After Zuckerberg’s big bet, big names in science see hope and reason for caution

first_img“It’s up to them how to process all of the ideas that may come forward. I think the right solution is to start thoughtfully and slowly,” Lander said. “They’re in their early 30s. Their lifetime is a long time. I think they have time to get it right.”Moonshot miss?Zuckerberg and Chan pledged to invest over their lifetime 99 percent of their Facebook shares, equal to $45 billion in today’s dollars. Rather than spending the money through a charity, they’ll be setting up a limited liability company, which will allow them to engage in activities traditionally off-limits to nonprofits, such as making a profit, and spending a lot of money on lobbying.Some analysts worry that model will be less transparent and harder to hold accountable.And then there’s the bottom line: How much could they actually do for health?For starters, the size of the investment into medical research isn’t clear: Zuckerberg also named Internet access, education, and community building as some of the couple’s other goals. They are planning to sell or give no more than $1 billion in shares each year over the next three years to the Initiative, with future amounts to be determined. Related: “I think it makes people feel good, and has some value there. Certainly I think we’re glad that people are giving this money rather than not giving,” Maryann Feldman, a University of North Carolina economist who has researched philanthropic organizations, said in an interview. “But then the question remains: If they paid it in taxes, then in a democracy, we would decide how it would be spent. That’s sort of missing in this model.”advertisement By Dylan Scott and Ike Swetlitz Dec. 2, 2015 Reprints Related: When Mark Zuckerberg announced in a letter to his newborn daughter that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, would use 99 percent of their Facebook wealth for philanthropy, he wrote of funding medical research that could lead to “a world without suffering from disease.”Many researchers were predictably thrilled that one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world is making a public commitment to medicine. But others sounded a note of caution. Lander agreed that one depended on the other. The NIH’s annual budget is $30 billion; Zuckerberg and Chan are, at least at the onset, committing to $1 billion a year at most for all of their philanthropic interests, only one of which is medical research.“No matter how large the philanthropic resources are, they don’t come close to what we as a nation spend on research, nor should it or could it,” Lander said. “It cannot quantitatively substitute for public investment.”“What they can do is allow scientists to take bold risks, to work in different ways, to experiment and pilot different approaches that don’t fit in” with the public sector, he continued. “It gives them a chance to pioneer new approaches.”David Nather contributed to this report. Mark Zuckerberg dedicates huge chunk of his fortune to curing diseases Dr. Eric Lander, one of the top researchers involved with the Human Genome Project and the co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, said the decision by Zuckerberg and Chan could set “a model for their generation.”At the same time, he advised thoughtfulness and prudence. A high-profile announcement of such a huge sum is also sure to attract all sorts of suitors.advertisement BusinessAfter Zuckerberg’s big bet, big names in science see hope and reason for caution Moonshot goals can be appealing, but many experts in the field say less ambitious, more incremental advancements are what really make a tangible improvement to people’s lives.“The answers and the solutions come in very small packets, and that’s just the nature of science, that it’s more incremental than the concept of a major breakthrough,” Jo Handelsman, the associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in a recent interview with STAT.Philanthropy is no guarantee of medical breakthrough, and there are pitfalls.Zuckerberg has experienced some of these obstacles before. In 2010, he made headlines with a $100 million initiative to improve education in Newark — and again four years later as journalists and analysts questioned the effectiveness of his donation. In a November 2015 Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote that he had learned many lessons from the Newark initiative, including the importance of engaging the community and thinking in the long term.These challenges are not unique to young philanthropists. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which in 2014 made $1.1 billion in grants toward global health projects, has also struggled to balance long-term planning with short-term impact. Gates himself has acknowledged that it will take longer than anticipated for some of its projects to come to fruition.A foundation official also told SciDev.Net in January that, while individual vaccine-related projects have been successful, the foundation hasn’t done enough to improve the infrastructure used to transport those vaccines to people.Chan and Zuckerberg have already made multiple contributions toward scientific and medical research. In 2012, they established the “Breakthrough Prizes,” which are annual $3 million prizes for physics, life sciences, and mathematics. At the beginning of 2014, they donated $5 million to the Ravenswood Family Health Center, located in East Palo Alto. Later that year, they pitched in on the fight against Ebola, donating $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation.And this past February, they gave $75 million to the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation as part of a fundraising campaign; their gift allowed the hospital to build a “hybrid operating room” equipped with robotic arms to assist surgeons during procedures, said Amanda Heier, CEO of the foundation.No substitute for public investmentsThose involved in medical research will be watching closely to see how Zuckerberg has learned from that history and how he and Chan navigate their new endeavor.Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said he looked forward to talking with Zuckerberg and Chan about their plans, saying that he was “thrilled” by the announcement. But he suggested that such efforts shouldn’t be used as a reason to scale back on government funding.“Most philanthropic efforts are rather targeted toward specific diseases that the philanthropist is interested in. It’s unusual for philanthropy to support a lot of basic science, and yet the future of everything we hope to see happen in medical research depends upon a vigorous agenda in the basic arena,” Collins said. “That’s where the government is really very important in the effort.” Funding plan targets drug development for rare diseases Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images The NIH director on his future, a favorite book, and the time he disobeyed his mom Related:last_img read more

