A new procedure could help obese patients shed pounds

first_imgBefore: A doctor guides the catheter to the stomach and delivers embolic spheres to block blood flow to arteries (black lines in scan) that feed the fundus. After: Once blocked, arteries are no longer able to supply blood to the fundus, resulting in lower levels of ghrelin. Clifford R. Weiss, MD and Edwin ChoiBut keep in mind:This is simply a pilot trial, only tested in a handful of patients who had a BMI over 40, but weighed less than 400 pounds and were otherwise relatively healthy. Because patients with conditions like diabetes were excluded from the preliminary study, it’s not clear how other health factors might affect how well the procedure works.What they’re saying:Dr. Matthew Kroh, the director of surgical endoscopy at the Cleveland Clinic, said that while bariatric arterial embolization is outside the lines of traditional interventions, there’s a need for that.“We have well-established therapies that range from exercise and diet control to surgical intervention. But there’s a tremendous number of patients that don’t get the therapy they need,” he said.Kroh emphasized that it’s a small group of patients and the trial is still early, but said it warrants further investigation.Next steps:The researchers will run more extensive trials on a larger group of patients to get a better grasp of how effective the procedure will be in the long run, and how it stacks up compared to a placebo. News Editor About the Author Reprints @meggophone [email protected] Tags obesityweight loss Quick TakeA new procedure could help obese patients shed pounds center_img Megan Thielking By Megan Thielking April 3, 2016 Reprints A small study shows that a non-surgical procedure designed to block blood flow to a certain part of the stomach could help obese patients lose weight, though the results are still preliminary.Why it matters:Surgical weight-loss options like gastric bypass and lap-band surgery can be quite invasive, costly, and can come with a lengthy recovery time. A minimally invasive procedure could open the door for more patients to lose weight and boost their overall health.The nitty gritty:The procedure, called bariatric arterial embolization, starts by feeding a small catheter through a patient’s arteries, via an incision in either the groin or the wrist, to an area at the top of the stomach called the fundus, where the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin is produced. Tiny beads are injected through the catheter to decrease blood flow to the fundus.advertisement In a pilot study of seven patients, the procedure appeared to work. After six months, the patients had lost an average of 13.3 percent of their excess body weight, which the researchers defined as the number of pounds above their ideal weight. There weren’t any significant adverse events reported in any of the patients.“As our efficacy increases, we may one day replace bariatric surgery for patients who are on the early end of morbid obesity,” said lead researcher Dr. Clifford Weiss, an interventional radiologist at Johns Hopkins University.advertisement APStocklast_img read more

