Health News Roundup: Night shifts, unhealthy lifestyle may be recipe for diabetes; Chemicals in cosmetics, soaps tied to early puberty in girls
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Pediatricians want parents to stop giving toddlers digital toys
All those interactive digital toys and mobile apps designed for little kids are exactly the type of gifts parents should take off their holiday shopping lists, U.S. pediatricians say. That's because just like parking kids in front of the television, giving them tablets and smartphones to play games or handing them digitally enhanced toys gets in the way of creative play and interactions with caregivers that are essential for child development, according to a clinical report released on Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Dutch firm argenx, J&J affiliate to collaborate on cancer therapy
Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical company argenx SE said it signed a deal with Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies unit, to develop its Cusatuzumab drug in certain types of cancer. The deal, which is potentially worth up to $1.6 billion, represents a global collaboration and licensing agreement for the cancer drug Cusatuzumab, the company said.
Exclusive: Delhi city government bars Bloomberg-funded charity from tobacco control work
A small Indian non-profit funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies will not be allowed to carry out tobacco-control work in New Delhi after it failed to disclose its funding, according to a city government official and a memo seen by Reuters. Other foreign-funded organizations will need to seek prior approval in the future for anti-tobacco activities in the Indian capital, the official also said.
Amgen's AMG420 shows responses in myeloma trial, gets FDA fast track
Amgen Inc, updating the first trial of its bispecific antibody for multiple myeloma, on Monday said seven out of ten patients given the second-highest dose of AMG420 responded to the drug, including four with no detectable cancer. Six patients were still responding at 7.5 months of follow-up, according to research presented in San Diego at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.
Night shifts plus unhealthy lifestyle may be recipe for diabetes
Women who work rotating night shifts and also have unhealthy lifestyle habits may be much more likely to develop diabetes than peers with only one of these risk factors, a large U.S. study suggests. In the study of female nurses, every five years of working a mix of night and daytime shifts was associated with a 31 percent increase in risk of developing diabetes. Each of four unhealthy habits - drinking, smoking, failing to exercise and eating poorly - was associated with a more than doubled diabetes risk.
Despite innovation, Europeans wait years for new cancer drugs
Rapid advances in cancer science have increased the number of new oncology drugs being developed, but delays in regulation and approvals mean patients in Europe often wait years to be able to access them, researchers said on Tuesday. A report led by Britain's Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) found the average time from the start of a drug's early stage, or Phase I, clinical trials to a marketing licence being granted by European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulators grew to 9.1 years in 2009 to 2016, from 7.8 years in 2000 to 2008.
Roche says Hemlibra effective in pivotal study
Roche's Hemlibra provided sustained bleed control in the largest pivotal study to date of children with a form of haemophilia, the Swiss drugmaker said on Monday. Nearly 77 percent of children receiving Hemlibra once weekly experienced no treated bleeds, while Hemlibra once weekly reduced treated bleeds by 99 percent compared to prior bypassing agents, it said in a statement. Hemlibra every two weeks and every four weeks also showed clinically meaningful control of bleeding, it added.
Novartis SMA treatment could get FDA approval in May
Novartis's gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) could be approved in May 2019 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed to an accelerated review of the Swiss drugmaker's treatment. Novartis SMA treatment, now called Zolgensma, said on Monday it won FDA priority review after submitting clinical trial results for 15 patients, all of whom are alive at 24 months. The treatment may become one of the most-expensive one-time therapies ever, with Novartis pegging its value at $4-$5 million per patient.
WHO looks at standards in "uncharted water" of gene editing
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that gene editing may have "unintended consequences" and said it was establishing a team of experts to set clear guidelines and standards after studying ethical and safety issues. The Chinese government last Thursday ordered a temporary halt to research activities for people involved in the editing of human genes, after a Chinese scientist said he had edited the genes of twin babies.
Chemicals in cosmetics, soaps tied to early puberty in girls
Girls who are exposed before birth to chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, makeup, soap and other personal care products may hit puberty earlier than their peers who aren't exposed to these chemicals in the womb, a U.S. study suggests. Many chemicals have been linked to early puberty in animal studies including phthalates, which are often found in scented products like perfumes, soaps and shampoos; parabens, which are used as preservatives in cosmetics; and phenols, which include triclosan, researchers note in Human Reproduction. While this is thought to interfere with sex hormones and puberty timing, few studies have explored this connection in human children.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(With inputs from agencies.)