Data presented at the meeting of the American Society of Hematology last week by bluebird bio and Celgene researchers on their chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy candidate bb2121 showed the therapy achieved a 94% response rate from 18 patients with advanced multiple myeloma, with 56% maintaining remission 40 weeks after treatment on average.
AstraZeneca disclosed details on data from its clinical trial to assess the efficacy of its drug candidate Calquence as a treatment for mantle cell lymphoma, which showed its efficacy and resulted in fewer side effects compared with the current standard of care. GSK was also scheduled to publish a study on the effectiveness of its multiple myeloma antibody treatment GSK 2857916, according to presentations made at the American Society of Hematology last week.
The Commitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States, or COMPASS, Initiative was launched by Gilead Sciences with $100 million over a 10-year span to help combat HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States. Gilead is partnering with Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, the SUSTAIN Wellbeing COMPASS Coordinating Center at the University of Houston and the Southern AIDS Coalition, which will identify and propose funding for Southern community groups that fight the disease.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Advanced Plant Technologies program is developing a way to manipulate the physiology of plants so they can be used to detect chemical and bioweapons. "Because plants naturally respond to many categories of stimuli, we believe that they can serve as sensitive detectors for many [Department of Defense]-relevant threats," said Dr. Blake Bextine, manager of the Advanced Plant Technologies program.
A team of University of Calgary researchers developed a way to turn human waste into bioplastic, which can be useful to space travelers in recycling their wastes. The volatile fatty acids in the human waste were consumed by engineered bacteria that secrete plastics as a byproduct.
Impax Laboratories' generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's heart failure drug Coreg CR, or carvedilol phosphate, was granted tentative FDA approval. Impax's marketing application is eligible for FDA final approval upon expiration of GSK's patent protection on May 7, 2018.
Luke Miels, the new head of pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline, said the company will focus on buying or licensing early-stage cancer and immunology drugs. After gaining recent approvals for three new products -- for shingles, HIV and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- the company will not launch others until after 2020.
The medical device industry has expressed frustration about Congress' inaction to repeal the medical device tax despite lawmakers saying "the right thing" during their meetings, said AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker after the House and the Senate failed to include the tax when they resolved plans on tax cuts. Whitaker said he believes a last-minute plan would be devised by Congress to prevent the tax from being implemented and said the industry group will go to congressional districts to talk about the tax's impact if the issue bleeds into 2018.
A study in Hemodialysis International found the use of NxStage Medical's Nx2me Connected Health remote patient management system in-home hemodialysis demonstrated a 29% reduction in technique failure or conversion to in-center hemodialysis. The findings, based on data from 606 patients, showed use of the system within three months after initiation of home hemodialysis was associated with a 34% reduction in technique failure.
A magistrate judge recommended the US District Court for the District of Delaware dismiss Amgen's patent infringement lawsuit against Coherus Biosciences. Amgen filed the suit after Coherus' submission of a marketing application for a biosimilar of Neulasta, or pegfilgrastim.
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