New medical schools aim to fix America’s broken health care system

first_imgHealthNew medical schools aim to fix America’s broken health care system At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which is on track to launch its med school in the fall of 2017, student training will involve getting out of the hospital to work at a hospice, a home for developmentally delayed patients, or some other community organization. Plus, students will spend a year at an outpatient clinic where they can follow the same individuals over time, rather than jumping among different specialized clinics each month, as is often the case.“The students will actually get to know their own patients,” said founding dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson. “They’ll be able to see how you actually treat diabetes over time, not just how you deal with someone hospitalized for a few days, and they’ll be able to follow an entire pregnancy over nine months.”Meanwhile, at Kaiser Permanente’s new medical school — slated to launch in 2019 in Pasadena, Calif. — organizers are designing a curriculum that emphasizes how doctors can spur behavioral change in their patients and collaborate with neighborhood organizations to shape the health of community.“There’s no reason to wait until residency for students to learn how to be part of a team,” said Dr. Edward Ellison, executive medical director of Southern California Permanente Medical Group. [email protected] AUSTIN — New medical schools are launching across the country to address a projected physician shortage. They’re promising innovative curriculums that let aspiring doctors spend time doing research, working in community health settings, and following the same patients for months.But they face big obstacles, starting with the challenge of recruiting students and faculty when they’re not yet accredited — and won’t be, even in the best-case scenario, for several years.An equally big challenge: raising the tens of millions it takes to build and then run a top-tier medical school.advertisement Could Austin — the ‘Silicon Hills’ of Texas — become the next biotech hub? Sarah C.P. Williams By Sarah C.P. Williams May 9, 2016 Reprints Dr. Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School at UT Austin Related: A rendering of the research building at Dell Medical School at UT Austin. Dell Medical School at UT Austin It will, however, take more than an innovative curriculum for these new med schools to compete among the 140-plus other MD-granting institutions in the United States.Massive fundraising campaigns and acceptance from the local community are needed. And administrators must convince faculty and students to take a chance by enrolling in a school without a proven track record.Austin, despite being home to more than 50,000 students at its flagship UT campus alone, had long been one of the largest cities in the country without a medical school — so it wasn’t difficult to argue the benefits of one to the UT administration, which is ponying up $25 million in annual funding, plus another $40 million over eight years for faculty recruiting.Getting the money needed from taxpayers was a harder sell.In 2012, county voters passed a local proposal to fund the school by raising property taxes, but only after political action committees on both sides spent months lobbying the public.A panoramic view of the construction of the new Dell Medical School at UT Austin. Dell Medical School at UT AustinThat tax increase is now helping funnel $35 million a year to the Dell Medical School, and, in turn, UT trainees will provide health services to underserved patients. Federal matching funds are bringing in yet more revenue.But some of that money is only guaranteed for five years. And the $50 million, 10-year pledge the school received from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will run out soon after that. According to Johnston, the medical school is looking to secure other, more long-term sources of funding.The financial urgency is even more pronounced at UNLV. Last year, Nevada legislators approved $27 million in startup funds — but that’s just a drop in the bucket of the full amount the university needs to get up and running, let alone operate year to year.“We’re working hard to cultivate donors,” said Atkinson. “But we have a lot more to raise.“The first development target: finding someone to bankroll a new building. When it opens its doors next year, the UNLV School of Medicine will use a renovated space associated with the university’s dental school until a new facility has been built.Then there’s the challenge of getting accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which oversees medical schools nationally.UT received its preliminary accreditation last June, but the road to full recognition — a necessary step for students to walk away with MDs after their names — is years long, and can’t happen until the inaugural class of students is in its fourth year. Until then, those aspiring doctors-to-be must trust that the accreditation will pull through. About the Author Reprintscenter_img And yet, over the next few years, a crop of medical schools will open on campuses at Washington State University, City University of New York, Seton Hall University, and elsewhere — all in an effort to create a new breed of American doctor.“What we’re doing is certainly a little bit risky,” said Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, which will welcome its first class of 50 medical students here this summer.advertisement Tags doctorsmedical school Related: Related: Looming question for medical students: Will they be shut out of advanced training? Of course, it’s not just a handful of new schools that are designing new approaches to doctor training. Harvard Medical School, for example, revamped its curriculum last year to emphasize critical thinking and give students clinical experience earlier in their education.“But the new schools do provide a unique opportunity to be a laboratory when they start from scratch,” said Dr. George Thibault, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which supports projects to improve the education of health professionals. Harvard has one of the best medical schools. Why does it ignore family medicine? Similarly, faculty members need to take a leap of faith. “It takes a certain kind of person who really wants to build something,” said Atkinson of the recruitment process at UNLV.And that something will not be immediately competitive with the likes of Johns Hopkins or Stanford —especially when it comes to research activity, which makes up a large part of most influential rankings of top medical schools in the country.At UT, Johnston said that federal grant money and publication histories are not part of the criteria he’s using to choose faculty and staff. Instead, the focus will remain on health care delivery and new educational models — and he hopes to find a team that subscribes to the same vision.“We’re very fortunate to be starting from scratch when we are,” said Johnston. “It would be virtually impossible to do what we’re doing at a school that’s already set in its ways.”Correction: An earlier version of this story misrepresented aspects of the funding and curriculum for the Dell Medical School at UT Austin. “Academic medical centers are just reinforcing this broken health care system.” UT, for example, is building a nine-month research and innovation block into its four-year program, and working with local health authorities to design a reimbursement system that rewards preventive care and long-term value. Dell Medical School is the first MD-training institution in nearly half a century to be built from the ground up at a top-tier US research university.“Academic medical centers are just reinforcing this broken health care system that pays too little attention to keeping people well,” Johnston said. “We want to produce not just great physicians, but great physicians plus.”last_img read more

