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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Nanotech, gene editing used to edit cholesterol gene: U.S. study

U.S. researchers have used nanotechnology plus the powerful CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool to turn off a key cholesterol-related gene in mouse liver cells.

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Trump taps ex-pharma executive Azar as health secretary

President Donald Trump nominated former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to serve as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, saying Azar would push to lower the price of medicines.

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Bill Gates makes $100 million personal investment to fight Alzheimer’s

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is to invest $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund that brings together industry and government to seek treatments for the brain-wasting disease.

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Novartis posts eye drug data amid play for Eylea’s turf

Novartis’ bid to move in on Bayer’s and Regeneron’s eye-drug turf was buoyed by data showing patients on the Swiss drugmaker’s new RTH258 drug showed less disease activity than those on its rivals’ drug Eylea.

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Global Med Device Leader Anthrex Reveals Big Expansion Plans

Less than one month after announcing plans for construction of a South Carolina manufacturing facility, surgical solutions firm Arthrex announced the company’s plans for the expansion of its global headquarters in Florida.

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Life Science Giant PPD Cuts an Undisclosed Number of Jobs

CRO giant Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC terminated a number of employees in its human resources department, but has provided few details about the job cuts, according to reports.

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Dynavax Wins FDA OK for Hep B Vaccine Heplisav

The U.S. FDA approved Dynavax Technologies’ Heplisav-B as the first new hepatitis B vaccine in the U.S. in more than 25 years.

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Roche MS drug Ocrevus wins European panel backing

Swiss drugmaker Roche won a key European panel’s recommendation for its multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus.

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Amgen Receives Positive CHMP Opinion To Expand Use Of Nplate

Amgen announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency adopted a positive opinion to expand the current indication for Nplate.

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Prescription-strength steroid creams sold without prescription

Although the U.S. requires prescriptions for topical steroids with more than a 0.5% concentration, much stronger and potentially harmful steroid creams are not hard to find without a prescription, doctors report.

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Bay Area’s Principia Biopharma Scores $765 Million MS Licensing Deal With Drug Giant Sanofi

A few months after striking a deal with AbbVie, Bay Area biotech Principia Biopharma signed a deal worth up to $765 million with Sanofi for the development of a multiple sclerosis drug candidate.

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Otonomy Lead Drug Succeeds in Late-Stage Study

Otonomy announced the success of its AVERTS-2 Phase III clinical trial of Otividex in patients with Meniere’s disease.

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Exercise may help prevent low back pain or make it less severe

People who exercise may lower their odds of developing low back pain or may reduce the intensity of back pain they do experience, a research review suggests.

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U.S. says 601,462 people signed up for Obamacare plans in week one

More than 600,000 people – including 137,322 new consumers – signed up for Obamacare individual insurance plans for 2018in the 39 states that use the federal website during the first week of enrollment, a U.S. health agency said.

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FDA Approves Merck CMV Infection Drug

Merck & Co. Ltd.’s drug to prevent serious infection in patients who undergo a type of stem cell transplant was approved by the U.S. FDA.

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Sage soars as postpartum depression drug moves closer to approval

Sage Therapeutics Inc.’s postpartum depression drug succeeded in two late-stage studies, paving the way for it to bring to market the first FDA-approved treatment for the disorder.

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AstraZeneca sales decline slows as it waits for medicine to work

AstraZeneca’s drug sales fell again in third-quarter 2017, hit by generic competition to former blockbusters such as the cholesterol pill Crestor, although the pace of decline slowed as the company looks to new cancer treatments to revive its fortunes.

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W2O Group Expands Chicago Presence

W2O Group, a network of innovative analytics-driven, digital-first marketing and communications firms, announced the appointment of three senior executives in its growing Chicago office.

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Thousands of drugs face Brexit risk, makers to duplicate testing

Supplies of thousands of medicines are at risk of disruption if Britain leaves the European Union without a trade deal, forcing manufacturers to prepare for duplicate product testing to ensure their drugs stay on the market.

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Boehringer, MiNA Therapeutics Forge NASH Deal

Boehringer Ingelheim struck a deal targeting liver disease with MiNA Therapeutics.

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