Life Sciences
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/22/2018

Unlike clinical trials, the All of Us study is not designed to test a specific medical therapy, but instead aims to collect data from a diverse population to help researchers understand the connections between genetics, lifestyle and disease, writes Martin Schiller, executive director of the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Like any clinical trial, there are risks to participating, including a potential loss of privacy, but participants also stand to gain knowledge of their personal health risks, and the data they share can lead to improved health and better treatments, Schiller writes.

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The Conversation (US)
5/22/2018

Former FDA Commissioner and Verily Project Baseline adviser Robert Califf said that drugmakers should use digital technology to improve the drug development process. "We can amass a massive amount of data now if we can just get everybody organized to conduct studies at a lower cost," Califf said.

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MM&M
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Robert Califf, FDA
5/22/2018

The Kavli Foundation encourages collaboration among researchers and recently launched the Dream Team Program, offering grants of around $50,000 to early-stage projects that bring together researchers from different disciplines. For example, one Dream Team grant supported neuroscientists, computer scientists and biomedical engineers developing a tiny probe to measure brain activity.

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Inside Philanthropy
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Kavli Foundation
5/21/2018

Aid workers are seeking approval to use three experimental drugs to treat patients found positive for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo: ZMapp, favipiravir and GS-5734, which were also administered to West Africa's patients during the Ebola outbreak from 2014 to 2016. Testing these drugs will involve doing research during the outbreak, which is something that needs to be done and has gained acceptance, said Daniel Bausch, director of the London-based UK Public Health Rapid Support Team.

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Nature (free content)
5/21/2018

Results from two AstraZeneca Phase III trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated the clinical efficacy of using the anti-inflammatory Symbicort Turbuhaler, or budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate, as needed for mild asthma relief compared with two other current reliever therapies. Symbicort taken as needed showed a 64% decrease in asthma exacerbations compared with a short-acting beta-2 agonist.

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Symbicort Turbuhaler
5/21/2018

The FDA approved AstraZeneca's Lokelma, or sodium zirconium cyclosilicate, as a treatment for adult patients with hyperkalemia.

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BioCentury
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Lokelma
5/21/2018

The FDA urged health providers to detail dolutegravir's benefits and risks to women of childbearing age with HIV, administer pregnancy testing before medication initiation and consider other antiretroviral drugs, while the European Medicines Agency advised that the drug shouldn't be prescribed for those who are trying to get pregnant, after preliminary study data showed higher odds of neural tube defects among infants whose mothers took dolutegravir. Both agencies said women taking the drug should use contraception but shouldn't stop treatment before physician consultation.

5/21/2018

Pious Lion recalled an undisclosed amount of kratom products after the company received a report of illness allegedly related to its product, and then state testing revealed the presence of salmonella. Included in the recall were Pious Lion Pure Premium Potent Limited Release Pink Bali and Pious Lion Pure Premium Potent White Maeng DA, Bright Uplifting Energy, which were sold online and via phone.

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Food Safety News
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salmonella
5/21/2018

A prostatic urethral lift procedure using the UroLift system from Teleflex unit NeoTract was recommended by the American Urological Association as a standard-of-care treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia-related lower urinary tract symptoms. The minimally invasive system uses tiny devices to push aside enlarged prostate tissue to reopen the lower urinary tract, allowing patients to avoid invasive surgery.

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MassDevice (Boston)
5/21/2018

The FDA granted MED-EL USA approval for its Rondo 2 cochlear implant audio processor with wireless charging. The device, designed for people with hearing loss, has a battery life of 18 hours with an advanced wireless charging option and can connect to televisions and cellphones with the use of intelligent wireless accessories, as well as to Bluetooth neckloops and hearing induction loops.

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FDA