LONDON (Reuters) – Roche, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, got a boost on Monday as results of trials that will protect sales of its breast cancer drug Herceptin coincided with data showing a new drug in the franchise helped patients live longer.
Two trials on Roche’s blockbuster Herceptin wiped out a risk that they could have indicated a shorter period of treatment than the current recommendation of one year – a finding that could have cost up to $1.5 billion in sales.
LONDON (Reuters) – Extending treatment with Roche’s breast cancer drug Herceptin to two years from the one year current standard is not worth while, trial data showed on Monday, but shortening treatment to six months also looks unlikely to benefit patients.
The results of two keenly-watched studies on Herceptin, known generically as trastuzumab, banish a downside risk for Roche, but also limit its ability to squeeze more value out of the lucrative drug before it loses its patent from 2014.
LONDON (Reuters) – Doctors should only test people for a new virus if they are very ill in hospital with a respiratory infection, have been in Qatar or Saudi Arabia and test negative for common forms of pneumonia and infections, the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.
The newly discovered virus from the same family as SARS has so far been confirmed in only two cases worldwide, one in a 60-year-old Saudi man who died from his infections, and another in a man from Qatar who is critically ill in a London hospital.
LONDON (Reuters) – Professor Maria Zambon’s first thought when her team of scientists matched a virus from a patient’s sputum to one never before seen in humans was: “Oh no, this is going to be tricky.”
In her north London laboratory last Saturday, an email came in from another specialist virology team in The Netherlands with a 99.5 percent match to a virus from the same family as SARS, a disease that emerged in 2002 and killed 800 people. Her thoughts moved swiftly to the risk of an international outbreak.
LONDON (Reuters) – A new and potentially fatal virus from the same family as SARS which was discovered in a patient in London last week appears not to spread easily form person to person, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
In an update on the virus, which has so far killed a Saudi man and made a patient from Qatar critically ill, the United Nations health agency said it was working with international partners to understand the public health risk better.
LONDON (Reuters) – In a study that prompted sharp criticism from other experts, French scientists said on Wednesday that rats fed on Monsanto’s genetically modified corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller suffered tumors and multiple organ damage.
The French government asked the country’s health watchdog to investigate the findings further, although a number of scientists questioned the study’s basic methods and Monsanto said it felt confident its products had been proven safe.
LONDON (Reuters) – Middle-aged men from disadvantaged backgrounds are 10 times more likely to commit suicide, often because they have lost a sense of identity and masculine pride, researchers said on Thursday.
In a report commissioned by the British helpline charity the Samaritans, health experts explored why men in their 30s, 40s and 50s are at such a substantially higher risk of ending their own lives.
LONDON (Reuters) – British scientists have identified biological markers in the blood which should help doctors match patients to the best type of treatment for depression.
The aim is to end the “trial and error” prescription of antidepressants, which is often the only way depressed patients can find the most effective treatment, said researchers regarding what they described as a small but promising study.
LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – In a study that prompted
criticism from other experts, French scientists said on
Wednesday that rats fed on Monsanto’s genetically
modified (GM) corn or exposed to its top-selling weedkiller
suffered tumours and multiple organ damage.
Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen and
colleagues said rats fed on a diet containing NK603 – a seed
variety made tolerant to dousings of Monsanto’s Roundup
weedkiller – or given water with Roundup at levels permitted in
the United States, died earlier than those on a standard diet.
LONDON (Reuters) – Cuts in global funding for Eastern Europe and Central Asia are undermining the fight against tuberculosis (TB) and the AIDS virus, threatening to push already high rates of disease and drug-resistance even higher, experts said on Wednesday.
In a report by leading European non-governmental health organizations, the experts called on the European Union to step in to fill the gaps left by global donors to countries within and neighboring its borders.