The FDA has approved British drugmaker BTG's Varithena, formerly called Varisolve, which is an injectable foam for varicose veins, the company announced. FDA approval had been delayed due to concerns about the product's effects if it enters the bloodstream.
Cranial reconstruction for a Pakistani girl attacked by the Taliban, facial reconstruction for a mutilated Afghan woman and a full face transplant for a 37-year-old man whose face was destroyed in an accidental shooting are among the plastic surgery wonders making recent headlines.
Operation Smile and Smile Train will partner on a project in Rwanda to repair cleft palates and facial deformities. Through the initiative, dubbed Rwanda Smiles, the charities aim to eliminate a backlog of cleft palate repairs by 2017. Volunteers will identify and treat people who need surgery and train local health care providers to give ongoing care.
BTG received FDA approval of Voraxaze, an injectable medicine that breaks down chemotherapy agent methotrexate to prevent kidney failure and other side effects of prolonged exposure. During a study, 10 of 22 patients had a low concentration of methotrexate in their blood within 15 minutes of taking Voraxaze, and the effect was sustained for eight days, the FDA said.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals acquired worldwide rights to develop and market BGC-945, an experimental cancer drug from BTG, a U.K. biotech firm. Onyx hopes to use the treatment to expand beyond Nexavar, its cancer medicine that generated $180.9 million in sales during the third quarter of 2008.