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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.

Feb 26, 2015

Sanofi’s diabetes drug Toujeo gets U.S. approval, label disappoints

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Sanofi’s new Toujeo diabetes drug has won U.S. regulatory approval but with wording on its label that analysts say could make marketing difficult.

Toujeo is a more potent follow-up to the French drugmaker’s top-selling Lantus insulin product, which accounts for a fifth of group sales and is due to go off U.S. patent this year.

Feb 26, 2015

U.S. FDA approves Sanofi’s diabetes drug Toujeo

Feb 25 (Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Wednesday
approved Sanofi’s diabetes drug Toujeo, a more potent
follow-up to the French drugmaker’s top-selling insulin product
Lantus.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the once daily,
long-acting basal insulin to treat adults with both type 1 and
the far more prevalent type 2 diabetes.

Feb 10, 2015

Gilead expects big increase in Europeans treated with hep C drug

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday it expects the number of hepatitis C patients treated in Europe with its Sovaldi drug to increase dramatically this year, and that approvals for the newer combination pill, Harvoni, could come quickly.

The company, which has come under intense criticism in the United States for the high price of its treatments for the liver destroying virus, is negotiating price cuts in Europe in exchange for patient volume promises.

    • 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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