Former Glaxo scientists and the feds fight over reviewing allegedly stolen documents

first_img Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Privacy Policy Related: A pair of former GlaxoSmithKline scientists, who were indicted earlier this year for allegedly stealing trade secrets and funneling the information to a company in China, is fighting with the federal government over their ability to stage a defense.At issue is a protracted tussle over how the former scientists — and two of their compatriots — will be able to review millions of pages of documents and other evidence that will be used at their trials, but remain under government supervision while they do so.And more than mere logistics are at stake, at least according to the feds.advertisement About the Author Reprints By Ed Silverman July 18, 2016 Reprints [email protected] Newsletters Sign up for Pharmalot Your daily update on the drug industry. Leave this field empty if you’re human: Lawyers for the former Glaxo scientists have argued that security guards would be invasive and, instead, proposed that cameras be placed by stand-alone computers in set locations in each home. By doing so, the attorneys maintained the government could monitor the scientists whenever they review any documents. “The combination of these measures allows the government to reasonably ensure that nothing nefarious occurs with the … materials,” they wrote the judge in a July 1 letter.But the feds countered that they don’t have the resources to continuously monitor the cameras; one camera could not adequately cover every possible angle, and cameras can malfunction or be bypassed. The feds are also worried that a stand-alone laptop could be stolen since the home addresses are now a matter of public record, and the information is known to be valuable. They also cite potential constitutional issues with constant videotaping inside their homes.The judge is expected to issue a decision shortly, according to a spokeswoman for Robert Livermore, the US attorney in Philadelphia. A lawyer for Xue declined to comment. @Pharmalot The case comes as the federal government is under pressure to pursue cases involving alleged theft of trade secrets belonging to US life sciences and tech industries. Not every effort succeeds, though. In 2014, for instance, charges were dismissed against two former Eli Lilly scientists, who were accused of wire fraud for allegedly leaking proprietary data about experimental drugs to a Chinese drug maker.And so, the Justice Department wants to station security guards in the homes of the former Glaxo scientists and their alleged accomplices.The “materials could be transmitted to (the fugitive) in a number of different forms including email, text messages, or other types of communication with little chance of detection. This fact heightens the risk of continued theft,” the Justice Department wrote. “The criminal prosecution has obviously put enormous financial pressure on the defendants, and there will be great temptation to attempt to profit from this information as they attempted to do so in the past.”The defendants include Yu Xue, who worked as a research scientist at Glaxo and had access to a substantial amount of information concerning procedures for drug development and manufacturing. She and another former Glaxo scientist, Lucy Yi, allegedly emailed the data to others with whom they formed Renopharma, which marketed itself as an R&D company doing business in China. Sang Tan/AP Ed Silverman Please enter a valid email address. PharmalotFormer Glaxo scientists and the feds fight over reviewing allegedly stolen documents The feds are also concerned that the Glaxo data — which includes details on compounds, biological summaries, and a business plan for a quality control unit — might be transferred to still another accomplice. This fifth person, who was also indicted, is now a fugitive and is believed to be in China, where he is working for Renopharma, the company they established to market the data.advertisement In court documents, the US Department of Justice expressed worries that the former Glaxo scientists and their alleged accomplices may continue to funnel information to relatives in China, where the data could be sold. They already “plotted to hide their ill-gotten gains in the names of family members in China,” the feds wrote in a July 12 letter to US District Court Judge Joel Slomsky in Philadelphia. Glaxo scientists indicted for stealing trade secrets Tags Eli LillyGlaxoSmithKlinetrade secretslast_img read more

For IVF embryos, lab chemicals can have lasting effects

first_img @meggophone Please enter a valid email address. New screening tool for IVF embryos leads to birth of healthy children [email protected] The randomized, controlled trial divided up 836 couples undergoing an initial IVF treatment to have their embryos developed in one of two cultures, known as HTF and G5. Couples who had their embryos cultured in G5 had a higher pregnancy rate, slightly higher rate of live births, and more utilizable embryos than those who had embryos cultured in HTF. But babies born after fertilization in HTF did weigh about one-third of a pound more, on average, than babies born after fertilization in G5. The findings were published Tuesday in Human Reproduction. NewslettersSign up for The Readout Your daily guide to what’s happening in biotech. Related: BSIP/UIG/Getty Images The different types of goop that embryos are grown in during in vitro fertilization could play a part in how well the process works — and how babies conceived through IVF fare after birth, too.A new study — the first to randomly assign embryos to culture media — finds that the substrate used could affect the number of viable embryos created, pregnancy rates, and birth weight. There are around 20 different substrates used in clinics around the world. Fertility experts now say they want companies who make those compounds to clearly label the ingredients so scientists can parse out the differences.During IVF, eggs and sperm are put together in a Petri dish filled with a culture media, which creates an environment to help embryos grow. Around three to five days later, one or more of those fertilized eggs are put into a woman’s uterus.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: Hans Evers, editor in chief of the journal that published the paper, said that the finding suggests that IVF culture media need to be more clearly labeled in order for embryologists to make an informed decision about which culture to use.“For me, as a doctor, it is a great concern that companies marketing culture media do not have to disclose the exact composition of their media,” he said in an interview. “This is in stark contrast to new medicines.”Currently, the labels have general descriptors, which Evers compares to a nutrition label not having any actual nutritional information.“Not knowing the exact composition of their IVF culture media is no longer an option for clinical embryologists,” Evers wrote in an editorial that accompanied the paper. But without research into the nitty gritty of those ingredients, embryologists won’t be equipped to fully understand what the exact composition of a media actually means for embryos, Ball pointed out.“The problem is, how are we going to know what’s best just based on the composition of media?” Ball said. “It’s going to be a huge list of chemicals.” Privacy Policy News Editor “I would see these differences as relatively minor, but it’s reasonable to believe that different media compositions can affect embryo development,” said David Ball, an embryology lab director in Seattle who wasn’t affiliated with the study.advertisement In the LabFor IVF embryos, lab chemicals can have lasting effects Megan Thielking By Megan Thielking Aug. 23, 2016 Reprints But it’s not really the difference between the two that matters, experts said — it’s that there’s a variation between the two at all.“What’s important for me is there is a difference,” said study author John Dumoulin, an IVF researcher at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “The culture media has an influence on the embryo that is visible nine months later.”Previous studies have come down on both sides of the question of whether media impacts IVF outcomes, but have been retrospective in design. This is the first study to prospectively set out to answer the question.But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are about 20 commercially available culture media used in IVF, Dumoulin said, and there could be variations among all of them. His team is currently working on comparing more of those mediums. About the Author Reprints Tags biotechfertilityIVFlast_img read more

