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Apr 23, 2013

Bristol-Myers oral hepatitis C regimen looks competitive: study

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – A combination of three experimental Bristol-Myers Squibb hepatitis C drugs appeared to be highly effective, according to data from a mid-stage clinical trial, keeping the company in the race for developing an all-oral treatment regimen for the serious liver disease.

The combination therapy, which involves three direct acting antiviral drugs that each attack different targets needed for replication of the hepatitis virus, achieved cure rates as high as 94 percent when given for either 12 weeks or 24 weeks, according to results of the small study.

Apr 22, 2013

Analysis: Ahead of reform, medical care slowdown hits companies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the clock ticks down to the start of a U.S. healthcare overhaul, companies from device makers to hospital chains have been surprised to see Americans make even fewer trips to the doctor’s office.

Use of non-emergency medical services has been weak for several years in the wake of a deep recession, high joblessness and the steadily rising cost of care.

Apr 22, 2013

Analysis – Ahead of reform, medical care slowdown hits U.S. companies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the clock ticks down to the start of a U.S. healthcare overhaul, companies from device makers to hospital chains have been surprised to see Americans make even fewer trips to the doctor’s office.

Use of non-emergency medical services has been weak for several years in the wake of a deep recession, high joblessness and the steadily rising cost of care.

Apr 22, 2013

Ahead of reform, medical care slowdown hits US companies

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) – As the clock ticks down to
the start of a U.S. healthcare overhaul, companies from device
makers to hospital chains have been surprised to see Americans
make even fewer trips to the doctor’s office.

Use of non-emergency medical services has been weak for
several years in the wake of a deep recession, high joblessness
and the steadily rising cost of care.

Apr 18, 2013

Intuitive Surgical narrows 2013 forecast, shares fall

April 18 (Reuters) – Intuitive Surgical Inc on
Thursday narrowed its 2013 forecasts for growth of revenue and
procedures using its da Vinci surgical robots rather than
raising them as it often does when reporting quarterly results,
and its shares fell.

Intuitive said it expects 2013 procedure growth to come in
at the lower end of its previous forecast of 20 percent to 23
percent and said it sees revenue growth coming in at the higher
end of its initial view of 16 percent to 19 percent.

Apr 15, 2013

Thermo Fisher to buy Life Tech for $13.6 billion

April 15 (Reuters) – Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc on
Monday agreed to buy Life Technologies Corp for $13.6
billion in a deal that would make it one of the top companies in
the hot field of genetic testing.

The pact values Life Tech at $76 per share, a 12 percent
premium, and is one of the year’s biggest corporate takeovers.

Apr 9, 2013

Roche immune therapy cancer drug shows promise in early study

April 9 (Reuters) – An experimental drug that spurs the
immune system to fight cancer appeared to be safe and
demonstrated anti-tumor activity against a variety of cancers in
a small early stage study, researchers said on Tuesday.

The drug, called MPDL320A, was discovered and is being
developed by Roche’s Genentech unit. The Phase 1 trial
of the drug in 30 patients with advanced cancer was designed as
a dose escalation study to test for toxicity at higher doses.

Mar 11, 2013

Edwards heart valve system good as surgery at three years: trial

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Patients who received the original version of Edwards Lifesciences Corp’s non-invasive heart valve replacement system had a nearly identical death rate after three years as those who had open-heart surgery, with no increased risk of stroke, according to results from a clinical trial.

The data, presented on Monday at the American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in San Francisco, should provide doctors with some reassurance about the durability of the Edwards transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), known as Sapien.

Mar 11, 2013

Edwards heart valve system good as surgery at 3 years-trial

SAN FRANCISCO, March 11 (Reuters) – Patients who received
the original version of Edwards Lifesciences Corp’s
non-invasive heart valve replacement system had a nearly
identical death rate after three years as those who had
open-heart surgery, with no increased risk of stroke, according
to results from a clinical trial.

The data, presented on Monday at the American College of
Cardiology scientific meeting in San Francisco, should provide
doctors with some reassurance about the durability of the
Edwards transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), known as
Sapien.

Mar 10, 2013

Gilead drug reduces chest pain episodes in diabetics: study

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc’s angina drug Ranexa reduced incidents of chest pain in patients with diabetes, and the effect appeared to be more pronounced in those with poor blood sugar control, according to data from a clinical trial.

Ranexa, known chemically as ranolazine, is already approved to treat angina – a type of chest pain associated with heart disease. This was the first trial to test it specifically in diabetics, who tend to have more complications and can be more difficult to treat that other heart patients.

    • About Bill

      "Based in New York, I primarily cover the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors as well as other publicly traded companies involved in health care. Previously covered a wide range of sports for Reuters."
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