Epizyme ended its development of tazemetostat as monotherapy and in combination with prednisolone in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma because of the drug's lack of efficacy. The FDA in April put a partial clinical hold on the drug after a pediatric patient developed secondary lymphoma.
Bristol-Myers Squibb received approval from the European Commission for its Opdivo, or nivolumab, as an adjuvant treatment for adult patients with BRAF mutant or wild-type melanoma involving the lymph nodes or metastatic disease after complete resection. An ongoing late-stage trial showed that the 18-month recurrence-free survival rate of patients was 66.4% for Opdivo compared to 52.7% for Yervoy.
The FDA has granted Hologic clearance to market its group B Streptococcus assay for use with its Panther Fusion module. The assay demonstrated 100% sensitivity in comparisons with culture-based tests, and sample storage requirements are less stringent.
Certain protein networks in the blood have been linked to conditions common in aging, according to a study published in Science. Researchers tested blood samples from more than 5,000 Icelanders over 66 and found 27 unique protein networks, with many showing patterns of expression that are associated with age-related conditions.
WHO emergency response chief Dr. Peter Salama said new cases of Ebola virus infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo pose a potential risk to the region due to their proximity to Uganda. Congo health officials said the cases involved the Zaire strain of the virus.
Some hospitals in Ireland are using type O Rh-negative blood for transfusions by default rather than identifying the blood types of patients before transfusions are needed, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service said. The service has asked national health officials to discuss the issue with hospitals with the highest rates of using type O Rh-negative blood.
The health ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported that four people in the eastern part of the country have tested positive for Ebola. The World Health Organization said it is bringing personnel into the area, about 60 miles from the border with Uganda.
In a study of 376 people from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, researchers found that platelets killed about 20% of circulating Plasmodium parasites and up to 60% of Plasmodium vivax parasites. Platelets bound themselves to red blood cells carrying the parasites and released the peptide PF4, according to the researchers with Menzies School of Health Research in Australia.
A study in The Lancet found that pre-hospital plasma administration was not associated with improved mortality for trauma patients, while another study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that administrating plasma on the way to the hospital was tied to a reduction of almost 10 percentage points in 30-day mortality. The authors of the Lancet study said the disparity may be related to transport duration, which was typically about 20 minutes in their study, compared with 40 minutes in the other study.
The Clinton Health Access Initiative and other development agencies have arranged a deal to cut the price of HIV viral load tests to $12 per piece, a decline of over 50% in some markets, in efforts to increase the accessibility of the tests. Equipment and supplies required for the tests will be provided by Hologic.