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  • *Ending Phase III trial with Alzheimer's drug gantenerumab. ZURICH/ LONDON, Dec 19- Roche said on Friday it would discontinue a late-stage study of an experimental Alzheimer's drug after it failed to prove effective, underlying the difficulty of treating the memory-robbing disease. Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, already afflicts 44 million...

  • Correction: Meningitis Outbreak story Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:46 PM ET

    BOSTON— In a story Dec. 17 about arrests in a deadly meningitis outbreak, The Associated Press erroneously reported Stuart Delery's title. BOSTON— Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips. Federal prosecutors leveled those allegations in bringing charges Wednesday against 14 former owners or employees of a Massachusetts pharmacy in...

  • Merck buys Swiss biotech with promising cancer drug Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:16 PM ET

    KENILWORTH, N.J.— Drugmaker Merck says it's bought a Swiss biotech company developing cancer drugs as part of its strategy to be a top player in cancer, one of the hottest pharmaceutical research areas. Merck& Co., based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, will pay up to $110 million upfront to OncoEthix. The privately held company could receive further payments of up to $265...

  • A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:53 AM ET

    So far, Timothy Ray Brown, a U.S. man treated in Germany, remains the only person thought to have been cured of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Gero Huetter of the University of Berlin. In a research letter in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, Huetter tells of six other patients with HIV and various blood cancers who received similar...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- An experimental vaccine against shingles from GlaxoSmithKline met its goal in a late-stage study, in a boost for the company's vaccine unit, which is expanding part of its overall healthcare business. The adjuvant includes a component from U.S. biotech firm Agenus, which is entitled to royalties on any future sales. Merck& Co already sells another...

  • Obesity can be deemed a disability at work: EU Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

    Europe's top court ruled that obese people can be considered as disabled, meaning they would be covered by an EU law barring discrimination at work.

  • European court rules obesity can be a disability Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 6:43 AM ET

    LONDON— Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday— a decision that could have widespread consequences across the 28- nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff. According to Jacob Sand, Kaltoft's lawyer, the ruling means employers will have an "active obligation" to cater to the needs of their...

  • Study: Removing clot helps limit stroke disability Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:02 PM ET

    For the first time in two decades, a new treatment has been shown to limit the damage from a common type of stroke. Researchers in the Netherlands found that mechanically removing a clot in addition to using a standard clot-busting medicine lowered the risk that a stroke sufferer would end up seriously disabled. In fact, three studies published last year in the...

  • Bird flu found in wild birds in Washington state - USDA Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:18 PM ET

    Dec 17- Two strains of avian influenza have been confirmed in wild birds in Washington state, near the U.S. border with Canada, but there is no immediate cause for public health concerns, U.S. agriculture officials said on Wednesday. The other strain, H5N8, was found in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds, the USDA said. Neither virus has been...

  • Dec 17- Amgen Inc on Wednesday said its new type of treatment for a deadly form of leukemia would cost about $178,000 when it becomes available on Thursday, which would make it one of the world's most expensive cancer drugs. "We believe the price reflects the significant clinical, economic and humanistic value of the product to patients and the healthcare system,...

  • EXCLUSIVE-Amgen leukemia drug to carry $178,000 price tag Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 11:28 AM ET

    Dec 17- Amgen Inc on Wednesday said its new type of treatment for a deadly form of leukemia would cost about $178,000 when it becomes available this month, which would make it one of the world's most expensive cancer drugs. Company spokeswoman Danielle Bertrand said the price for the infused medicine, called Blincyto, would reflect two courses of treatment, at...

  • Dec 16- Shares of Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc soared about 60 percent on Tuesday after the drug developer said its product for treating chorea, or involuntary movement associated with Huntington's disease, met the main goal in a late-stage study. The shares jumped about to $40 in extended trading after closing at $25.09 on Nasdaq. The company said it was also...

  • Dec 16- Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc said an independent committee had determined that its lead drug was unlikely to show a statistically significant improvement in the survival rates in some leukemia patients. The company's stock plunged nearly 69 percent to 89 cents in premarket trading on Tuesday. The Berkeley Heights, New Jersey- based company's stock...

  • Indoor tanning injuries can require ER treatment Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 6:51 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Indoor tanning injuries have declined but still sent more than 1,000 people to emergency rooms in recent years. Here's a look at what's billed as the first national estimate on these injuries, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:. "That is a safety record all industries should strive to achieve," said John Overstreet, head of the...

  • NY commuter rail takes step toward apnea screening Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 12:20 PM ET

    NEW YORK— A year after a deadly derailment that was blamed on an engineer's sleepiness, the Metro-North Railroad has chosen a contractor to test for sleep apnea. Metro-North said Monday that if the contract is approved, its 410 engineers and about 20 trainees will be screened for the disorder by the railroad's Occupational Health Services Department.

  • Dec 15- Sophiris Bio Inc lost about 80 percent of its market value after interim data showed that its only compound was not effective in treating lower urinary tract symptoms of enlarged prostate. Sophiris Bio, which had touted benign prostatic hyperplasia as a blockbuster indication, said the ongoing late-stage study of the drug was "unaffected" by the data.

  • Cancer patients testing drugs on mouse 'avatars' Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 12:01 AM ET

    Scientists often test drugs in mice. Now some cancer patients are doing the same— with the hope of curing their own disease. It's the wave of the future, "said Eileen Youtie, a Miami woman using mice to guide care for her hard-to-treat form of breast cancer.

  • Bruce Aylward, the head of Ebola response at the World Health Organization, said Sierra Leone was well placed to contain the disease-- its worst outbreak on record-- with infrastructure, organization and aid. While neighboring Liberia has turned the tide of Ebola, and both Mali and Nigeria quickly smothered outbreaks, Sierra Leone has more than 70 percent of cases...

  • Atkins diet co-author sentenced to 41 months Friday, 12 Dec 2014 | 12:03 PM ET

    KANSAS CITY, Kan.— A Kansas obesity specialist who co-authored the "Atkins Diabetes Revolution" has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for tax evasion, the U.S. attorney's office announced Friday. Vernon earned almost $800,000 by working for Atkins' nutrition and weight-loss companies from 2003 to 2008. Prosecutors said that from...

  • Dec 12- ChemoCentryx Inc's shares doubled in value premarket after the company said its experimental drug met the main goal of reducing excessive protein in urine in diabetics with progressive kidney disease after 52 weeks. A sustained reduction in albuminuria- excessive protein in the urine- was induced by the combination therapy, ChemoCentryx said.