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Zika fears spur a booming market for questionable products

first_img Related: Tags alternative medicineCDCZika Virus By Rebecca Robbins June 19, 2016 Reprints Zika infection can damage fetuses even if pregnant women show no symptoms BusinessZika fears spur a booming market for questionable products Then there’s the pack of wristbands marketed on Amazon with the blaring warning: “PROTECT YOURSELVES FROM ZIKA VIRUS NOW (Before we run out of stock).” Ads for other botanical repellents promise to keep users away from “nasty,” “dangerous,” and “toxic” chemicals.The marketers of many such products “prey on people’s fears” about chemicals, said Walter Leal, a chemical ecologist at the University of California, Davis. “The most dangerous outcome is that people become averse to using a good repellent and then contract Zika or dengue.”advertisement Patches decorated with smiley faces are marketed as DEET-free and nontoxic, and claim to help prevent Zika with natural oils. Alissa Ambrose/STATcenter_img Billboards in Brazil have been rigged to lure and kill Zika-carrying mosquitoes Related: Entrepreneurs across the country are rushing to turn fears of the Zika virus into a sales tool, flooding the market with a slew of products, some of them unproven and questionable, that promise to keep consumers safe.The products include everything from floppy hats to bed canopies to “anti-Zika” condoms which offer no discernible protection above any other condom. But most concerning to experts is the promotion of many “natural” mosquito repellents — sprays, wristbands, and patches that are touted as alternatives to the products containing synthetic chemicals known to be safe and effective at keeping mosquitoes away.A STAT review of “natural” products marketed online turned up dozens of efforts to explicitly target consumers concerned about Zika. One company sells wristbands printed with an image of a mosquito and “ZikAway” in big block letters. A brand of stick-on patches for kids features smiley faces and is pitched on Amazon as “high-quality Zika mosquito repellent.”advertisement The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also concerned about some such products, spokeswoman Candice Burns Hoffmann said.One reason: Many aren’t effective.A study published last fall found that Victoria’s Secret perfume provided better protection from mosquitoes than several natural repellents on the market.Many advertisements for natural repellents are “misleading and wrong — and in some cases preposterous — because they’re made from products that don’t work,” said Immo Hansen, a biologist at New Mexico State University who studies vector diseases and coauthored the Victoria’s Secret study.Regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency have approved about 30 botanical products, most of them made from oil of lemon eucalyptus, as safe and effective to ward off mosquitoes. (By contrast, they have approved hundreds of products made from DEET and Picaridin, the synthetic compounds found in most effective bug sprays.)Federal authorities have already cracked down on the marketers of one “natural” repellent. Consumer goods maker Viatek recently agreed to pay $300,000 to the Federal Trade Commission to settle deceptive marketing charges. The company had claimed that its colorful wristbands infused