Health News Roundup: U.S. FDA approves expanded use of J&J's cancer cell therapy; Judge slashes Bayer $1.56 billion Roundup verdict to $611 million and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 06-04-2024 19:14 IST | Created: 06-04-2024 18:35 IST
Health News Roundup: U.S. FDA approves expanded use of J&J's cancer cell therapy; Judge slashes Bayer $1.56 billion Roundup verdict to $611 million and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Tennessee court weighs blocking abortion ban during pregnancy complications

A Tennessee state court on Thursday weighed a bid by a group of doctors and women to block officials from enforcing the state's near-total ban on abortion in instances when dangerous pregnancy complications arise. Lawyers for seven women who were denied abortions following pregnancy complications and two doctors told the three-judge panel in Tennessee's Twelfth Judicial District Court in Nashville that a medical exception in the state's abortion ban was so vague that physicians were turning away patients seeking emergency care.

U.S. FDA approves expanded use of J&J's cancer cell therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday allowed the expanded use of Johnson & Johnson and Legend Biotech's Carvykti cell therapy as an earlier treatment for patients with a type of blood cancer.

Bird flu dairy cow outbreak widens in Ohio, Kansas, New Mexico

Bird flu has infected a dairy herd in Ohio for the first time and was detected in additional herds in Kansas and New Mexico, according to the U.S. government, expanding an outbreak in cows that has raised concerns about possible risks to humans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed infections in herds across six states since it first reported cases in Texas and Kansas on March 25.

CDC issues health alert for bird flu infection in US

The U.S. CDC on Friday issued a health alert to inform clinicians, state health departments and the public of a case of avian influenza in a person who had contact with dairy cows presumed to be infected with the virus. The farm worker from Texas was reported to be infected on April 1, making it the second case of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, identified in a person in the United States.

US FDA approves Daiichi, AstraZeneca drug for treatment of solid tumors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave accelerated approval for the expanded use of Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca's drug to treat patients with a type of solid tumor.

The drug, sold under the brand name Enhertu, originally won U.S. approval in late 2019 as a third-line treatment for HER-2-positive breast cancer patients, and the fresh approval opens the treatment across multiple HER2-expressing solid tumors.

AstraZeneca's Imfinzi improves survival in late-stage lung cancer trial

AstraZeneca said on Friday its blockbuster cancer drug Imfinzi helped improve survival in patients in the early stages of an aggressive type of lung cancer, making it the first such immunotherapy to meet two key trial goals. In a late-stage trial, the drug demonstrated "statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement" in both overall survival and slowing the progression of the cancer in patients for whom the disease had not worsened following chemoradiotherapy, according to the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker.

J&J boosts heart device business in $13.1 billion Shockwave deal

Johnson & Johnson on Friday agreed to buy Shockwave Medical in a deal valued at $13.1 billion including debt, as it builds its cardiac-health-centric medical devices business to help drive growth. J&J has offered $335 per share in cash that values the equity portion at $12.5 billion, based on Reuters' calculations. The offer also represents a 17% premium to the stock's closing price in late March, when the Wall Street Journal reported J&J's interest in Shockwave, whose shares were currently trading at $326.82.

Boehringer to lay off salespeople as Humira biosimilar sales lag

Boehringer Ingelheim on Thursday said it will lay off some of its U.S. salesforce due to poor sales there of its biosimilar version of AbbVie’s blockbuster arthritis treatment Humira. The German drugmaker said it planned to reduce its customer-facing teams in favor of a hybrid in-person and virtual sales model by June 30, in large part because pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) had kept branded Humira on their lists of medicines for reimbursement.

Judge slashes Bayer $1.56 billion Roundup verdict to $611 million

A Missouri judge slashed a $1.56 billion verdict against Bayer to $611 million for three people who claimed its Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, by reducing punitive damages. Bayer said on Friday it is appealing. The German company's Monsanto unit had been found liable in November by a Cole County, Missouri, jury to Valorie Gunther of New York, Jimmy Draeger of Missouri and Daniel Anderson of California, who blamed their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on their exposure to Roundup.

US FDA allows expanded use of J&J, Bristol Myers cell therapies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed cell therapies of Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb to be used for treating patients in the earlier stages of a type of blood cancer, the companies said on Friday. Both J&J and Bristol Myers' therapies helped extend the time that patients lived without disease progression in late-stage studies — more than when patients received 'standard of care' treatments, the companies said in separate statements.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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