role in the susceptibility to HNPCC-hereditary colon and endometrial cancer.
MTC-DOX (Élan/FeRx) Magnetic Targeted Carriers (MTC) technology combined with the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin. MTC is a novel, experimental, proprietary delivery system designed to decrease drug toxicity from targets other than the tumor being exposed to a chemotherapeutic agent.
Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS-1) Hurler syndrome, Scheie syndrome, and Hurler-Scheie syndrome, all characterized by the deposition of mucopolysaccharide, a specific type of carbohydrate, in tissues due to varying degrees of deficiency of the enzyme alpha-L-iduronidase. "
Multiple In reference to company stock market valuation, multiple is used to describe ratios of some measure of the market value of a company´s stock over some measure of a company´s financial performance. The most commonly used multiples are price to earnings (P/E) and enterprise value to EBITDA or (EV/EBITDA).
Multiple Myeloma A malignancy of antibody-producing plasma cells often characterized by anemia, hemorrhages, recurrent infections, and weakness.
Multiple Sclerosis A neurodegenerative disease caused by damage to the brain and spinal cord, particularly to the myelin sheath which surrounds nerves.
Multipotent Stem Cells Class of stem cells that can give rise to a specific cell population, for instance, blood stem cells give rise to white and red blood cells but not neurons.
Murine Derived from mice or rats.
Mutation A heritable alteration in a DNA sequence or chromosome.
Myelin A fatty substance that insulates nerves, it serves as an electrical conduit by ensuring that signals racing down nerves remain intact during transit.
Myeloablative Chemotherapy Chemotherapy that wipe outs the cellular components of the bone marrow.
Myeloid Progenitor Inhibitory Factor-1 (MPIF-1) A naturally occurring human chemokine that has been demonstrated to have the capacity to inhibit stem cell growth. Being a potent suppressor of bone marrow, Human Genome Sciences is somewhat ironically exploring the potential of a recombinant version of this compound as a way to arrest marrow cells at a given developmental state during chemotherapy. The thinking is that marrow cell counts can be preserved through treatment such that cell stimulation after the marrow-suppressive effects of chemotherapy have worn off might provide normal, not suppressed, counts of circulating red cells, white cells, and platelets.
Myelosuppression Diminished bone marrow function, often induced by chemotherapy or radiation.
Myocardial Infarction A heart attack. Heart muscle (myocardium) tissue, due to abrupt (acute) circulating blood and oxygen deprivation, dies. Tissue death (necrosis) due to oxygen deprivation is known as ""infarction." Blood flow interruptions are typically caused by arteriosclerosis accompanied by coronary artery narrowing. Eventually, a thrombosis (clot) occludes the coronary artery, preventing the flow of blood, and therefore limiting the oxygen supply, to the myocardium.
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