US FDA Expands Gene Therapy Use; Legal Rulings and Health Sector Innovations

The U.S. FDA approved expanded use of Sarepta's gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spiking shares. A Texas judge ruled against a Biden policy on hospital web trackers. Health sector updates also include cyberattacks, legal probes, and corporate partnerships impacting patient care globally.

Reuters | Updated: 21-06-2024 18:30 IST | Created: 21-06-2024 18:30 IST
US FDA Expands Gene Therapy Use; Legal Rulings and Health Sector Innovations
AI Generated Representative Image

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

US FDA approves expanded use of Sarepta's Duchenne gene therapy; shares jump

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed the expanded use of Sarepta Therapeutics' gene therapy for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy aged four and older on Thursday, sending the company's shares up 36% in extended trading. The agency gave traditional approval to patients four years and above who can walk, as well as accelerated approval for those who cannot.

Biden-era policy against hospital web trackers unlawful, judge rules

A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ruled that guidance issued by President Joe Biden's administration that bars hospitals and other medical providers from using online tracking technologies that monitor users of their websites was unlawful. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Fort Worth sided with two hospital trade groups including the American Hospital Association and two local healthcare systems in finding that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority when it adopted the privacy-promoting guidance policy.

Sarepta surges as investors cheer expanded use of gene therapy

Sarepta Therapeutics shares surged about 36% in premarket trading on Friday as an expanded use approval opened up a bigger market in the U.S. for its gene therapy for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted traditional approval for the therapy, Elevidys, in patients four years and above who can walk, as well as an accelerated approval for those who cannot.

Lawmakers in Philippines push for probe into Pentagon's anti-vax propaganda operation

Lawmakers in the Philippines, including the head of the Senate's foreign relations committee, are seeking an investigation into a secret U.S. military propaganda operation that aimed to cast doubt among Filipinos about China's vaccines during the height of the COVID pandemic. Philippine Senator Imee Marcos, who chairs the foreign relations committee, and House Representative France Castro filed resolutions in the country's Congress this week to initiate the probe, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Takeda gives Sun Pharma, Cipla rights to commercialize gastro drug in India

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical gave India's Sun Pharmaceutical and Cipla the rights to commercialize gastrointestinal drug Vonoprazan in the country. The drug, which is sold in the form of tablets under the brand name 'Voltapraz', blocks a key step in the production of stomach acid, Sun Pharma said on Friday. Cipla announced the agreement late on Thursday.

Nestle, Coke take cautious approach to catering to Ozempic users

Nestle's new food brand for people taking weight-loss drugs like Wegovy will note that the meals are high in protein, fiber and nutrients, but will not name the blockbuster medications, a company executive told Reuters. The world's largest food maker is keeping the names of the drugs off the packaging due to regulatory concerns, Tom Moe, Nestle USA's president of meals, said in a recent interview. Nestle will instead market its Vital Pursuit line of $5-and-under frozen meals on social media, he said.

UnitedHealth issues breach notification on Change Healthcare hack

UnitedHealth Group issued a public notice about the February ransomware hack on its Change Healthcare unit on Thursday as part of its requirements to notify the estimated one-third of the country whose private data may have been exposed in the attack. UnitedHealth said it expects to begin mailing letters to potentially affected individuals in late July but that it may not have addresses for all of them. The company said individuals can enroll in free credit monitoring for two years.

Britain's NHS investigates claims hackers published stolen patient data

Britain's National Health Service said on Friday it was investigating claims that hackers had published confidential data stolen from several London hospitals in a cyber attack on a blood testing lab. Services at large London hospitals including Guy's, St Thomas' and King's services were still being disrupted following the attack by hackers reportedly demanding ransom from Synnovis, a lab company which provides testing services, on June 3.

WHO issues warnings on fake copies of Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drugs

The World Health Organization on Thursday issued warnings on fake drugs claiming to contain the active ingredient found in Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic and weight-loss treatment Wegovy. Surging demand has outpaced supply for Ozempic, Eli Lilly's Mounjaro and other GLP-1 drugs that promote weight loss, fueling a growing global market for counterfeit versions.

Intense heat in Gaza could worsen health crisis for Palestinians, WHO warns

The World Health Organization warned on Friday that scorching heat in the Gaza Strip could exacerbate health problems for Palestinians displaced by Israeli bombardment and heavy fighting between its forces and Hamas militants. The World Food Programme has warned that a massive public health crisis is looming in Gaza due to the lack of clean water, food and medical supplies.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback