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First US death linked to Zika reported from Puerto Rico

first_img Most people who contract Zika have either no symptoms or quite mild illness. “But there are some manifestations of Zika virus infection that are associated with potentially fatal outcomes,” Sharp noted — including birth defects like microcephaly, neurological disorders like Guillain-Barré syndrome, and blood problems like those suffered by the man who died.advertisement Related: Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development. “It is a rare outcome,” said Tyler Sharp, acting head epidemiologist at the CDC’s dengue branch, which is based in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan. Helen Branswell In Puerto Rico, no one fears mosquitoes. With Zika, that’s a problem Tags CDCdeathZika Virus By Helen Branswell April 29, 2016 Reprints HealthFirst US death linked to Zika reported from Puerto Rico So far, none of the women who contracted Zika during pregnancy have been diagnosed as carrying a fetus with microcephaly, according to Sharp.A total of 19 people in Puerto Rico have been hospitalized with complications caused by Zika infection. There have also been five reported cases of Zika-related Guillain-Barré.In the 50 states, 426 Zika cases have been diagnosed, 36 of them pregnant women. All the cases were people infected abroad or who were infected by having sex with someone who had returned to the United States infected with Zika. An Aedes aegypti mosquito is seen through a microscope. Mario Tama/Getty Imagescenter_img Sharp said the Zika virus continues to surprise researchers who are studying its impact.“Certainly the association with the autoimmune condition Guillain-Barré syndrome was surprising. And now we appear to be seeing an association with another autoimmune condition, ITP, that is also a little bit surprising,” he said.“So each day that goes by we continue to learn more about Zika and better understand it so we can best combat it and provide the appropriate medical interventions for infected individuals.’’Puerto Rico, which is expected to be hard hit by the Zika virus, has diagnosed 707 cases of Zika infection so far. Of those, 89 are among pregnant women, according to the territory’s Department of Health. An elderly man in Puerto Rico who contracted the Zika virus has died of the infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The man in his 70s developed a severe case of a condition called thrombocytopenia — a blood clotting problem that can lead to internal bleeding.This is the first Zika-related death reported among the more than 1,000 cases that have been diagnosed in the United States and US territories.advertisement Related: @HelenBranswell About the Author Reprints Related: ‘I can’t move’: In Colombia, families cope with creeping paralysis tied to Zika CDC officials reported the case Friday in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review.Sharp said the man had appeared to recover from his infection, but then developed a particular type of thrombocytopenia called immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, in which the man’s immune system attacked the platelets in his blood, leading to a clotting disorder.Dutch researchers in February reported a very similar fatal case in a 54-year-old woman who was infected by Zika in Suriname.In Colombia, health officials have also reported four deaths, three of which involved thrombocytopenia. But there aren’t enough details of those cases in the medical literature to know if they were the same kind of the condition suffered by the man in Puerto Rico, Sharp said. The deaths in Colombia crossed the age spectrum, involving a 2-year-old girl, a 30-year-old woman, a 61-year-old man, and a 72-year-old woman. Medical sleuths descend on Puerto Rico to unearth mysteries of Zika last_img read more

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Transcript: Joe Biden on Hillary Clinton’s medical records and the future of the ‘moonshot’