World’s first baby born with novel three-parent embryo technique

first_imgIn the LabWorld’s first baby born with novel three-parent embryo technique APStock FDA urged to approve ‘three-parent embryos,’ a new frontier in reproduction By Andrew Joseph Sept. 27, 2016 Reprints Tags fertilityreproductive medicine NewslettersSign up for The Readout Your daily guide to what’s happening in biotech. Related: But newer approaches transfer the nucleus — the “yolk” in our analogy — instead, which is more promising for actually curing mitochondrial diseases.In the case of this infant, scientists replaced the nucleus of a donor egg cell with the nucleus taken from the mother’s egg cell. The resulting egg has the nucleus of the child-to-be’s mother — and thus the vast majority of her DNA — but the healthy mitochondrial DNA from the donor. Then scientists fertilize the egg with sperm from the father, and are able to implant the resulting embryo into the mother’s womb if it is clear it is developing normally.In this case, the boy was delivered after a full nine-month pregnancy, the New Scientist reported. About 1 percent of the boy’s mitochondria includes the faulty genes for the syndrome, which scientists believe should not cause problems unless they replicate faster than his healthy mitochondria, according to the report.The United Kingdom has approved another technique for the creation of “three-parent” embryos. And in the United States, an expert panel in February recommended that the government allow clinical trials for such a technique that could eliminate many inherited mitochondrial diseases.Federal regulators have said they are reviewing the idea, but that laws that prohibit the creation of embryos for research purposes have pushed back when they can fully consider applications. A researcher in Oregon who has bred “three-parent” monkeys and says they are healthy has previously asked the Food and Drug Administration to use the technique in humans.Dr. John Zhang, who led the scientific team, told New Scientist that the boy was born in Mexico because “there are no rules” there. Privacy Policy About the Author Reprintscenter_img Mitochondria are organelles that help power cells. They contain a tiny bit of DNA — 37 genes — that is passed down from mothers to their children.Other children have been born via so-called mitochondrial donation, a broad class of treatments that aim to replace eggs’ diseased mitochondria with healthy ones. (Some of those children, however, developed genetic problems.) Those embryos were created by injecting healthy cytoplasm — think of it like the white of a chicken’s egg — into the recipient egg.advertisement Andrew Joseph Please enter a valid email address. A boy born in April with three genetic parents is the first infant born using a new technique that incorporates DNA from two women and one man, New Scientist reported Tuesday. The technique offers promise to help children avoid often-fatal genetic diseases passed down by their mothers, but has raised thorny ethical questions and is not allowed in the United States.The boy was born in Mexico to Jordanian parents who tapped researchers from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York to help them conceive a healthy child, according to New Scientist.The boy’s mother has genes for a condition called Leigh syndrome, a neurological condition that killed her two prior children, according to the report. But because those genes are carried in her cells’ mitochondria, the scientists were able to swap in healthy mitochondrial DNA from another woman, and now the boy appears to be healthy at 5 months old.advertisement General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. @DrewQJoseph Leave this field empty if you’re human: [email protected] last_img read more

10 lessons for building a game-changing biotech company

first_img Related: [email protected] Camille Samuels Racquel Bracken 8. Scrappy is best. Using other people’s money is good too. The capital intensity of the biotech industry is one of the major reasons that its returns for founders and investors can sometimes be modest. Ideally, you will knock down major risks with small amounts of capital and then press the accelerator on growth once you know your path. Unity, which Venrock seeded, is an example of a company that executed on this strategy. Alternatively, if you must grow infrastructure early, supplement expensive equity capital with creative sources of “non-dilutive” capital like other people’s money (OPM). Possible sources of OPM include strategics, cash flow from adjacent businesses, government monies, and debt.9. Be a master storyteller. The very best biotech founders and CEOs not only execute carefully but also weave compelling stories. The best employees, investors, and partners join a mission, not an asset. Masterful story telling helps you avoid “drip-feed” financing and B-player teams.10. Work backward from your target company profile and your target product profile. Is your vision to create a single-product company or one with a rich pipeline of drugs? Do you want to hold on for the long run or sell early? Your answer to what kind of company you want to build has dozens of strategic implications. When you finally have a product in the clinic, ask what target product profile will actually compel a clinician to prescribe? Far too often we see companies focus on what is merely approvable (versus clinically useful) or what gets them through the next study — disastrous short-term decisions that fail to build long term value.We believe that we are in a golden age of biotech. Making great foundational choices and partnering with a hardworking, experienced investor can help ensure that your company gets that gold.Racquel Bracken and Camille Samuels invest in private health care companies at Venrock, a venture capital firm devoted to helping entrepreneurs build important and enduring companies. (Samuels holds personal shares in Unity, a company mentioned in this article.) 4. Goldilocks had it right. Get your funding “just right.” Raise too little capital and you won’t make it to your milestones; raise too much and you will dilute yourself. Be thoughtful and realistic about designing your value-creating milestones and capital needs. Milestones are a commitment to your team and your investors — an implicit agreement about what will be achieved given a certain amount of time and money.5. Zig when others zag and, when you do, swing for the fences. Venrock is anti-herd and pro-big ideas. Like you, we seek drugs and technologies that change the practice of medicine. Being first to a category can be revolutionary. So can being the best: a great strategy can be to dive deeply into a category just as others are getting discouraged by it. Learn from Version 1.0 and be best with Version 2.0 (or 3.0).6. Know your customer. On the long and risky road to getting a product on the market, biotech CEOs and many of their investors forget who their true customers are: patients, physicians, and payers. Investors are not your customer, so don’t whipsaw your company in response to every investor idea or pushback. If your north star is solving unmet needs for patients, investors will ultimately line up.7. Don’t bother sharing a cupcake. There are lots of cupcake biotech businesses — delicious opportunities in smaller markets — but not everyone wants to share something small. These opportunities can yield wonderful returns for founders, but shouldn’t take on the dilution of venture capital. If your market size is less than $500 million or your business needs only $10 million to break even, angels are a better funding source. 2. Platforms are good but killer applications are paramount. Foundational technology platforms (like genomics, antibodies, and CRISPR) have led to some major biotech successes. Yet their ultimate valuation typically comes not just from the founding technology, but also from the drugs uniquely enabled by that technology. Selection of the platform’s killer apps — the clinical indications to which the platform will be applied — will make or break your company. We have seen many companies betting the farm on a highly risky first app, and when that first drug fails, the entire technology platform loses its day in the sun. Other companies pick apps where their technology doesn’t have a competitive advantage, simply because that clinical application is “hot” with investors and strategics. Good venture capitalists can be extremely helpful when picking optimal apps. 3. Fail fast. A quick, capital-efficient “no” is better than a long maybe. Identify the biggest risks and find a way to address them early. You will be tempted to delay a failure, but do so at your company’s peril.advertisement APStock About the Authors Reprints Biotech financing, both public and private, has been choppy since September 2015. Yet some companies haven’t missed a beat. These “haves” continue to command high valuations and didn’t need to moderate their lofty aspirations. Not so for the “have nots.”We have the privilege of working at Venrock, a firm that has funded, and continues to fund, highly successful companies such as Gilead, Juno, Illumina, and Intarcia. We’ve also seen our fair share of have-nots. Here are 10 of the key lessons we’ve learned about how to build game-changers in biotech.1. Be uncompromisingly choosy. The road to success often takes 10 years or more and is sure to be bumpy. Be relentlessly discerning when it comes to choosing your investors and team. You are likely to see and speak with these people more than your closest friends for the next significant chunk of your waking hours. Pick your team and your investors based on trust, their embrace of truth-seeking, and perseverance. Beware of fair-weather investors, and those who are likable but ineffective.advertisementcenter_img By Racquel Bracken and Camille Samuels Dec. 1, 2016 Reprints @CamiSamuelsVC First Opinion10 lessons for building a game-changing biotech company Related: @rnbracken 5 top blunders life science startups make on the road to clinical trials Tags biotechnologydrug developmentfinancing Investing in a startup? Follow the data, not the herd [email protected] last_img read more

