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Wall St. little changed at open after two-day run
19 Dec 2014 at 6:33am
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday, after the Federal Reserve's most recent policy statement sparked the best two-day run for the benchmark S&P 500 in three years.
European regulators recommend approval of Orexigen's obesity pill
19 Dec 2014 at 5:24am
(Reuters) - European regulators recommended the approval of Orexigen Therapeutics Inc's diet pill, which could become the first prescription medicine for obesity to be approved in the European Union in nearly a decade. The drug, sold as Contrave by partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co in the United States, will be marketed as Mysimba in Europe. The European Commission is expected to give its decision on the drug in early 2015, Orexigen said. The treatment, which won U.S. ...
Novo Nordisk gets positive opinion on Tresiba for children in Europe
19 Dec 2014 at 5:12am
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Drug maker Novo Nordisk said the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion on the use of its diabetes drug Tresiba for the treatment of children and adolescents. An European Commission approval of the label expansion means physicians in the European Union will be able to prescribe Tresiba to children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Denmark's Novo Nordisk said in a statement on Friday. ...
Europe recommends approval for first stem-cell therapy
19 Dec 2014 at 5:08am
LONDON (Reuters) - European regulators have recommended approval of the first medicine containing stem cells to treat a rare condition caused by burns to the eye. The European Medicines Agency said on Friday that Holoclar, from privately held Italian company Chiesi, had been given a green light for moderate to severe limbal stem cell deficiency due to physical or chemical burns. Left untreated, the condition can result in blindness. Holoclar is a living tissue product made from a biopsy taken from a small undamaged area of the patient?s cornea and grown in the laboratory using cell culture. ...
Philippine health minister resigns over vaccine purchase
19 Dec 2014 at 5:01am
MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino has accepted the resignation of his health minister over the purchase of pneumonia vaccines in 2012 which government investigators later questioned, a spokesman said on Friday. Health Secretary Enrique Ona, who has been on leave since October, submitted his letter of resignation on Thursday even before the completion of a government inquiry into four deals at his ministry. "The President has accepted his resignation effective today," Herminio Coloma, the president's press secretary, told reporters in a text message. ...
Double blow for Roche as breast cancer, Alzheimer's studies fail
19 Dec 2014 at 4:58am
By Silke Koltrowitz and Ben Hirschler ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Roche suffered a double blow on Friday as two clinical studies of drugs for breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease failed, sparking the biggest percentage fall in its stock in five years. The Swiss drugmaker said it was ending a late-stage study of experimental Alzheimer's drug gantenerumab after it failed to prove effective, underlining the difficulty of treating the memory-robbing disease and removing "blue sky" upside for the shares. ...
Orexigen diet pill recommended for approval in Europe
19 Dec 2014 at 4:49am
LONDON (Reuters) - A new diet pill from Orexigen Therapeutics Inc has been recommended for approval in Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday. The drug, known as Contrave in the United States, will be marketed as Mysimba in Europe. The medicine won U.S. approval in September and is a combination of the antidepressant bupropion and Orexigen's formulation of naltrexone, designed to prevent drug dependence. ...
School Takes Away Blind Boy's Cane as Punishment for Acting Up
19 Dec 2014 at 4:19am
A school took away an 8-year-old blind boy's cane as punishment for acting up and replaced it with a pool noodle, his father told ABC News.
Alstom shareholders back 12.35 billion euro sale of power arm to GE
19 Dec 2014 at 4:06am
PARIS (Reuters) - Alstom shareholders on Friday backed with 99.2 percent of votes the French engineering group's plan to sell most of its power equipment business to General Electric and refocus on its smaller rail arm.
U.S. environment agency set to issue long-anticipated rules for coal ash disp...
19 Dec 2014 at 4:03am
By Jonathan Kaminsky (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is due to issue long-anticipated regulations on Friday for the disposal of coal ash, a byproduct of coal-based power production that contains toxic materials such as arsenic and lead. The agency, which agreed to the Friday deadline to settle a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, first proposed rules governing coal ash storage in 2010. That was in the wake of a massive spill at a ruptured holding pond in Tennessee that has cost more than $1 billion to clean up. ...
Harmful road traffic noise affects a quarter of Europeans: study
19 Dec 2014 at 3:59am
OSLO (Reuters) - Harmful levels of road traffic noise affect one in four people in Europe and raise health risks ranging from sleepless nights to heart disease, the European Environment Agency said on Friday. In a first EEA assessment of the impact of noise pollution in Europe, it said the din undermines the ability of children to concentrate in some schools and disrupts nature, for instance by drowning out the songs birds use to attract mates. ...
Mozambique legalises abortion to stem maternal deaths
19 Dec 2014 at 3:51am
Mozambique has legalised abortion, making it one of the few countries in Africa to allow women to terminate unwanted pregnancies. President Armando Guebuza on Thursday quietly signed into law a revised penal code bill that eases prohibitions in abortion regulations, a move hailed by health groups. In Mozambique, the earlier law outlawing abortion, except in cases where the mother?s life or health is endangered, dates to the late 19th century, when the mainly Catholic Portuguese controlled the country. The other major creed in Mozambique is Islam, a faith which also does not support abortion.
How GE changed tack on Russia
19 Dec 2014 at 3:44am
By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - About five years ago, General Electric Co, the largest Western player in Russia's market for medical equipment, uncovered pervasive corruption in its Russian business. Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, then chief executive of GE Germany and Developed Markets, told an investor conference in 2012 that senior management became aware of the problems around 2009. "We had to eliminate more than half of our healthcare organization because we discovered that they were happily scamming our customers, scamming against us and scamming against the government," Beccalli-Falco told the conference. A GE spokesman said Beccalli-Falco did not wish to comment, and the company declined to comment on its Russian business.
Special Report: Opaque middlemen exact high price in Russia's deals with the ...
19 Dec 2014 at 3:44am
By Tom Bergin and Stephen Grey MOSCOW/LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Russia pays hugely inflated prices for vital medical equipment made by Western companies, in part because some manufacturers channel sales through obscure intermediary companies, a Reuters examination has found. These middlemen firms, which have no easily traceable owners or offices, add mark-ups that mean Russian state hospitals frequently pay two or three times more than hospitals in the West for the same equipment. A Reuters examination of Russian customs data and state procurement records shows the price differences can be hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single item. An analysis of 20,000 transactions dated between January 2006 and July 2013 found that international companies sold Russia medical devices worth more than $2.8 billion through more than 150 obscure companies and partnerships.
U.N. chief, visiting Ebola countries, urges respect for health rules
19 Dec 2014 at 3:39am
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg MONROVIA (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, starting a visit to Ebola-hit countries in West Africa, urged local communities to strictly follow health regulations in the face of signs that traditional funerals are still spreading the disease. Ban arrived in Liberia on Friday at the start of a two-day tour of four nations struck by the worst ever outbreak of the deadly haemorrhagic fever, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali. ...