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  • LONDON, March 17- Other big drugmakers may be reshaping their businesses but Novo Nordisk's focus on diabetes will get even bigger in the coming decade, according to the man most likely to be the Danish company's next boss. Kaare Schultz, who was made deputy chief executive in January 2014 and is the frontrunner to eventually succeed 60- year-old Lars Sorensen,...

  • If confirmed, it could alter recommendations for preventing colorectal cancer, which is projected to kill 49,700 people in the United States this year. Richard Wender of the American Cancer Society and Thomas Jefferson University called the discovery "scientifically noteworthy." The new research, funded largely by the U.S. National Institutes of Health,...

  • The review comes two days ahead of a meeting of FDA advisers to discuss the combination treatment, Breo Ellipta, and recommend whether or not it should be approved to treat asthma. The FDA staff said on Tuesday there were no asthma-related deaths in Breo Ellipta studies it reviewed and that data on asthma-related hospitalizations were not observed uniformly...

  • March 17- GlaxoSmithKline Plc's respiratory treatment for chronic breathing problems did not show any new safety problems in treating asthma, a preliminary review by U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff found. The review comes two days ahead of a meeting of FDA advisers to discuss the combination treatment, Breo Ellipta, and recommend whether or not it...

  • March 17- Esperion Therapeutics Inc said its experimental drug showed greater reductions in cholesterol levels in patients on statins, compared with a placebo, in a mid-stage study. Many patients taking statins continue to have high LDL levels and are unable to tolerate its dosage, Chief Executive Tim Mayleben said. Esperion announced results from another...

  • LONDON, March 17- The world's first venture capital fund dedicated to finding new ways to prevent and treat dementia has raised $100 million with the backing of the British government and several of the world's leading drugmakers. Drug companies involved include GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson& Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Biogen Idec. The initiative, announced by...

  • The widespread use of a combination of drugs that include Gilead Sciences Inc's Sovaldi, known generically as sofosbuvir, will nonetheless be a significant cost for the U.S. healthcare system, researchers wrote. Sovaldi's initial $84,000 price drew widespread criticism last year, and insurers have since pressed Gilead and rival AbbVie Inc to offer steep...

  • March 16- A minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to implant a new heart valve supplying blood to the body is safe for low-risk patients, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in San Diego. Samir Kapadia, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The results presented Sunday are of particular interest for...

  • Feared plant disease found on Australian banana farm Monday, 16 Mar 2015 | 2:12 AM ET

    The so-called Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama disease was confirmed at a farm in Tully in the country's northeast after tests last week, said the government of Queensland. "These positive test results remove any doubt that we are dealing with Queensland's first case of Panama disease Tropical Race 4 on a banana farm," said Dr Jim Thompson, chief biosecurity...

  • CHICAGO, March 16- U.S. authorities are considering imposing tougher restrictions in Arkansas to contain a virulent strain of avian flu in the heart of America's poultry region in a bid to minimize international trade disruptions and contain the virus. The H5N2 flu discovered in Arkansas last week is the state's first case of a strain that causes massive...

  • An analysis of about 4,500 patients who stayed on treatment for nearly a year after completing earlier trials of Amgen Inc's Repatha, also known as evolocumab, found that 0.95 percent of those given the drug and standard therapy suffered a cardiovascular event, compared with 2.18 percent of the group on standard treatment, which ranged from diet changes to...

  • An analysis of about 4,500 patients who continued treatment for nearly a year after completing earlier trials of Amgen Inc's Repatha, also known as evolocumab, found that 0.95 percent of patients given the drug and standard therapy suffered a cardiovascular event, compared with 2.18 percent of the group receiving standard treatment, which ranged from...

  • NEW YORK, March 15- As drugmakers develop new medicines to battle a liver disease epidemic, they have created an urgent need for better diagnostics to select patients for treatment and assess their drugs' effectiveness. About 30 percent of people in the U.S. now suffer from fatty liver diseases, such as NASH, fueled by obesity, diabetes and over-indulgent...

  • LONDON, March 14- Long-term use of AstraZeneca's drug Brilinta can cut the risk of death, another heart attack or stroke in patients with a history of past attacks by 16 percent, a keenly awaited clinical trial showed on Saturday. The finding may boost sales of the blood-thinner, which AstraZeneca is relying on to drive growth, although doctors must balance its...

  • But some wildlife experts are skeptical of suggestions that wild birds are responsible for spreading the H5N2 flu strain that has infected poultry in Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas. A top investigator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that testing performed by the government supports a conclusion that the virus is being carried by waterfowl...

  • *Even in Liberia, misconceptions linger. MONROVIA/ DAKAR, March 13- Seven months after Ebola paralysed Liberia's capital, Friday marked 21 days since the country registered a case of the virus- offering lessons to its neighbours on the importance of surveillance and education in beating the deadly epidemic. At the peak of Liberia's outbreak, the world watched in...

  • Bird flu mutating in China, threatens pandemic Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 | 8:47 AM ET
    A technician deals with test reagents for the H7N9 bird flu virus. Quzhou, China.

    The H7N9 bird flu virus is mutating, and is now a bigger threat than ever to humanity. NBC News reports.

  • Telemedicine abortion case heads to court Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 | 11:53 AM ET
    Iowa's Supreme Court building

    The Iowa Supreme Court is to hear arguments on whether doctors can keep providing abortion pills via telemedicine systems.

  • March 10- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it approved United Therapeutics Corp's drug to treat an aggressive form of neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that typically occurs in children below 5 years. Wedbush Securities analyst Liana Moussatos estimated there are about 425 high-risk patients in the United States and 1,275 worldwide.

  • March 10- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it approved United Therapeutics Corp's drug to treat neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that typically occurs in children below 5 years. Unituxin is the first drug approved to treat high-risk neuroblastoma patients who have a greater chance of tumors recurring or progressing after chemotherapy.