first_img Vice President Joe Biden spoke with STAT on Friday about the cancer moonshot: what he’s learned about cancer politics, the importance of cancer prevention, and what he plans to do next.He also addressed Hillary Clinton’s recent health and the accompanying media scrutiny, saying he thought she’d “handled it pretty well.” Biden was himself once a candidate with a serious medical history; he nearly died of a brain aneurysm in 1988 and released nearly 50 pages of medical information in the 2008 campaign.“I think I may be different than most of my colleagues overall,” Biden said. “I’ve just found that, in my career, just transparency and disclosure works the best, even when there’s bad stuff.”advertisement I wanted to start off by asking you about the future of the moonshot because a lot of people who I talk to, who want this to succeed, say: ‘You know, this is great, but if we don’t keep it going beyond the end of the year, we’re not going to accomplish what we want to accomplish.’One way or another, we, I, are going to keep this going. I guarantee you. To my surprise, surprise in the sense it was of out of the blue, when I was taking Hillary to my hometown of Scranton and showing her around her grandpop’s hometown, too, she announced to several thousand people at a rally that, “I’m gonna ask Joe to continue to run the moonshot for my administration if I win.”Whether I do that or not explicitly, I don’t know yet. There’s a number of institutions and potential foundational work that’s out there as well. I’ve been meeting with an awful lot of people. What I’ve committed to do is, I’m going to stay involved in this effort as long as I’m alive. And there’s nothing indispensable about me, I’m not trying to make it like only I can do it.But one of the things that I’ve figured out, I didn’t believe at first, that I can bring to the dance here, is that I’m able to gather people up and I’m able to help break down barriers and the good news is that I think whether they’re oncologists, universities, drug companies, patients, they know the depth of my commitment and passion, so I think that gives me some credibility to say things you might not otherwise be able to say or do.Well, I know you try to be humble about it and your own role. But people I talk to say that the fact you’ve become so focused on this is important and does help drive a conversation about it and a lot of emphasis on it.What would it take or what kind of role would you want to have if you were to stay on in a Hillary Clinton administration?Well, I’m not going to stay on in the administration. What Hillary talked about is, as I understood it, me being able to have the same authority over elements of her administration from the outside that I have now from the inside, to be able to coordinate those efforts.We haven’t talked about it yet. And, as my mother would say, I’m not counting my chickens before they’re hatched in terms of I think she’s going to win. But I’m also meeting, Greg and I met with a billionaire philanthropist who has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this effort. He rode to the airport with me in another city I was in recently, asking me whether I would stay engaged and involved and taking over some or at least engaging with existing philanthropic efforts relating to cancer.I’m meeting with some of the leading people in the country, leading scientists in the country have asked to meet with me to talk about what role I might play post-January 2017. So I’m going to stay engaged, exactly how I don’t know yet.OK. I have to ask about the other side of this equation. Donald Trump hasn’t talked a lot about medical science. I don’t think he’s talked about the cancer moonshot specifically at all. He has talked a little bit about the reality of scarce resources when it comes to federal spending on medical research.What do you think a Trump presidency would mean for the moonshot specifically and for medical science more generally?Well, look, I hope that if he were to somehow pull this off, I mean this sincerely now, I would hope he would bring, attract, out of just pure patriotic necessity, some very good minds to let him know that there is a lot of money we’re spending in the federal government, billions of dollars on medical research, and there is a consensus.And I’m hopeful that we will get significant funding, additional funding for the moonshot this year. There are leaders in the United States Senate, Republicans like the senator from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander. Congressman [Fred] Upton. Not just Democrats, but Republicans who understand that this is not the time to do what the Freedom Caucus guys are doing. The Freedom Caucus guys are arguing we shouldn’t even invest in preventing Zika. “It’s not the government’s role.”I don’t think he’s that crazy. You know, we can afford all this.I took note today that you emphasized prevention several times. Because something I’ve heard a lot and my colleagues have heard a lot from folks in the cancer community is they were a little concerned at the outset that prevention wasn’t being given enough priority. Have you heard those concerns and are you responding to that?Oh yeah. Oh no, we have. We’ve met all over the country with the prevention community. Here’s the thing: Prevention, a lot of it is not rocket science. We know that if we had cessation of smoking in America, you’d save millions of lives.We know that everything relating to the environment, from the water you drink to the air you breathe to the soil that you till, has a real impact on, an environmental impact on causing cancers or exacerbating cancer.But that takes political will. We know there’s a relationship between obesity and stomach fat and cancer. But they require national movements that are to change culture and change the attitude, which we support strongly.What we’re focused on in the moonshot is there are still going to be people, 50 percent of the people out there or more, who are going to get cancer that have nothing to do with the fact they’ve ever smoked or been exposed to smoking, that have nothing to do with the environmental impacts, that are genetically consequential to their genetic makeup.So the research, there are two kinds of research. A little bit like what you guys do in researching