Pharmalot, Pharmalittle: Glaxo touts a two-drug regimen for HIV

first_imgPharmalot Alex Hogan/STAT What is it? Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. And it is also a frigid on here on the Pharmalot campus, where the shortest person is staying home to nurse an illness and the official mascots are looking for a cozy spot to snooze. As for us, we are keeping warm by — you guessed it — quaffing cups of stimulation. As always, you are invited to join us, because no prescription is required. Meanwhile, here are the usual tidbits. Hope you have a lovely day and accomplish great things. Keep in touch …GlaxoSmithKline says that two major clinical studies successfully tested a new two-drug treatment regimen to control the virus that causes AIDS, Reuters tells us. The results are a boost for its ViiV Healthcare venture, because the approach is a departure from conventional triple drug cocktails that can cause troublesome side effects, especially among older patients who make up a growing proportion of those treated for the disease. @Pharmalot Log In | Learn More About the Author Reprints Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Tags AIDSfinancepharmaceuticalsSTAT+center_img STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. GET STARTED Pharmalot, Pharmalittle: Glaxo touts a two-drug regimen for HIV Ed Silverman Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED [email protected] What’s included? By Ed Silverman Dec. 20, 2016 Reprintslast_img read more

Vertex joins the race to treat pain without opioids

first_imgBiotech By Damian Garde Jan. 25, 2017 Reprints Vertex joins the race to treat pain without opioids What’s included? National Biotech Reporter Damian covers biotech, is a co-writer of The Readout newsletter, and a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What is it? Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Log In | Learn More Research scientist Tony Huang works in a laboratory at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in San Diego. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. GET STARTED Damian Garde @damiangarde [email protected] Biotech giant Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which made its name in the rare cystic fibrosis, is widening its aperture in hopes of treating a much more common ailment: chronic pain.The company is wading into a risky, competitive race to develop drugs that work better than over-the-counter painkillers but don’t carry the deadly risks of opioid therapy. About the Author Reprintslast_img read more

