Medivir reports it has launched a cancer initiative called Leukotide that will produce a new acute myeloid leukemia drug that can also treat other blood disorders. The new drug is intended to be more effective and better tolerated to improve outcomes for AML and other hematological cancer patients.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a $3 billion stem cell research program, is expected to outline a strategy for continuing operations after 2020 at a meeting scheduled for Nov. 27. The resulting plans will go before the agency's full board for ratification in December. Funding options reportedly under consideration as of September included a potential merger with a private entity or a bond measure to raise money.
Homology Medicines will allow Novartis to use its proprietary adeno-associated virus gene-editing platform technology in the development of new treatments for certain eye diseases and a blood disorder. Financial details of the agreement were undisclosed.
The US is one of 22 countries engaged in the elimination of the hepatitis C virus, but only nine nations are making progressive headway toward total elimination by 2030, according to the Polaris Observatory, which provides data on hepatitis B and C elimination. Australia, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, the Netherlands and Qatar are slated to eliminate HCV by 2030, the target date set by the World Health Organization.
The liberal use of blood transfusions during cardiac surgery offered no additional advantages over a more restrictive strategy, according to a report from the Transfusion Requirements in Cardiac Surgery, or TRICS-3, study that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting. "We've definitely shown that you can transfuse more sparingly and maintain patient safety and patient outcomes, while saving blood and its associated costs," said lead author Dr. David Mazer of the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Canada.
A study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that in 2016, San Francisco reported a new low record of only 223 new HIV diagnoses, which researchers attributed to the city's "Getting to Zero SF" initiative. Those working to advance "Getting to Zero SF" intend to lower the percentage of HIV-associated deaths and new HIV diagnoses by 2020 to 10% of those reported in 2013.
Despite a campaign recommending only troponin testing to diagnose acute myocardial infarction, almost 50% of academic medical centers still ordered tests for creatine kinase-MB or myoglobin in addition to cTn, an analysis shows. This data "should be used as a burning platform to those who wish to 'test wisely' in cardiac biomarker use," the study authors wrote in an accompanying editorial.
The median RNA detection rates for Zika virus were 11 days for urine, two weeks for serum and six weeks for semen, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. The data were based on samples from 295 Zika-infected Puerto Rico residents. A second study's results indicated that about one-third of Zika patients' household contacts harbored evidence of infection, and about 10% contracted the virus within four months.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's Sprycel, or dasatinib, has received FDA approval for an expansion of the drug's indication to include pediatric patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase.
A study in The Lancet detailed how the development of antiretroviral therapies, improved patient care and variations in the prevalence of risk factors for HIV-positive patients resulted in the reduction of specific cancer risks for the population in the last two decades. A significant decrease was found in particular cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and cancers of the cervix, anus and liver, based on calculated standardized incidence ratios.