with mint oil created a five-foot shield of protection from mosquitoes that could last for up to 120 hours. (The wristbands, still promoted on Home Depot’s website, were not advertised as a way to ward off Zika specifically.)Wristbands that claim they can help prevent Zika by repelling mosquitoes using nontoxic ingredients like citronella. Alissa Ambrose/STATFrom selfie sticks to Zika ShieldsThat fine hasn’t deterred the Zika gold rush.Entrepreneurs Manny Castro and Ryan Manfred, for instance, had been selling selfie sticks before they spotted a new opportunity — and launched Zika Shield. Since the end of April, they’ve sold thousands of wristbands and sprays made from a formula that contains oil of lemon eucalyptus.The Utah company Natural Outdoor Products had already been selling repellent candles and a bug spray branded as Zero Natural. But as concern about the Zika virus grew, its executives decided to rebrand and tweak the product for worried consumers who are “tired of chemicals,” said Marc Normandeau, the company’s chief technology officer.The result: Zika Pro Plus, made from oils from lemon eucalyptus, geranium, peppermint, and citronella.Launched online in March, it comes in both wristband and spray formats. The brand is specifically targeting travelers to this summer’s Olympics in Brazil, where Zika cases had been surging (but are now on the decline). The Zika Pro Plus website boasts that it’s be “field tested” in Rio, and markets a “RIO 2016” pack of travel-sized products.“Why wouldn’t we market something to people going … exactly where the virus is?” Normandeau said.He said the company has gotten a few complaints about preying on Zika fears. But Normandeau isn’t backing down. “There’s a reality to what Zika virus does,” he said.Bug spray branded as Zika Shield is advertised as being DEET-free and designed to prevent bites from mosquitoes carrying Zika and other diseases. Alissa Ambrose/STAT‘Counting on chemophobia’There is no vaccine for the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes or through sexual contact, and which can cause birth defects and temporary paralysis. The CDC recommends simple tips to lower risk: Wear long sleeves and long pants. Get rid of standing water. Use condoms. Wear repellent.And most effective repellent includes synthetic chemicals.DEET, which was originally developed by the US Army, has been used in products marketed to the public since 1957. Experts agree that it is safe, including for pregnant women; that conclusion was upheld by a large 2002 study and a 2014 review by the EPA. The chemical is not without its drawbacks: It’s known to smell bad, though manufacturers have, in recent years, taken steps to make the aroma more pleasant. And there have been case reports of adverse effects including neuropathy, or numbness and pain in hands and feet.But experts say these side effects are generally the result of misuse. “DEET has been used literally billions of times without adverse effects and protected people from disease,” said Joe Conlon, technical adviser to the American Mosquito Control Association.The marketers of ineffective botanical products, Conlon said, are “counting on this chemophobia that seems to have afflicted the citizenry as of late.”last_img read more

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FDA to hold two-day meeting on off-label drug marketing