Big pension funds seek to unseat Mylan directors over executive pay

first_img By Ed Silverman May 31, 2017 Reprints What’s included? @Pharmalot Jeff Swensen/Getty Images Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Big pension funds seek to unseat Mylan directors over executive pay Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED What is it? Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. [email protected] center_img About the Author Reprints In a harshly worded letter, several large institutional investors are urging shareholders to oppose the re-election of six Mylan directors — including non-executive chairman Robert Coury — over its “costly record of compensation, [and] risk and compliance failures.”The move comes shortly after Mylan disclosed that Coury was given a $97 million pay package last year.  At the time, corporate governance experts suggested shareholders may revolt over his compensation, which included a $22.3 million termination benefit for his recent change in status to non-executive chair and came in the wake of a wave of pricing controversy and government probes. Ed Silverman GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Log In | Learn More Pharmalot Tags financepharmaceuticalsSTAT+last_img read more

Condom drops and airborne meds: 6 ways drones could change health care

first_img To get Google Glass to disaster victimsThe William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Miss., is developing a drone to deliver telemedicine kits that would get doctors in touch with victims of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. The drone would deliver the kit, complete with Google Glass, to help connect a bystander who would be walked through treating someone in need of emergency care. As is the case with Health Wagon, the FAA must loosen regulations for this concept to be widely used.To get blood units to surgeons in remote parts of RwandaLast fall, California-based Zipline started flying commercial drones from its distribution center in Muhanga, Rwanda, to nearly two dozen hospitals in the country. Health workers at remote clinics can order supplies via text. And Zipline promises to air drop the delivery in as soon as 15 minutes, cutting time on trips that once took hours to complete by car. Zipline, which has already completed more than 350 flights, claims on its website that its Muhanga facility will become Rwanda’s busiest airport sometime this summer. Here are five other ways drones have either changed health care or are promising to do so. To deliver medication to rural AmericansHealth Wagon, a clinic based in Southwest Virginia, has eyed the use of drones as a way to deliver medication to uninsured residents in isolated pockets of Appalachia. Two years ago, the clinic partnered with NASA researchers to make history, flying the first drone approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to deliver medication. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe referred to the test then as a “Kitty Hawk moment.” But FAA restrictions have prevented the clinic from regularly using the drone.advertisement Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Related: To shower contraceptives over sub-Saharan AfricaThe United Nations has employed 5-foot drones to air drop condoms over rural parts of Ghana, where a fraction of women have access to contraceptives. Other countries — including Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Mozambique — are also considering adopting the use of drones to ensure deliveries that once took days can be made in mere minutes.To transport blood samples to labs for swifter HIV testingOne in 10 people in Malawi is HIV-positive, but the nation has only eight labs that can test for the disease. For years, the nation has relied on motorcycle drivers to deliver blood samples from rural villages for testing. According to the BBC, California-based Matternet has partnered with UNICEF to try out drones in hopes it can help labs turn around results faster. Tags diagnosticsglobal healthlistscenter_img HealthCondom drops and airborne meds: 6 ways drones could change health care Small wearable devices may lead to big health care savings Drones have been used to deliver sunscreen to a conference in Palm Springs, Calif., and pizza to a family in New Zealand, but they’re also in the air for far more urgent purposes — such as saving lives.In fact, in some cases, drones could carry defibrillators to heart attack victims faster than an ambulance, according to a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers simulated emergency situations and found they could get automatic external defibrillators to the scene an average of 16 minutes faster by drone than by ambulance.If bystanders were willing and able to use the devices, the shorter response time could save lives, said lead author Andreas Claesson, a registered nurse. Restrictions on drones have limited their use in medicine. But that’s starting to change, Claesson said. “We’re getting there — showing this save lives and costs,” he added.advertisement By Max Blau June 13, 2017 Reprintslast_img read more