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Emirates airline eyes order for 50-70 A350 or 787 aircraft
5 Mar 2015 at 1:12am
Emirates Airline [EMIRA.UL] is looking at an order for around 50 to 70 twin-aisle A350 or 787 aircraft, its president said on Thursday. Emirates canceled an order for 70 A350 aircraft last year, saying the new plane from Airbus did not fit its original specifications, and Tim Clark said Emirates was now looking at both Airbus and rival Boeing for twin-aisles. Its first 90 A380 aircraft are supplied by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney .
AbbVie boosts cancer drug pipeline with $21 billion Pharmacyclics deal
5 Mar 2015 at 12:30am
The deal -- the latest example of a big drugmaker swooping on a biotech firm to refill its medicine pipeline -- confounds expectations that Pharmacyclics would sell out to Johnson & Johnson . AbbVie will pay $261.25 per share in cash and stock, a 13 percent premium to Pharmacyclics stock's closing price on Wednesday. AbbVie failed last October to buy Dublin-based Shire Plc for $55 billion after the United States took steps to deter such tax-lowering deals. Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas said the deal was positive for AbbVie as Pharmacyclics' blood cancer treatment Imbruvica would diversify the business beyond Humira.
Less California pollution spells big gains for children's lungs
5 Mar 2015 at 12:26am
A study conducted over 20 years in the Los Angeles area showed that the region's improving air quality has led to children having better functioning lungs, researchers said Wednesday. The findings, which tracked 2,000 young people from age 11 to 15, were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists studied three cohorts of different children over two decades, who were asked to blow into a spirometer, which measures lung size and strength. Lung growth was 10 percent greater in the cohort observed between 2007-2011 compared with those in the 1994-1998 group who were breathing a higher level of the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Bayer says won't get results from Stivarga trial in bowel cancer
5 Mar 2015 at 12:24am
German drugmaker Bayer said it would not get any relevant results from a Phase III trial of regorafenib, a drug also known as Stivarga, for the treatment of colorectal cancer, because it failed to recruit a sufficient number of participants. The study in the third and last phase required for regulatory approval was designed to evaluate regorafenib as an additional treatment of colorectal cancer following surgical removal of liver metastases with curative intent. Importantly, there were no new safety signals from the study," Bayer said in a statement. Bayer will continue to evaluate regorafenib in a number of tumor types, including colorectal cancer, it added.
Fate of Obama health law subsidies rests with 2 justices
5 Mar 2015 at 12:20am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Supreme Court argument over subsidies that help millions of people afford their health insurance suggests that the Obama administration has two chances to attract one critical vote.
Health checks by smartphone raise privacy fears
5 Mar 2015 at 12:06am
Authorities and tech developers must stop sensitive health data entered into applications on mobile phones ending up in the wrong hands, experts warn. "It's an inexorable tide that is causing worries because people are introducing their data into the system themselves, without necessarily reading all the terms and conditions," said Vincent Genet of consultancy Alcimed. The European Commission estimates the market for mobile health services could exceed 17.5 billion euros (19 billion euros) from 2017. Patients are entering health indicators and even using online health services for long-distance consultations with doctors whom they do not know.
More Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone last week, no Liberia cases - WHO
4 Mar 2015 at 11:15pm
Guinea and Sierra Leone reported 132 new confirmed cases of Ebola in the week to March 1, an increase of 34 over the previous week, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Liberia did not report any new confirmed infections in the week for the first time since May last year, but disease surveillance may not be optimal given the low number of samples, the U.N. agency said in its latest update on West Africa's epidemic. Only half of the 51 new infections in Guinea came from registered contacts of Ebola patients and some cases are only identified after post-mortem testing, it said. "The number of confirmed Ebola virus disease deaths occurring in the community in Guinea and Sierra Leone remains high, suggesting that the need for early isolation and treatment is not yet understood, accepted or acted upon," the WHO said in a statement.
After Ebola ban, N. Korea opens marathon to foreigners
4 Mar 2015 at 10:32pm
TOKYO (AP) ? After lifting travel restrictions it imposed because of concerns over the Ebola virus, North Korea says foreigners can now take part in one of its most popular tourist events ? the annual Pyongyang marathon, a travel agency said Thursday.