first_img Tags FDAfree speechoff-label marketing [email protected] FDA Ed Silverman About the Author Reprints After years of anticipation, the Food and Drug Administration will hold a public, two-day meeting starting on Wednesday to review the extent to which so-called off-label information about medicines may be disseminated to physicians.Nothing will get decided, though. The meeting is designed simply to give the public — drug makers and patient advocates alike — a long-awaited chance to convey their opinions and debate the issue.Off-label information refers to materials that describe unapproved uses of a drug. Doctors are allowed to prescribe a medicine for an unapproved use, but drug makers have long battled restrictions on their ability to distribute this type of information — such as reprints of medical studies — and have lobbied Congress and the FDA to loosen regulations.advertisement The FDA, however, has avoided doing so. The agency has regularly voiced concern that public health could be jeopardized if a drug maker distributes information about an unapproved use that has not been proven safe or effective.As we have reported previously, the industry effort accelerated after a 2012 ruling by a federal appeals court that overturned the criminal conviction of a Jazz Pharmaceutical sales rep, who was prosecuted for encouraging doctors to prescribe a drug for unapproved uses. The court ruled his speech was protected, since the information was truthful and not misleading.advertisementcenter_img By Ed Silverman Nov. 8, 2016 Reprints PharmalotFDA to hold two-day meeting on off-label drug marketing Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Ever since, drug makers have argued that conveying certain types of information is a free speech issue. But the debate gained steam last year when Amarin filed a lawsuit arguing it had the right to off-label marketing, so long as the information provided to doctors is truthful and not misleading. A federal judge agreed with the company, which reached a settlement with the FDA.“I believe this meeting will clear the way for the FDA to issue thoughtful guidance on a more liberal sharing of truthful, accurate, and non-misleading off-label information,” said Peter Pitts, a former FDA associate commissioner who heads the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a think tank that is funded, in part, by industry. “This is particularly important with a new administration coming in January.”A parade of a few dozen people will speak, according to the FDA agenda, and agency officials are expected to incorporate their comments in finding answers to some key questions. Among them: what are the benefits for doctors, researchers and payers if they receive off-label information? And how might off-label information affect prescribing, as well as research into new products?What else does FDA hope to sort out?The agency wants to know how companies evaluate whether off-label information is scientifically appropriate — and not misleading — for communicating to doctors. And the FDA is also interested in assessing which criteria should be considered in determining whether a study used by a company is scientifically appropriate to support conclusions that are distributed.A few more questions: What other information should be disclosed to ensure audiences are not misled? How effective are disclosures in ensuring that limitations concerning data about unapproved uses are adequately conveyed and understood? And what kinds of surveillance and monitoring should be done to measure and assess the public health impacts of unapproved use communications and by whom?Critics say that widely disseminating off-label information would be dangerous to consumers.“What’s the point of having an FDA then?” said Sid Wolfe of Public Citizen, the advocacy group, who will speak at the meeting. “Instead of providing rigorous evidence that a drug is safe and effective, the company could just hand out articles that don’t meet the test of efficacy. If the FDA does what industry wants, it will damage federal law that upholds safety standards.”And Kim Witczak, an independent consumer advocate who will also speak, said “there are real life consequences. Patients need to know they can trust the medicines they’re given and that these are, in fact, approved by the FDA for the particular use. We shouldn’t be guinea pigs.” @Pharmalot last_img read more

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Key Republicans urge Trump to keep Francis Collins as NIH director

first_imgLeave this field empty if you’re human: The agency is in the midst of launching several major research efforts, including the Precision Medicine Initiative and Vice President Joe Biden’s cancer moonshot. Collins, who has served as director since 2009, has been instrumental to those programs.advertisement PoliticsKey Republicans urge Trump to keep Francis Collins as NIH director By Dylan Scott Dec. 2, 2016 Reprints Charles Dharapak/AP Trump has made few comments on NIH, aside from a 2015 remark that he had heard “terrible” things. But many in Washington have speculated since the election that Collins could end up staying on under Trump. Please enter a valid email address. WASHINGTON — In a letter sent Friday, top congressional Republicans urged President-elect Donald Trump to keep Dr. Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health.Collins received the endorsement from key GOP members of Congress: outgoing House and Energy Commerce chairman Fred Upton, Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander, and the two chairmen of the appropriations committees that oversee NIH: Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri and Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma.“Dr. Collins is the right person, at the right time, to continue to lead the world’s premier biomedical research agency,” they said in the letter.advertisement Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Privacy Policy Tags Donald TrumpFrancis CollinsNIHpolicy The only other known contender for the job is Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, a Republican who has openly lobbied for the job in the past few days. But a lobbyist who works on medical research policy told STAT on Friday that even other Republicans on the Hill might prefer to see Collins stay in the role.The letter sent to Trump on Friday seems to confirm that.“Dr. Collins has a scientific vision. You can agree or disagree with it, but that was his perspective as a leader,” said the lobbyist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. “He’s worked with the [Obama] administration to come up with big initiatives to capture the imagination.”last_img read more

