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Mar 17, 2015

Corrected – New market for liver disease spawns race for better testing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As drugmakers develop new medicines to battle a liver disease epidemic, they have created an urgent need for better diagnostics to select patients for treatment and assess their drugs’ effectiveness.

About 30 percent of people in the U.S. now suffer from fatty liver diseases, such as NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), fuelled by obesity, diabetes and over-indulgent lifestyles, according to the American Liver Foundation. Without treatment, sufferers can develop advanced damage, including the scarring known as fibrosis; cirrhosis, which destroys liver function; and even cancer.

Mar 15, 2015

Low mortality, stroke seen with newest Edwards TAVR system -study

March 15 (Reuters) – Researchers on Sunday presented trial
data showing very low mortality and stroke rates using the third
generation version of Edwards Lifesciences Corp’s
non-invasive heart valve replacement system that could help
support its U.S. approval.

Data compiled 30 days after the procedure showed a 2.2
percent mortality rate in high risk patients and a 1.1 percent
death rate among intermediate risk patients whose diseased heart
valves were replaced using the Edwards Sapien 3 transcatheter
aortic valve replacement (TAVR) system.

Mar 15, 2015

Medtronic valve replacement tops surgery after 2 years -study

March 15 (Reuters) – Patients treated with Medtronic Plc’s
CoreValve non-invasive heart valve replacement system
fared better two years after the procedure than those who
underwent surgical valve replacement, according to data from a
study presented on Sunday.

The data not only showed that results seen at one year were
sustained a year later, but that there were greater differences
favoring Medtronic’s transcatheter aortic valve replacement
(TAVR) compared with open heart surgery.

Mar 15, 2015

Insight – New market for liver disease spawns race for better testing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As drugmakers develop new medicines to battle a liver disease epidemic, they have created an urgent need for better diagnostics to select patients for treatment and assess their drugs’ effectiveness.

About 30 percent of people in the U.S. now suffer from fatty liver diseases, such as NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), fuelled by obesity, diabetes and over-indulgent lifestyles, according to the American Liver Foundation. Without treatment, sufferers can develop advanced damage, including the scarring known as fibrosis; cirrhosis, which destroys liver function; and even cancer.

Mar 15, 2015

New market for liver disease spawns race for better testing

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) – As drugmakers develop new
medicines to battle a liver disease epidemic, they have created
an urgent need for better diagnostics to select patients for
treatment and assess their drugs’ effectiveness.

About 30 percent of people in the U.S. now suffer from fatty
liver diseases, such as NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis),
fueled by obesity, diabetes and over-indulgent lifestyles,
according to the American Liver Foundation. Without treatment,
sufferers can develop advanced damage, including the scarring
known as fibrosis; cirrhosis, which destroys liver function; and
even cancer.

Mar 6, 2015

US FDA approves Astellas drug for invasive fungal infections

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Friday approved Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc’s drug for the treatment of two rare, often fatal invasive fungal infections that target patients with blood cancers.

The Food and Drug Administration approved sale of the anti-fungal drug, Cresemba, for use against invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis.

Mar 4, 2015

U.S. hospitals optimistic they’ll dodge bullet with Obamacare ruling

NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) – U.S. hospital executives said
on Wednesday they were optimistic they will avoid the toughest
consequences of a Supreme Court decision on whether millions of
Americans can continue to purchase subsidized health benefits
under Obamacare.

The high court heard oral arguments in the case challenging
the federal tax credits that help residents in at least 34
states afford medical benefits under President Barack Obama’s
healthcare law.

Mar 4, 2015

U.S. FDA approves Bristol-Myers immunotherapy for lung cancer

March 4 (Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Wednesday
swiftly approved a Bristol-Myers Squibb Co drug that
helps the immune system fight the most common form of lung
cancer, sending the company’s shares up more than 5 percent to a
multi-year high.

The eagerly anticipated Food and Drug Administration
approval of the drug known as Opdivo came only about three
months after Bristol provided trial results showing that the
medicine extended survival in non-small cell lung cancer
(NSCLC), one of the biggest markets in oncology. The decision
also came more than three months ahead of an expected action
date by the agency.

Feb 26, 2015

Bristol hep C drug helps cure 97 percent of HIV coinfected patients: study

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Ninety-seven percent of hepatitis C patients also infected with HIV were cured of the liver-destroying virus after 12 weeks of treatment with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir and Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi, according to data from a study presented on Thursday.

The results could help put Bristol’s hepatitis C program back on track in the United States, following a setback last year.

Feb 26, 2015

Bristol hep C drug helps cure 97 pct of HIV coinfected patients-study

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Ninety-seven percent of hepatitis C
patients also infected with HIV were cured of the
liver-destroying virus after 12 weeks of treatment with
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir and Gilead Sciences’
Sovaldi, according to data from a study presented on
Thursday.

The results could help put Bristol’s hepatitis C program
back on track in the United States, following a setback last
year.

    • 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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