how to expand your footprint. I’m not being a wise guy now. The way everything from a university researches how to recruit, to attract students, that’s the research that is designed to impact on public opinion and public behavior, public perception. That’s really important.But the main focus of what we’re doing beyond encouraging that kind of mindset change, is there’s another aspect to prevention. And that is detection. And the acquisition of essentially vaccines to prevent. So you know, measles vaccines are prevention, they prevent people from getting measles. You still want to put yourself in a position where you’re not exposed to measles, you’re in good health, you don’t get run down, etc. But so there are things that relate to prevention, like access to screening, like the thing we did with the Cleveland Clinic, where if we, for example, have screening for lung cancer made more available, more equitably distributed, in neighborhoods where we know there’s concentrations, then we can prevent as well.So there’s the generic prevention pieces, like don’t smoke, don’t drink 20 Big Gulps in a day and don’t end up with four layers of fat tissue around your belt line. That’s one category and that’s critically important and we support those efforts.The second category is the prevention technologies. For example, Greg met when I left L.A. at the last thing I did, how many people? [Greg Simon: “About 15 people.”] Fifteen people representing blood biopsy initiatives. The good news was, there was some collaboration going on among them now, partnerships and learning from each other. But blood biopsies can prevent invasive biopsies, but by finding a marker in your blood. But they can also prevent cancers. Some cancers are so slow-growing that they take two, five, 10, 20 years to grow and with these blood biopsies it leaves the potential that you can prevent them from ever occurring by detecting a marker in the system and treating that now.There’s also new technologies. Like we were out at Huntsman, and they did a lot of great work on hereditary cancers, particularly colon cancer. And so what they figured out is that they found markers in the genomic makeup of individuals. They go back and encourage people, in terms of prevention, do you have history of this in your family, how often do you have it, how many generations, that makes you more susceptible, come in and get this test for the marker. Oh, what’s the marker called for the likelihood for colon cancer? [Greg Simon: “Lynch syndrome.”] Lynch syndrome.Oh right, which was in the Blue Ribbon Panel report.But they were doing that out at Huntsman, right? So I met a guy, for example, he was encouraged to have these colonoscopies, but also they detected Lynch syndrome in his family history. And they said, “Well, you’re likely to be somebody who’s going to get it, so here’s what you do.” Instead of waiting until you’re 50 to get a colonoscopy, you should be getting one when you’re 19 or 20 or 17, and you can take preventative action from ever getting to the point that you get colon cancer.So there’s a lot going on that relates to early detection and new technologies and refining old technologies that can get early on, for example, the onset of lung cancer, the onset of other cancers. That’s a long answer to your question, that there are basic fundamental prevention techniques that — just don’t do it.You talk a lot about cancer politics as well. I know that’s been a favorite thing of yours to mention when discussing the moonshot. I’m curious, more than six months in at this point, have you gotten any specific evidence that the culture is really starting to change and when the vice president isn’t watching, people are going to continue to act differently?I’ve been stunned. I did not expect things to move quite as rapidly as they have. One of the people I appointed to the Blue Ribbon Panel, a really first-rate guy, one of the few I knew personally because he treated me for something else, head of a leading medical school, a department in a medical school. And Greg went to talk to something he’s working on, and he said to me: “I wanted to call you and tell you what a great job Greg did.” He said: “Joe, I want to tell you. When you put me on that Blue Ribbon Panel,” he said, “I was flattered.” But he said: “I know all the guys on there. I thought there would be just nothing but pushback.” He said: “I’ve never seen as much collaboration in my life. It stunned me.”I can give you, and Greg, and Don [Graves], can probably give you more examples of, a dozen examples of people who have said, “Whoa, I didn’t think we’d get this far.” Like you had nine drug companies, or seven drug companies, agreeing to make available for basic research all of the drugs they’ve developed, all of the therapies they’ve developed. So you as a young researcher come along and use any of their drugs for multiple therapies, what do you call it? [Greg Simon: “Combination trials.”] Combination trials, etc. Because what we’ve done is we’ve worked out essentially a licensing agreement ahead of time.It’s like you go and put money in a jukebox and you play a song by whomever, you don’t have to get anybody’s license to the singer to play the song. A license arrangement has already been made. Well, now it’s gone from, what, in terms of the number of drug companies [Greg Simon: “I think it’s upwards of 20.”], now there’s 20. That would have never happened before. They’re figuring out, hey, look, maybe cooperation can be a win-win for us. If this kid comes along and finds the use of my therapy and another therapy, we already have a licensing deal, I’ll make money off of that.So I’m not saying all of a sudden there’s this selflessness that’s occurred. But the medical culture, I think, was a little embarrassed, at least in my view, because I don’t think they realized how different their culture was than other sciences. I remember down speaking to five, six thousand members of the AACR, I think it was that many. A gigantic number.And I said, you know, guys, I said, the kind of example I used today. “If we give an astronomer to study the effects of zero gravity on longevity, and they finish their report, they have to immediately make it available to the whole world. You guys, you guys hide it. You don’t do anything with it. First