Health News Roundup: Google secret project gathers health data of millions of Americans; FDA rejects Lipocine's testosterone drug for third timeReuters | Updated: 12-11-2019 02:33 IST | Created: 12-11-2019 02:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Smaller, thinner, less sweet snacks? Mondelez makes health drive
Snack maker Mondelez will offer more treats in smaller portions and with less sugar, as the company behind Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate responds to consumer demands for healthier products, underlined by a survey released on Monday. Under pressure from governments and health advocacy groups in recent years, chocolate companies including Mondelez and Nestle have raced to develop products with less sugar, in smaller pack sizes and with prominent portion suggestions.
Google secret project gathers health data of millions of Americans: WSJ
Alphabet Inc's Google is teaming up with a health-care company on a secret project to collect personal health-related information of millions of Americans across 21 states, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Google launched "Project Nightingale" last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, according to the report, citing people familiar with the matter and internal documents.
Hair care issues may keep some black women from exercising
Primary care providers often don't realize that hair care can be a barrier to regular exercise for some black women, a new study suggests. Hair care routines aren't a barrier for every African American woman, said study leader Dr. Sophia Tolliver, "but they are for a significant enough number."
AstraZeneca succeeds in treating lupus in late-stage study
AstraZeneca Plc said on Monday its experimental treatment significantly reduced disease activity in patients with autoimmune disorder lupus, in a late-stage study. The results pit the British drugmaker's anifrolumab against rival GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Benlysta - the only new drug approved for lupus in the last 60 years.
Nigeria's mental health system routinely chains patients up, says Human Rights Watch
Thousands of people with mental health conditions are held in chains in institutions across Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Monday in which it urged the government to ban the practice. The findings come as authorities have taken action against informal Islamic schools and rehabilitation centers whose inmates have been subjected to widespread physical abuse with many held in chains. Some 1,500 people have been freed in raids since late September.
Roche sets sights on Novartis, Biogen as SMA trial hits target
Roche's bid to rival Biogen and Novartis in treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) got a lift on Monday when the Swiss drugmaker said its drug risdiplam improved motor function of patients in a key study. Roche, which plans to seek approval for the investigational medicine this year, said its SUNFISH trial demonstrated statistically significant improvements in patients aged 2-25 years with Type 2 or 3 SMA, compared to a placebo.
Many black, elderly U.S. lung cancer patients don't get recommended care
Only about 60% of lung cancer patients get recommended treatments like chemotherapy and radiation that are linked to better survival odds, and a new study suggests rates are even lower for black and elderly patients. Researchers examined data on 441,812 patients diagnosed with lung cancer between 2010 and 2014. Overall, almost 22% received no treatment at all. Another 16% received less intensive treatment than National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend for optimal survival odds.
Merck wins European approval for first-ever Ebola vaccine
U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co Inc on Monday received approval from the European Commission to market (http://bit.ly/2NZ0QMB) its Ebola vaccine, less than a month after a European medicines panel backed the first-ever vaccine against the deadly virus. The vaccine, Ervebo, is approved for individuals aged 18 years and older and has already been used under emergency guidelines to try to protect against the spread of a deadly Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Trump to meet with vaping industry as he mulls tighter regulation
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he will be meeting with vaping industry representatives as his administration considers tightening e-cigarette regulations amid a nationwide outbreak of vaping-related injuries and deaths. "Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma. Children's health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!" he wrote on Twitter.
FDA rejects Lipocine's testosterone drug for third time
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday declined to approve Lipocine Inc's oral drug to treat a condition that results in lower production of male sex hormone for the third time, sending the drug developer's shares down 34%. The company said a letter from the regulator indicated the application could not be approved in its present form as Lipocine's trial did not meet three secondary goals that were designed to assess if higher levels of testosterone in patients could raise safety concerns.