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Finding Surprising Drug Synergy

Someday, diabetics might be able to avoid insulin injections by taking an unlikely combination of an anticholesterol drug and a pain medication to control blood sugar. CombinatoRx of Cambridge, MA, has eight such counterintuitive but synergistic drug combinations in clinical trials, including the examples listed below. The company tests combinations of several thousand drugs at several different doses on cellular models of diseases. The reasons for the synergies are poorly understood; disparate drugs may act on the same molecular pathways.

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