of all, half of you aren’t reporting like you’re supposed to report for these clinical trials. Secondly, some of you, even in your report, you don’t give any detail. What you’re doing is you’re hiding behind publications for a year, the publications cost from $20,000 to $100,000 a year to subscribe to some of these outfits. Then you don’t give the whole megillah here. So what’s with you guys?”And I fully expect we’re going to get booed. And when I said, “And ability to qualify for grants from NIH depends not totally on your scholarship or your ingenuity. It depends on whether or not you have somebody’s already recognized, already has a laboratory, and then even then there’s no sharing.” When some breakthrough comes, it doesn’t come as the Simon-Biden. I’m the young guy — I wish I were — Greg Simon, he’s a well-known guy, and I contributed a lot to it. I don’t get recognition and the recognition comes from publication.And so there’s a whole culture that I really think a lot of these guys went like: “Oh well.” I mean, they kind of knew but they didn’t know. Quite frankly, I think sometimes holding the mirror up can have a pretty profound impact. My sense is, for example, when the New England medical journal, I talked about the big data. The guy says, I’m paraphrasing, “Biden’s encouraging data parasites.” Well guess what, he got the living crap kicked out of him. I didn’t say a word. I never met the guy. It was all some mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m hardly sorry.By the way, a lot of these guys and women at outfits like Anderson and others — they’re under enormous pressure, implicit pressure, not to share because they want it to come out of Anderson. Well, if they share, and it’s like now, Anderson and Jefferson in Philly, that’s not, no. I joked before, you might have heard this story, if you have, stop me — the story about Lawton Chiles, Senator Chiles.I don’t know that I have heard that one.Well, he was a great guy, he got elected in 1970s. His nickname was Walkin’ Lawton. He was smart as hell. He used to talk about that he was the he-coon, meaning raccoon, among Cajun boys. He would talk about, he would downplay, he’s just a good old cracker and everything. Smart as hell. Went on to be governor as well in Florida.I remember in 1973, he got elected in ’70, he had been insurance commissioner in Florida. We’re riding over in the subway in the Senate, to go to the escalator. You know the subways have the plastic shield in the front. Subway comes to a stop and the escalator’s there. At the top of the steps, to my recollection, was Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post and Woodward and Bernstein standing at the end of the escalator. And he turns to me, he said: “Joe, why do I get the feeling that those boys are looking at me like I’m a Pulitzer Prize about to be won?” I’ll never forget that.Well, an awful lot of the guys and women I met sort of walk by the mirror and go: “Nobel Prize.” You don’t usually win the Nobel Prize in their minds by sharing. I’m exaggerating to make a point, but I really do think two things are happening.I think one, there’s a recognition that, just their sense of obligation and the reason why they took the Hippocratic oath, the breakthroughs are on the horizon and they’re more likely to occur faster if there is collaboration. But two, I think they’re realizing that there is plenty of credit to go around. That they can be part of something bigger, rather than waiting to be the only guy or woman on the stage. They can be part of something that’s much, much bigger. I don’t know how to explain it better than that.By the way, I can’t prove anything of this. It’s just instinct.We may be kidding ourselves, but there’s a lot less pushback now on me. Maybe it’s because they think I’m going to go away, maybe they think this is just a phase of the moon. I don’t know. But I don’t think so. I’ve just got a feeling. I think by the president looking to me to do this now, it’s allowed me, because I have a platform and because I’m not running, to really raise the public profile and give people hope that we can actually do something.Because so many people, I haven’t gone and looked at the polling data lately, but you ask people, I bet if you ask them three years ago, do you think we can cure cancer? You get: “Well, I don’t know.” Whatever that number was five years ago, I bet you it’s two, three, four times that now. Just because, it’s like: “Oh, oh maybe. OK, maybe. Maybe.”Would you indulge me one non-moonshot question? I feel obligated to ask about this because of the news of the last week. You have an extensive medical history, and in 2008 you released a lot of medical records detailing that.I did.I’m curious if you’ve spoken with Secretary Clinton about her recent health.No, I haven’t had a chance.How do you think she’s handled it?Well, I think she’s handled it pretty well in the sense that she’s laid out everything from, you know, what happened when she fell, what happened with the blood clot, that she’s taking Coumadin. I had a pretty extensive medical history. And the reason I put it out is because a lot of people with my medical history didn’t make it. And I wanted to make sure people know that what I had you either fix or die. You know what I mean? But if you fix it, you fix it. But I gave all my records.But then again, look, I have a different, I don’t know. I think I may be different than most of my colleagues overall. I’ve just found that, in my career, just transparency and disclosure works the best, even when there’s bad stuff. During the interview, Biden was accompanied by Greg Simon, the executive director of the task force overseeing the cancer research initiative.The full conversation is below, lightly edited for readability and length.advertisement ExclusiveTranscript: Joe Biden on Hillary Clinton’s medical records and the future of the ‘moonshot’ Related: Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech about the White House cancer moonshot, an initiative he leads, on Friday at Rice University in Houston. Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP In interview, Biden outlines a lifelong role in cancer research, but not in a Clinton White House Tags cancerJoe Bidenmoonshotpolicy By Dylan Scott Sept. 19, 2016 Reprintslast_img read more

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Cleveland Clinic reevaluating alternative medicine offerings amid uproar over vaccine rant

first_img Courtesy Cleveland Clinic CLEVELAND — After the director of its Wellness Institute was forced to walk back an anti-vaccine blog post over the weekend, the Cleveland Clinic revealed Monday that it has already spent months reevaluating the institute’s focus and expects to halt the sale of some alternative medicine products.Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Shiel told STAT that hospital administrators are concerned that the institute’s focus has grown too unwieldy and less connected to the clinic’s broader mission of providing the best, evidence-based medicine and services to patients. She said the wellness center will likely stop selling some of its commercial products, such as homeopathy kits sold in the gift shop of its suburban Lyndhurst location, and move toward general wellness programs that would improve diet and lifestyle decisions by patients and its own employees.On Friday, Wellness Institute Director Dr. Daniel Neides published a column whose anti-vaccine rhetoric drew a torrent of social media criticism. Neides, board-certified in family medicine, apologized for his rant soon after, and the clinic said he would be facing disciplinary action.advertisement By Casey Ross Jan. 10, 2017 Reprints HospitalsCleveland Clinic reevaluating alternative medicine offerings amid uproar over vaccine rant [email protected] Casey Ross About the Author Reprintscenter_img National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. The clinic’s wellness institute in Lyndhurst is one of several wellness centers the clinic operates in the Cleveland area. The Lyndhurst branch houses its administrative offices and provides Chinese herbal therapy, acupuncture, mind-body coaching, and hypnotherapy, among other services. Those offerings don’t explain Neides’s rant, which many of his colleagues, including those in integrative medicine, have denounced. But homeopathic kits and reiki services offer some sense of the huge canyon that exists between conventional hospital medicine, which usually rests on a foundation of clinical research, and what is considered treatment at these alternative medicine institutes.Sheil said the clinic has been looking for chief wellness officer for six months (a different post than the one occupied by Neides). The existing wellness officer, Dr. Mike Roizen, will still work for the clinic in a different post. Sheil emphasized that Roizen’s work has been valuable in building the institute.The Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute features a waterfall, rock-framed pool, and heavy indoor foliage. Casey Ross/STATIn the meantime, the clinic is trying to manage the public relations mishap.The editor of cleveland.com, which published the column, wrote an explanation Monday of its relationship with Neides, who was allowed to directly publish his commentaries to the website with the help of the clinic’s own public relations staff.Sheil said that hospital staff did not review the content before it was publishing, but staff took it down from the site on Sunday after Neides issued a retraction. Cleveland.com then re-published it, because, in the words of its editor, it is “loath to remove something that has become so central to a debate.”Neides violated clinic policy by not having his content directly approved by the hospital system, Sheil said, but it is unclear what punishment he might face. She said the vetting of his column did not occur even though the public relations staff had the technical ability to post and remove the column.   @caseymross In form and substance, the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute is about as far from a hospital as it gets. Its cavernous atrium in an affluent Cleveland suburb features a waterfall, rock-framed pool, and heavy indoor foliage. On Monday, you could have heard a pin drop, despite a steady stream of water and patients.There was zero evidence of the turmoil at the center. But also missing were certain evidence-based services that most hospitals are known for — a contrast that is drawing criticism of these integrative medicine outposts, which have popped up at hospitals around the country.advertisement Tags hospitalspatientswellnesslast_img read more

