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Third win for cannabis drug in epilepsy sends GW to record high
26 Sep 2016 at 6:08am
An experimental cannabis-derived drug has successfully treated children with severe epilepsy in a third late-stage clinical trial, sending shares in Britain's GW Pharmaceuticals to a record high on Monday. GW, which was founded in 1998 to capitalize on the medical benefits of cannabis, said it now expected to submit a marketing application for Epidiolex to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2017. Its commercial potential has attracted possible acquirers of GW, according to people familiar with the matter.
Drugmaker Pfizer decides not to break up business
26 Sep 2016 at 6:02am
Pfizer will not split into two publicly traded companies, a decision that, at least for now, ends Wall Street speculation over the drugmaker's future. The company said Monday it believes it is best positioned ...
Pfizer abandons plan to split into two companies
26 Sep 2016 at 6:00am
Pfizer said on Monday the decision would not have an impact on its 2016 financial forecast. The decision not to create two publicly traded companies follows the collapse of its planned $160 billion acquisition of Allergan Inc after a change in tax law took away the tax benefits of the deal. Investors were expecting the company to step back from the split, Sanford Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson said in a research note.
Paris OKs disputed plan to transform highway into walkway
26 Sep 2016 at 5:29am
PARIS (AP) ? The Paris City Council has approved a controversial plan to transform a stretch of highway that runs along the Seine River through central Paris into a pedestrian-only zone.
Vela Diagnostics gets emergency U.S. authorization for Zika test
26 Sep 2016 at 5:25am
(Reuters) - Vela Diagnostics said its test for the Zika virus had received "emergency use authorization" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA issues such emergency use authorization during public health emergencies, to quickly deploy unapproved medical products for as long as they are needed. The regulator last month issued a similar authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche.
Scientists find new fat clues in faeces
26 Sep 2016 at 4:32am
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in Britain have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo - the human faecal microbiome - and levels of harmful types of body fat. In research that may help explain why excessive weight problems and obesity tend to run in families, the scientists said high levels of visceral fat - which is linked to risks of chronic disease - were linked to having a relatively small range of bacteria in faeces. People with a high diversity of bacteria in their faeces had lower levels of visceral fat, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Genome Biology.
Mother uncovers lasting impact of son's organ donation
26 Sep 2016 at 12:47am
WASHINGTON (AP) ? An ultrasound showed one of Sarah Gray's unborn twins was missing part of his brain, a fatal birth defect. His brother was born healthy but Thomas lived just six days. Latching onto hope for something positive to come from heartache, Gray donated some of Thomas' tissue for scientific research ? his eyes, his liver, his umbilical cord blood.
Investors urge food companies to shift from meat to plants
26 Sep 2016 at 12:33am
By Simon Jessop LONDON (Reuters) - A group of 40 investors managing $1.25 trillion in assets have launched a campaign to encourage 16 global food companies to change the way they source protein for their products to help to reduce environmental and health risks. The investors, which include the fund arm of insurer Aviva and several Swedish state pension funds, wrote to the food companies on Sept. 23 urging them to respond to the "material" risks of industrial farming and to diversify into plant-based sources of protein. Among the companies targeted were Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Unilever, Tesco and Walmart, a statement by the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return Initiative, which organized the investor group, said on Monday.
Sanofi may win U.S. approval of $3 billion eczema drug by March
26 Sep 2016 at 12:26am
(Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi and its U.S. partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could win U.S. approval for their keenly awaited new eczema drug dupilumab, seen by analysts as a potential $3 billion-a-year seller, by next March. Sanofi badly needs new products to make up for flagging sales in its diabetes business, where its top-seller Lantus faces growing competition. The two companies said on Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had accepted dupilumab for priority review for treating atopic dermatitis (AD), a skin inflammation also known as atopic eczema, and set a target decision date of March 29.
Philippines reports first Zika pregnancy case
25 Sep 2016 at 11:46pm
The Philippines on Monday reported its first known case of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus that threatens unborn babies, as authorities warned people to avoid mosquitos. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said 12 cases of Zika had been detected across the Philippines this month, including a 22-year-old woman from the central island of Cebu who is 19 weeks' pregnant with her first child. Zika-infected pregnant women can give birth to babies with microcephaly, a deformation marked by abnormally small brains and heads.
Aid delivered to four besieged towns in Syria: ICRC
25 Sep 2016 at 7:25pm
Seventy trucks of humanitarian aid were delivered on Sunday to four besieged towns in Syria for the first time in almost six months, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said. The aid organisation said convoys were delivered to Madaya and Zabdani near Damascus and to the villages of al Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province in the north west. Kefraya and al-Foua, in Idlib province in northwest Syria, have around 20,000 people, according to U.N. estimates, and have been surrounded by insurgents since April 2015.
Mother uncovers lasting impact of baby son's organ donation
25 Sep 2016 at 4:14pm
An ultrasound showed one of Sarah Gray's unborn twins was missing part of his brain, a fatal birth defect. His brother was born healthy but Thomas lived just six days. Latching onto hope for something ...
Doctors 'prescribe' fresh produce with help from food banks
25 Sep 2016 at 10:13am
OAK FOREST, Ill. (AP) ? The idea is simple: Load fresh fruits and vegetables into a refrigerator truck and drive it to a health clinic, then have a doctor write a "prescription" for food to improve the diets of low-income people with diabetes and high blood pressure.
AIDS pageant in Uganda seeks to stem stigma, discrimination
25 Sep 2016 at 6:53am
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) ? When she was younger, Tryphena Natukunda's mother discouraged her from swallowing her antiretroviral medicines among strangers or even distant relatives.
UK doctors call off strike action
24 Sep 2016 at 2:13pm
The British Medical Association (BMA) had planned a full withdrawal of labor by junior doctors on Oct. 5-7 and 10-11, Nov. 14-18 and Dec. 5-9, which would have been the longest stoppages in the nearly 70-year history of the National Health Service. Junior doctors - a term covering recent medical school graduates right through to doctors who have been working for well over a decade - have staged a series of walkouts over a new work contract the government plans to impose next month. The BMA said its decision to suspend the action follows feedback from doctors, patients and the public, and discussions with NHS England about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service if industrial action were to go ahead.