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Jun 6, 2015

Lilly insulin tops Sanofi’s Lantus in trials; liver issue persists

June 6 (Reuters) – A long-acting insulin being developed by
Eli Lilly and Co demonstrated greater blood sugar
reduction than Sanofi SA’s top-selling Lantus in
patients with type 2 diabetes, according to data from three
Phase III trials presented on Saturday.

More patients in the studies who received Lilly’s basal
insulin peglispro (BIL) also got their blood sugar down to the
American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommended target of less
than 7 percent using a common measure known as A1c, researchers
reported.

Jun 4, 2015

U.S. NIH drug facility suspended after contamination found

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – The National Institutes of Health said on Thursday it had suspended operations of a facility that makes products used for clinical research after the discovery of fungal contamination in two vials of albumin.

Vials made from the same batch of albumin had been administered to six patients, though it is not known if those were also contaminated, the agency said. The six patients are being monitored and no signs of infection or illness have emerged.

Jun 2, 2015

White House seeks to fight antibiotic overuse

June 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. government will hold a forum on
Tuesday to help find ways to ensure the responsible use of
antibiotics, whose overuse is creating drug-resistant
“superbugs” that pose a serious risk to public health.

The White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship will bring
together some 150 representatives from food companies,
retailers, drugmakers, farmers, medical societies and others
involved in human and animal health to discuss limiting the
overuse of antibiotics in livestock, animal feed and humans.

Jun 2, 2015

White House announces forum to fight antibiotic overuse

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – The U.S. government will hold a forum on Tuesday to help find ways that ensure the responsible use of antibiotics at a time concern is growing that their overuse is creating drug-resistant super bugs that pose a serious risk to public health.

The White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship will bring together some 150 representatives from food companies, retailers, drugmakers, farmers, medical societies and others involved in human and animal health to discuss limiting the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, animal feed and humans.

May 30, 2015

J&J multiple myeloma drug offers hope after others stop working -study

May 30 (Reuters) – An experimental biotech drug being
developed by Johnson & Johnson may offer hope to
multiple myeloma patients who have run out of options, according
to data from a midstage study released at a cancer meeting on
Saturday.

J&J plans to use the Phase II study to seek U.S. and
European approval of its antibody daratumumab to treat the blood
cancer. The drug received breakthrough designation from the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration, which can help speed the approval
process.

May 29, 2015

Merck immunotherapy appears effective in head and neck cancer: study

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – A Merck & Co drug that helps the immune system fight cancer was about twice as effective as the current standard therapy for patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancers, according to study data released on Friday.

A quarter of the 132 patients who received the drug, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), saw their tumors shrink by at least 30 percent. Fifty-six percent of patients experienced at least some tumor shrinkage in the ongoing single drug Phase I study dubbed Keynote-012, researchers reported.

May 28, 2015

New drugs from Bristol, Merck at forefront of cancer meeting

By Deena Beasley and Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – New data to be released this weekend should help deepen the understanding of how broadly new drugs that unleash the body’s immune system to fight cancer can be used.

Results from key clinical trials will be presented starting Friday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. These will include studies aimed at defining ahead of time which patients are likely to benefit from the costly drugs.

May 22, 2015

U.S. bird flu causes egg shortage, emergency measures

CHICAGO/NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) – As a virulent avian
influenza outbreak continues to spread across the Midwestern
United States, some egg-dependent companies are contemplating
drastic steps – importing eggs from overseas or looking to egg
alternatives.

A spokeswoman for Archer Daniels Midland Co said
that as egg supplies tighten and prices rise, the food
processing and commodities company has received numerous
inquiries from manufacturers about the plant-based egg
substitutes it makes.

May 22, 2015

U.S. bird flu causing egg squeeze, emergency measures

CHICAGO and NEW YORK (Reuters) – As a virulent avian influenza outbreak continues to spread across the Midwestern United States, some egg-dependent companies are contemplating drastic steps: importing eggs from overseas or looking to egg alternatives.

A spokeswoman for grain giant Archer Daniels Midland Co said that, as egg supplies have tightened and prices risen, the company has received numerous inquiries from manufacturers about the plant-based egg substitutes it makes.

May 20, 2015

U.S. DEA announces four-state crackdown on illegal pill distribution

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on
Wednesday announced the results of a four-state crackdown aimed
at stopping illegal distribution of addictive prescription
medicines, such as opioid painkillers, that yielded 280 arrests.

Dubbed Operation Pilluted, the DEA said 22 doctors and
pharmacists were among those arrested on federal and state
criminal charges over the course of 15 months. Led by the DEA’s
New Orleans Field Division, the action, which the agency called
its largest-ever prescription drug operation, took place in
Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.

    • 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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