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Senator expands opioid probe to more drug makers and wholesalers

first_imgPharmalot Senator expands opioid probe to more drug makers and wholesalers GET STARTED Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. J. Scott Applewhite/AP What’s included? Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. What is it? By Ed Silverman July 27, 2017 Reprints Ed Silvermancenter_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Tags addictionpharmaceuticalsSTAT+ A top Senate Democrat is expanding a probe into the opioid crisis by asking four more drug makers, as well as the nation’s largest pharmaceutical distributors, for a raft of information.In a series of letters, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants the companies to explain the steps they have taken to mitigate the opioid epidemic, particularly monitoring suspicious orders and preventing the diversion of the prescription painkillers. The letters were sent to Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Endo International, and Mallinckrodt, along with Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen (see here and here). Log In | Learn More STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. [email protected] @Pharmalot About the Author Reprintslast_img read more

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Pharmalittle: Future of Merck cholesterol drug is unclear; Allergan lays off dozens

first_img What is it? [email protected] Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Pharmalittle: Future of Merck cholesterol drug is unclear; Allergan lays off dozens Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, despite puffs of moist clouds hovering over the Pharmalot campus. Our spirits are forever sunny, thanks to an insightful saying from the Morning Mayor: Every brand new day should be unwrapped like a precious gift. A useful reminder, yes? So while you tug on the ribbon, here are some items of interest to get you started on a busy day. Hope all goes well and do keep in touch …A Merck (MRK) cholesterol drug cut the risk of heart attack and death by just 9 percent and caused buildup of the drug in fat tissue, leaving its future uncertain, Reuters says. Known as a CETP inhibitor, the drug is supposed to raise good cholesterol, or HDL, while lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol. Merck has not decided whether to seek regulatory approval. Wall Street has been skeptical about its prospects since top-line study results were released in June. Log In | Learn More Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmalot By Ed Silverman Aug. 29, 2017 Reprints What’s included?center_img GET STARTED Alex Hogan/STAT Tags drug developmentpharmaceuticalspharmalittleSTAT+ Ed Silverman About the Author Reprints Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. @Pharmalot last_img read more

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The drug development process gets faster and, scientists hope, better

first_img Log In | Learn More What is it? The drug development process gets faster and, scientists hope, better A human B cell. NIAID/NIH About the Author Reprints Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. In the Lab By Andrew Joseph Jan. 25, 2018 Reprints What’s included?center_img Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Andrew Joseph As new technologies help scientists automate and miniaturize experiments, companies are getting better at streamlining the drug discovery process. This week brought two new examples.In one study, published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers at Pfizer described a new system that allows chemists to run thousands of reactions much faster than they could previously to determine the best way to produce the greatest amount of desired compounds. [email protected] @DrewQJoseph Tags biotechnologydrug developmentmedical technologySTAT+last_img read more

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Up and Down the Ladder: The latest comings and goings

first_img GET STARTED What’s included? Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Hired someone new and exciting? Promoting a rising star? Finally solved that hard-to-fill spot? Share the news with us, and we’ll share it with others. That’s right. Send us your changes, and we’ll find a home for them. Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to know who is coming and going.And here is our regular feature in which we highlight a different person each week. This time around, we note that About the Author Reprints Log In | Learn More Up and Down the Ladder: The latest comings and goings Alex Hogan/STAT Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTEDcenter_img By Ed Silverman July 20, 2018 Reprints [email protected] Pharmalot Ed Silverman Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. What is it? @Pharmalot Tags jobspharmaceuticalsSTAT+last_img read more

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With rehab and a jolt to the spinal cord, paralyzed patients take steps again

