Archive by category | Drugs, drugs and more drugs

Anemia drug recalled amid safety concerns in dialysis patients

Vials of Omontys

After less than a year on the market, a long-acting anemia drug called Omontys (peginesatide), a once-monthly injection used by people with chronic kidney disease, was recalled over the weekend, after US regulators received 19 reports of severe allergic reactions, including some deaths. Shares of Affymax, the Palo Alto, California–based company behind the product, were down 85% today on the news.  Read more

Antibody–drug combo approved for fighting breast cancer

Antibody–drug combo approved for fighting breast cancer

Drug regulators in the US have already approved a handful of drugs for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease in which a cell surface protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2, or HER2, is elevated. Although most women with this type of cancer respond well to at least one of the existing anti-HER2 therapies, some individuals with HER2-positive breast tumors develop drug resistance and remain unresponsive to further treatment. For these women, a new drug combination approved earlier today offers hope.  Read more

Ahead of WHO meeting, experts clash over tuberculosis targets

Diagnostics tubes in a Tanzania clinic show the need for updating tools

The deadline for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is fast approaching, and global governance bodies including the World Health Organization (WHO) are already busy discussing what they might propose for the list of new aims going forward. Tuberculosis was named within goal number 6 in the initial set of MDGs, a set of international developmental targets established by the UN 13 years ago, but the objective was to simply reduce its global incidence. So, as health officials take stock of targets, the tuberculosis community is itching to get its goals included with more definition in the post-2015 development agenda. They will meet to discuss a consensus on the appropriate post-2015 tuberculosis goals at a two-day meeting, sponsored by the WHO, taking place in Geneva beginning 7 February. “My aim is to reach a consensus right now,” says Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB Department in Geneva. “If we wait, we may miss the train.”  … Read more