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Nov 5, 2012

New class of cholesterol drugs shows promise in trials

LOS ANGELES, Nov 5 (Reuters) – A new class of experimental
cholesterol-lowering drugs demonstrated a promising new
technique for reducing levels of the artery-clogging fatty
deposits in mid-stage studies.

The medicines, which are man-made antibodies, lowered “bad”
cholesterol by more than 40 percent and up to 80 percent in
small Phase 2 studies released by Amgen Inc and Pfizer
Inc on Monday at the annual scientific meeting of the
American Heart Association in Los Angeles.

Nov 5, 2012

Experimental Pfizer cholesterol drug promising in study

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An experimental Pfizer Inc cholesterol drug showed promise in a small midstage trial, putting the world’s largest drugmaker in the race to develop a medicine from a promising new class, albeit behind similar programs by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Amgen Inc.

The drug, RN316, which Pfizer acquired with its purchase of Rinat Neuroscience, is a PCSK9 inhibitor, a class of biotech medicines that has generated great excitement in the industry.

Nov 5, 2012

Multivitamins don’t cut heart disease risk in men-study

LOS ANGELES, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Taking a daily multivitamin
does not reduce the risk of heart disease for older men,
according to data from a large study presented on Monday.

About half of U.S. adults take at least one daily dietary
supplement, the most popular being a multivitamin, according to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nov 5, 2012

Amgen experimental drug lowers cholesterol in mid-stage trial

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Amgen Inc’s experimental drug AMG145 reduced levels of bad cholesterol by as much as 55 percent in combination with statin drugs in patients genetically predisposed to high cholesterol, according to data from a midstage trial presented on Monday.

The new drug, given by injection every four weeks, is part of a promising new class of biotech medicines known as PCSK9 inhibitors designed to target a protein that prevents the body from removing artery blocking LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.

Nov 5, 2012

Angioplasty costs are higher at non-surgery hospitals

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Angioplasty to clear blocked arteries costs more at hospitals not equipped for emergency heart surgery, according to a study presented on Sunday at the American Heart Association scientific meeting.

Elective angioplasty is becoming increasingly common at hospitals that do not conduct more complicated heart procedures. During angioplasty, doctors insert a balloon-tipped catheter into an artery and inflate a balloon to open the narrowed blood vessel.

Nov 5, 2012

Bypass tops stents in diabetics with diseased arteries

LOS ANGELES, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Diabetics with more than one
diseased artery fared significantly better if they underwent
bypass surgery than those who received drug coated stents
following artery clearing procedures to improve blood flow to
the heart, according to data from a five-year study presented on

After five years, the bypass group had a lower combined rate
of heart attacks, strokes and deaths of 18.7 percent versus 26.6
percent for the stent group in the 1,900-patient study funded by
the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Nov 5, 2012

Metal-removing therapy may help some heart patients-study

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A controversial therapy to remove heavy metals from the bloodstream was shown in a large trial to cut the risk of another major heart problem in patients who have already suffered a heart attack, but researchers cautioned that the benefit was small and more study is needed.

Chelation therapy, an alternative treatment dismissed by many medical professionals as quackery, has its origins in unproven 50-year-old theories about the cause of arterial plaques, the fatty deposits that can cause heart attacks.

Nov 4, 2012

Scientists say heartbeat, not battery, could power pacemakers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Your own beating heart may generate enough electricity to power a heart-regulating pacemaker, ending the need for expensive surgeries to replace expiring batteries, according to an early study of an experimental energy-converting device.

Researchers at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor tested an energy-harvesting device that runs on piezoelectricity – the electrical charge generated from motion, according to the study which was released at the annual American Heart Association scientific conference on Sunday.

Nov 1, 2012

Vertex posts loss as hepatitis drug sales fall

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc reported a net loss for the third quarter on Thursday with results hurt by declining sales of its Incivek hepatitis C drug, as the company turned its attention to developing a next generation of treatments for the serious liver disease.

Vertex posted a net loss of $57.5 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with a profit of $221.1 million, or $1.02 per share, a year ago.

Oct 31, 2012

New York’s Bellevue Hospital evacuates about 500 patients

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Bellevue Hospital Center, which has been operating on backup generators since the massive storm Sandy took out power across parts of the city, is being evacuated, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday.

About 500 patients are affected by the evacuation of the city hospital located near the East River in Manhattan, but not in the worst part of Manhattan’s flooded areas.

    • 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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