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This surgery has been taught for decades using Styrofoam cups. 3-D technology is changing that

first_img About the Author Reprints By Blair Bigham Jan. 9, 2017 Reprints After more than a dozen mock surgeries, she feels more confident in performing the surgery on a patient.“I know the sequence, I know the danger zones,” she said, referring to tiny nerves and arteries she has to avoid to prevent complications. “YouTube gives you a sense of how things may look, and a book can give you the steps, but its a completely different experience to be working with your tools in the 3-D space.”Dr. Dale Podolsky invented the model. Reducing trainee stress was part of his motivation, along with improving patient outcomes. Since he started the project in 2014, he has worked with a biomedical incubator in Toronto to spin off a company called Simulare Medical.“Commercialization is essential — it allows you to conduct research and build the infrastructure to manufacture [the model],” he said.One of the first buyers was New York-headquartered Smile Train, an international children’s charity dedicated to teaching surgeons around the world how to repair cleft palates.Poldosky’s model will be deployed to “Africa and Latin America to accelerate learning and elevate the level of cleft care worldwide,” said Erin Stieber, vice president of strategic partnerships at Smile Train.  The simulator, she said, is a game-changer that will be integrated into the current education model of virtual, classroom, and operating room training. “This could be massive.” Currently, a model costs about $500, and includes training tools, a video camera, and instructional materials. Video recording capability, said Podolsky, is particularly valuable as performance can be assessed remotely. “I could be halfway around the world and give feedback to a training surgeon.” Charities, hospitals, and universities in more than 10 countries have purchased the model, but Podolsky wouldn’t release sales figures.Another global charity that provides free cleft surgeries has raised a concern. Dr. Ruben Ayala, senior vice president of medical affairs for Operation Smile, said the barrier of cost needs to be addressed to “democratize” education, bringing better training to places where the surgery could be “life-changing for enormous amounts of people.” The global need is great: “There is a plethora of patients who need [cleft palate] care,” he said.Ayala said Podolsky’s model has great potential to influence training but it “needs to be manufactured at higher quantities and much lower costs.” Until then, surgeons will continue to be trained as they have for centuries, via textbook and practice. One of the world’s most common surgeries in children has been taught for decades using a Styrofoam cup.Cleft lip and palate repair is a delicate procedure, and the outcome is sometimes hard to predict. One wrong move inside the tiny mouth of a 1-year-old could mean a child with speech defects, problems eating, or lifelong problems breathing. Training for the surgery takes years of practice — surgeons are still improving 10 years after they graduate, said Dr. Christopher Forrest, chair of plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery at the University of Toronto.“It’s where I get the biggest level of coronary spasm,” said Forrest, of watching apprentice surgeons take the lead. “It requires measurement in millimeters, familiarity with the nuances of anatomy, and the tissues are particularly fragile.”advertisement For years, no other model existed. But in Toronto, a plastic surgery resident at SickKids Hospital has fused his engineering and medical skills to build 3-D printed models that resemble children’s mouths. They’ve been a welcome innovation.“It makes absolute sense,” said Forrest, to invest in a surgical model that allows trainees to practice the repair in a low-stakes environment. “The cost of something going wrong on a patient is undoable.”advertisement Related: Tags educationhospitalspediatrics During a training session a few weeks ago at SickKids, Dr. Natalia Ziolkowski, a plastic surgery resident at the University of Toronto, focused hard as she moved a scalpel inside the tiny model mouth. Basic sutures are challenging in such a small space, she said, and the model allows her to focus not only on what she’s doing in a given moment, but plan her next steps and guide herself away from “danger zones” containing critical arteries. The dream of 3-D-printed organs rests on keeping cells alive. A new advance could help Blair Bigham HospitalsThis surgery has been taught for decades using Styrofoam cups. 3-D technology is changing that This 3-D printed model of a child’s mouth is helping surgeons train to repair cleft palates. Dale Poldolsky @BlairBigham last_img read more

