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FDA approves Relypsa’s drug to treat high potassium levels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Relypsa Inc’s drug to treat potentially fatal levels of potassium in patients with chronic kidney disease or heart problems. The drug, Veltassa, is designed to treat hyperkalemia, a chronic condition characterized by excessive potassium levels in the blood that could lead to dangerous changes in heart rhythm. Relypsa’s […]

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Mediterranean diet linked to healthier aging brain

(Reuters Health) – Following a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish and healthy fats may preserve a more youthful brain in old age, a U.S. study suggests. Previous research has connected a Mediterranean diet to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain conditions, noted lead study author […]

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Knee replacement surgery works, but so can nonsurgical techniques

(Reuters Health) – Total knee replacement can usually relieve pain and improve function, but a nonsurgical regimen can also be effective in some people without posing the complication risks that can plague people who choose surgery, according to a new study. The test found that while 85 percent of patients who underwent surgery showed clinically-significant […]

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Genetics help explain poor showing for GSK malaria vaccine

Scientists have found a genetic explanation for why the world’s first malaria vaccine is not very effective in protecting some African children against the deadly mosquito-borne disease. The analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, comes at a critical time for the experimental shot from GlaxoSmithKline, when global experts are assessing […]

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FDA staff reviewers question safety of AstraZeneca’s gout drug

Staff reviewers of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have raised questions about the safety of AstraZeneca Plc’s gout treatment. Reviewers pointed to higher death rates, cardiovascular issues and kidney-related side effects in patients who took the drug, lesinurad, a preliminary review published on Wednesday showed. Industry analysts forecast annual sales of the drug to […]

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Physicians Interactive Advances Global Health Digital Engagement by Acquiring Univadis

Authoritative Medical Content Platform Combined with Deep Digital Expertise Offers Greater Opportunities to Engage Healthcare Professionals and Improve Outcomes   READING, Mass., Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Physicians Interactive® (PI) announced today the launch of its recently acquired Univadis platform, the world’s largest healthcare professional (HCP) network. Univadis, previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck (known […]

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Abbott sales beat as demand for generic drugs rises

Abbott Laboratories Inc (ABT.N) reported better-than-expected quarterly sales as demand rose for its generic drugs in emerging markets, including Latin America and China. Abbott said on Wednesday sales of its generic drugs grew in double digits in emerging markets, helped by the acquisition of Chilean drugmaker CFR Pharmaceuticals SA last year. Sales of generic drugs […]

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Novartis broadens cancer immune therapy pipeline with acquisition, pacts

Novartis has broadened its immuno-oncology pipeline with the acquisition of Admune Therapeutics and through licensing agreements with small drug developers Xoma and Palobiofarma.   Palobiofarma, a Spanish biotech company, said separately it entered into a $15 million licensing agreement with the Swiss group. Novartis said in a statement on Wednesday these transactions add Admune’s IL-15 […]

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In Face of Dropping Stocks and Failed Phase III, Biogen Restructures, Slashes Programs and Lays off 880 People

Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen, Inc. (BIIB) announced today that it was restructuring, cutting 11 percent of its workforce, and slashing programs. In addition, the company announced that its Phase III ASCEND clinical trial of natalizumab for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) failed to hit its primary and secondary endpoints. As part of the […]

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23andMe launches new consumer test service to check for genetic disorders

Genetics company 23andMe announced the launch of a new consumer genetic test service on Wednesday that will show whether an individual carries genes associated with 36 different disorders, such as cystic fibrosis. The launch is a major step for the company, which in 2013 was ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to stop selling […]

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Synta halts study of lung cancer treatment, stock plummets

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp has decided to end a late-stage trial of its lung cancer treatment after an independent review said it proved ineffective, nearly halving its stock in extended trading on Tuesday. Lexington, Massachusetts-based Synta’s shares were down 46.6 percent at $1.09 after the bell. The late stage study aimed to see if a combination […]

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Parents key to kids’ success in therapy for behavior disorders

(Reuters Health) – Children with disruptive behavior disorders may respond best to therapy when their parents participate, too, a research review suggests. These disorders, which include behaviors such as temper tantrums, interpersonal aggression and defiance, impact an estimated 3.5 percent of kids and teens, researchers note in the journal Pediatrics. In their analysis of previous […]

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Axtria Delivering Five Webinar Sessions On Pharma Commercial Operations During PMSA Webinar Series 2015

Axtria, a big data analytics firm, is conducting five back-to-back knowledge sharing sessions on Pharma commercial operations from Sept 16-Nov 11, 2015, to share key insights on topics related to promotion response modeling, sales planning, deployment, targeting and compensation.

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Muscle relaxants, opioids offer no benefit for low back pain

(Reuters Health) – In a new study, people who arrive at the emergency room with severe low back pain didn’t experience more relief with muscle relaxants or opioids than with over-the-counter painkillers. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) alone offered as much relief as more powerful painkillers. This was surprising, said lead author Dr. Benjamin W. Friedman […]

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American Cancer Society eases mammogram recommendations

(Reuters Health) – In a major shift, the American Cancer Society is recommending that women at average risk of breast cancer get annual mammograms starting at age 45 rather than at age 40, and that women 55 and older scale back screening to every other year. The new guidelines, published on Tuesday in JAMA, fall […]

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FDA Finds Deficiencies in Neos Therapeutics’ Marketing Application

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas-based Neos Therapeutics announced yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had found deficiencies in its New Drug Application (NDA) for Cotempla XR-ODT to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a result, they would not be discussing labeling and postmarketing requirements until further review.   Neos focuses on developing and […]

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AstraZeneca opens new $224 million drug factory in Russia

AstraZeneca opened a new $224 million drug manufacturing and packaging factory in Russia on Tuesday in a move Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said reinforced its long-term commitment to the country.   In 2011, the British-based group was one of the first multinational companies to announce plans to step up medicine production in Russia following moves […]

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WHO chief says US, Saudi discussing MERS vaccine

The United States and Saudi Arabia are discussing the possibility of readying a vaccine for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) before the next outbreak of the disease, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. Margaret Chan said there were many gaps in the science of MERS and so far the world […]

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bluebird bio Gets Banged Up on Report of Gene Therapy Patient Needing Blood Transfusions

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Stocks for bluebird bio (BLUE) slid 6.5 percent Monday after the company revealed a patient who underwent an early gene study treatment for beta-thalassemia seven years ago required new treatments following a relapse.   Marina Cavazzana, a professor of hematology and lead investigator for bluebird’s HGB-205 clinical study, said the patient she […]

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More evidence marriage may be bad for your waistline

(Reuters Health) – Need another reason to blame weight gain on your marriage? When one spouse becomes obese, the other’s risk of obesity almost doubles, a U.S. study suggests. “Normal weight people whose spouses went from being normal weight to obese were more likely to become obese,” said Laura Cobb, who led the study as […]

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