first_img Andrew Joseph About the Author Reprints Please enter a valid email address. Two research teams reported Monday that three patients paralyzed from the waist down were able to take steps again after weeks of rehabilitation and the implantation of a device that zaps the spinal cord in precise ways, fueling hopes that some sensory and motor function may be regained even when it appears they have been completely lost.“The fact that at one time, it was thought there would be no motor or sensory function in these patients — what is returning is just extraordinary,” said Peter Wilderotter, CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which has previously funded some of the researchers involved in the new studies. “It signals that the old dogma is being reversed and perhaps this isn’t as intractable as it was once believed.”Past research has shown that a combination of rehab and electrical stimulation can help some people paralyzed from spinal cord injuries intentionally move their legs while lying on their sides. But these patients — a 29-year-old man in one study out of the Mayo Clinic, and a 34-year-old man and 23-year-old woman in a study from the University of Louisville — achieved new milestones. They were able to control their legs and walk with only the help of walkers or crutches and some balance assistance.advertisement Experts noted that these were just a small number of case reports — a sign of research progress but not a demonstration that such an approach will work for all patients. Stephen Estes, a spinal cord injury researcher at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, who was not involved with the research, said he was greeting the results with “cautionary optimism.” mayo clinic main loopVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsEnabledDisabledPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9 facebook twitter Email Linkhttps://www.statnews.com/2018/09/24/patients-paralysis-take-steps-again/?jwsource=clCopied EmbedCopiedLive00:0000:2000:20  General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. None of the three individuals who regained some motor control saw any improvements in sensation. While the two Louisville patients had some slight sensation before the study, the Mayo patient had none.Whatever answers the studies may have provided are accompanied by at least as many questions. Researchers still haven’t determined how the pulsing of the spinal cord device enables signals from the brain to travel past the point of injury and trigger controlled leg movements. Without that understanding, they can’t be sure who else might be primed for this type of progress.“We really want to understand how that occurred, why that occurred, and, potentially going into the future, find out who we could help with this research protocol,” said Kristin Zhao, a biomedical engineer at the Mayo Clinic and one of the senior authors of that study, which was published in Nature Medicine.The researchers do have a hypothesis.It’s been thought that a severe spinal cord injury prevents signals coming from the brain from turning on nerves below the site of the lesion; those nerves are then no longer able to be activated and, say, direct the quadriceps to contract. But researchers are finding more evidence that some connections remain intact, and maybe just need a jolt.“Across neuroscience as a whole, there’s a greater understanding that the nervous system is a lot more plastic than previously thought,” Estes said.He likened the implanted stimulator to an amplifier. If there are normally, say, 100 connections that telegraph a command from the brain along the spinal cord, a serious injury might mean there are only one or two remaining. Those might not be enough to convert a signal into movement, but perhaps the stimulation boosts the signals enough to trigger movement.The neurons are able to once again “take in the information from the brain to allow for voluntary control over the legs,” said Dr. Kendall Lee, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon and a senior author of the study. Before they could take steps, the patients had to undergo training sessions several times a week for months, and they could only walk when the device was stimulating the spinal cord, not when it was turned off. Two patients in the Louisville study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, did not regain independent walking ability, even with the stimulation and intensive rehabilitation.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: For the studies, researchers implanted the electrical stimulation devices, which are normally used to treat pain, on the covering of the spinal cord, called the epidural space. In the Mayo Clinic patient, who was paralyzed in a snowmobiling accident, the device was placed below the site of the injury, at the site of the nerves that are wired to the muscles in the legs.As the patient went through rehabilitation, the researchers embarked on their own form of training. Because they controlled the electrical pulse — the voltage, the pattern, and the length of the stimulation — they had to figure out the precise instructions to send to the spinal cord.They managed to deliver a sequence of pulses that excited the nervous tissue in such a way that the man was able to swing one leg and then the other — what they called “interleaved” stimulation programs.The Mayo team has implanted a device in a second patient but has not reported results from that case yet. Among other questions is what kind of rehabilitation protocol might be best.“It’s a very rigorous and intensive protocol,” Zhao said. “Going forward, just how much rehabilitation is needed? Can we look at other strategies to streamline the rehabilitation?” Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine.center_img Trending Now: Privacy Policy @DrewQJoseph Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Mayo Clinic By Andrew Joseph Sept. 24, 2018 Reprints In the LabWith rehab and a jolt to the spinal cord, paralyzed patients take steps again Tags neurosciencepatientsresearch [email protected] last_img read more