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As Trump worked on his immigration ban, Hillary Clinton showed her support for immigrant cancer researchers

first_img By Rebecca Robbins Jan. 29, 2017 Reprints 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. Log In | Learn More What is it? 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. Politics During a week when President Trump’s efforts to ban immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations touched off alarms among scientists worldwide, his former rival was sending a very different message.Hillary Clinton spent Wednesday evening at a star-studded fundraiser supporting the cancer research of two top scientists at Columbia University — both of whom happen to be immigrants. Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign. Scott Olson/Getty Images Tags cancerimmigrationpolicyWhite House What’s included? As Trump worked on his immigration ban, Hillary Clinton showed her support for immigrant cancer researchers GET STARTED Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTEDlast_img read more

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Under criticism, Republican congressman seeks to soften comments on Medicaid and the poor

first_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. What’s included? By Lev Facher March 10, 2017 Reprints Tags CongressMedicaidpolicy 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. Politics Washington Correspondent Lev Facher covers the politics of health and life sciences. WASHINGTON — Congressman Roger Marshall of Kansas is distancing himself from comments he made recently to STAT about poor patients and their health care, which garnered considerable backlash.In a recent interview, discussing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, Marshall, a Republican, said: “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.” GET STARTED @levfacher center_img [email protected] Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Lev Facher About the Author Reprints What is it? Log In | Learn More Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News/AP Under criticism, Republican congressman seeks to soften comments on Medicaid and the poor last_img read more

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Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings

first_img Ed Silverman 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. By Ed Silverman April 21, 2017 Reprints Alex Hogan/STAT 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. What is it? Pharmalot Log In | Learn More GET STARTED @Pharmalot center_img [email protected] What’s included? Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings 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. About the Author Reprints Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Tags pharmaceuticalsrecruitmentSTAT+last_img read more

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New Vertex drugs show dramatic gains for tough-to-treat cystic fibrosis patients

first_img Log In | Learn More Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe New Vertex drugs show dramatic gains for tough-to-treat cystic fibrosis patients 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. What’s included? GET STARTED Biotech What is it?center_img By Adam Feuerstein July 18, 2017 Reprints Adam Feuerstein About the Author Reprints Tags biotechdrug developmentdrug pricingrare disease Senior Writer, Biotech Adam is STAT’s national biotech columnist, reporting on the intersection of biotech and Wall Street. He’s also a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. Vertex Pharmaceuticals scored a major win Tuesday with the release of data from three clinical trials testing three different triple combinations of cystic fibrosis drugs. Patients genetically resistant to all treatments now on the market showed unprecedented gains in lung function on all three experimental therapies.The Vertex data point everyone will be gawking at: a 10 percentage point improvement, adjusted for placebo, in FEV1, an important measure of lung capacity. This significant gain was reported for all three triple-drug regimens being tested. The patients enrolled in the three studies have cystic fibrosis caused by a genetic mutation known as F508del/Min, which renders them among the hardest to treat. @adamfeuerstein [email protected] last_img read more

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Abuse in nursing homes unreported despite law, government probe finds

first_img By Associated Press Aug. 28, 2017 Reprints Abuse in nursing homes unreported despite law, government probe finds Politics What is it? 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. WASHINGTON — More than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police, says a government audit that faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification.The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office issued an “early alert” Monday on preliminary findings from a large sampling of cases in 33 states. The results were sufficiently alarming that investigators say corrective action is needed now. The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office has faulted Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law that requires nursing homes to immediately notify police of abuse. Alex Brandon/AP Log In | Learn More About the Author Reprints 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. Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Associated Press Tags Medicarepatientspolicylast_img read more

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