North Korea to reopen Pyongyang marathon to foreign runners
4 Mar 2015 at 9:08pm
By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is set to reopen an international marathon to overseas runners after ending a ban on most foreigners entering the country because of fears over the deadly Ebola virus, tour companies said on Thursday. North Korean officials had previously told travel agencies specializing in tours to the isolated country that foreign runners were no longer allowed to participate in the marathon scheduled for April in the capital, Pyongyang. The country closed its borders to foreign tourists last October for fear the virus might spread and imposed a strict 21-day quarantine on foreign aid workers and diplomats, who were told to stay in embassy compounds. "I spoke to our North Korean partners this morning who said they were in discussions with the marathon committee about reopening the event to foreign runners," Troy Collings, manager of Chinese-based Young Pioneer Tours, told Reuters.
Safety for Women and Girls: Protection Strategies for a Healthful World
4 Mar 2015 at 8:26pm
This International Women's Day, as we step back to marvel at the significant progress made by women and girls worldwide, we take note as well of the distance yet to travel before every woman and girl feels safe in this world -- safe enough simply to go to school, to gather water or firewood, to go to work before dawn. Safe enough that you know...
Second Los Angeles hospital identifies 'superbug' infections
4 Mar 2015 at 8:09pm
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A second top Los Angeles hospital has reported an outbreak of drug-resistant "superbug" infections, and dozens more potential exposures, from procedures performed with a fiber-optic instrument called a duodenoscope. The notice from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of four such infections and 67 more patients who were at risk coincided with a hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, reporting a similar outbreak involving at least five infections and more than 280 potential exposures.
Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections
4 Mar 2015 at 6:53pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Four patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" linked to a type of medical scope that's used on more than a half-million people in the U.S. every year, the hospital said Wednesday.
McDonald's antibiotic-free move could prompt U.S. chicken squeeze
4 Mar 2015 at 6:47pm
A plan by McDonald's Corp to phase out chicken raised with certain kinds of antibiotics at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants will put additional pressure on an already-stressed supply chain. Antibiotic-free chicken currently accounts for a tiny portion of total U.S. supplies, and an increasing desire on the part of consumers for more "natural" products has meant that demand sometimes exceeds supply. Available product has been so tight that when six of the largest U.S. school districts tried to make the switch to antibiotic-free poultry last year, chicken sellers such as Tyson Foods Inc and Pilgrim's Pride Corp said they could not change their production systems quickly enough to meet the demand. "This is very likely to cause a disruption in McDonald's food supply and will likely raise operating costs for McDonald's franchisees," added Richard Adams, a former McDonald's franchisee who now runs the consulting firm Franchise Equity Group.
U.S. FDA updates safety alert for 'superbug' scopes
4 Mar 2015 at 5:42pm
U.S. health regulators issued an updated safety alert on Wednesday for endoscopes linked to drug-resistant "superbug" bacteria in California hospitals. The Food and Drug Administration said it was not recommending that healthcare providers cancel procedures performed with a duodenoscope for patients who need them. It did recommend that healthcare providers inform patients of the risks, including infection, and benefits associated with the procedure and report to the manufacturer and the FDA if they suspect problems with the equipment have led to patient infections. The alert followed news on Wednesday that four patients at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were infected with a drug-resistant bacteria during endoscopic procedures that may have exposed 64 others since August.
U.S. Supreme Court split over Obamacare challenge
4 Mar 2015 at 5:19pm
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided on ideological lines on Wednesday as it tackled a second major challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with Justice Anthony Kennedy emerging as a likely swing vote in a ruling. The nine justices heard 85 minutes of arguments in the case brought by conservative opponents of the law who contend its tax credits aimed at helping people afford medical insurance should not be available in most states. A ruling favoring the challengers could cripple the law dubbed Obamacare, the president's signature domestic policy achievement. Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, raised concerns to lawyers on both sides about the possible negative impact on states if the government loses the case, suggesting he could back the Obama administration.