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Therapy dogs can spread superbugs to kids, hospital finds

first_img Puppies are making people sick — and it’s people’s fault One U.S. health official said the findings add to the growing understanding that while interactions with pets and therapy animals can be beneficial, they can also carry risk.advertisement Therapy dog Winnie at Johns Hopkins University’s hospital in Baltimore, Md. Therapy dogs who visit hospital patients can bring joy, affection, and superbug bacteria, according to a new study by the university. Johns Hopkins University via AP HealthTherapy dogs can spread superbugs to kids, hospital finds Related: Associated Press “Whether covered in fur, feathers, or scales, animals have the potential to carry germs that make people sick,” said Casey Barton Behravesh of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Pet therapy can help people recover from a range of health problems. Past studies have shown dogs or other animals can ease anxiety and sadness, lower blood pressure, and even reduce the amount of medications some patients need.But there have been episodes of the superbug MRSA riding around on healthy-looking therapy dogs.MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, often live on the skin without causing symptoms. But they can become more dangerous if they enter the bloodstream, destroying heart valves or causing other damage. Health officials have tied MRSA to as many as 11,000 U.S. deaths a year.The bacteria can spread in day cares, locker rooms, and military barracks, but public health efforts have focused on hospitals and nursing homes. Trending Now: The dogs were supposed to be experts at sniffing out C. diff. Then they smelled breakfast Later in the study, the researchers asked the dogs’ owners to bathe the animals with a special shampoo before the visits. They also had the dogs patted down every five to 10 minutes with disinfecting wipes at the hospital.Those steps dramatically decreased the bacteria level on the dogs, Dalton said.She hopes further study will show that such cleanings can reduce any risk of superbug infection.“I really had the opportunity to see how important these dogs were to the patients,” Dalton said. After the sessions with the dogs, the kids “would say how much this made their day.”— Mike Stobbecenter_img By Associated Press Oct. 5, 2018 Reprints The Baltimore study looked at 45 children who interacted with the four dogs — petting, hugging, feeding, or playing with them — over 13 visits in 2016 and 2017.Among kids who had no MRSA, the researchers found the superbug on about 10 percent of the samples taken from those kids after the dog visits. They also found MRSA on nearly 40 percent of the samples from the dogs. The researchers also determined that the more time someone spent with the animals, the greater the chance of ending up with the bacteria.The researchers think the dogs were generally clean of MRSA when they first came to the hospital, but picked it up from patients or others while they were there, said one of the authors, Meghan Davis.“Our hypothesis is it’s really person-to-person transmission, but it happened through contact with the fur,” said Davis, a Johns Hopkins public health researcher and veterinarian.Under hospital protocols, therapy dogs must be bathed within a day of a visit and are checked for wounds or other health problems. Children who see them are supposed to use hand sanitizer “but that wasn’t strictly enforced,” said Kathryn Dalton, another one of the researchers. NEW YORK — Therapy dogs can bring more than joy and comfort to hospitalized kids. They can also bring stubborn germs.Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore were suspicious that the dogs might pose an infection risk to patients with weakened immune systems. So they conducted some tests when Pippi, Poppy, Badger, and Winnie visited 45 children getting cancer treatment.They discovered that kids who spent more time with the dogs had a six times greater chance of coming away with superbug bacteria than kids who spent less time with the animals. But the study also found that washing the dogs before visits and using special wipes while they’re in the hospital took away the risk of spreading that bacteria.advertisement The results of the unpublished study were released Friday at a scientific meeting in San Francisco. Related: Tags hospitals Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson About the Author Reprintslast_img read more

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Pharmalittle: Judge blocks Trump plan to run drug prices in TV ads; former Insys execs cooperate with the feds

first_img Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. By Ed Silverman July 9, 2019 Reprints Ed Silverman @Pharmalot [email protected] Pharmalittle: Judge blocks Trump plan to run drug prices in TV ads; former Insys execs cooperate with the feds Log In | Learn More What is it? Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, since a cool breeze and sunny skies are enveloping the Pharmalot campus. One short person has left for work and the other is sleeping in, as is the official mascot. This leaves us to focus on matters at hand, which start with brewing cups of stimulation (butter pecan, for those keeping track) and foraging for items of interest. Speaking of which, here is a new batch. Hope your day goes well and do keep us in mind when something saucy occurs …A federal judge blocked a Trump administration regulation that requires drug makers to include list prices in ads, STAT writes. The decision, which came just hours before the rule was set to take effect, came after three drug makers sued the administration, arguing the Department of Health and Human Services did not have the authority to require the disclosures and requiring them violated First Amendment rights. While agreeing that HHS overstepped its authority in requiring such disclosures, the judge did not rule on the First Amendment concerns. What’s included?center_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints Alex Hogan/STAT Tags Donald Trumpdrug pricinggovernment agenciesopioidspharmaceuticalsSTAT+ GET STARTED Pharmalot Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTEDlast_img read more