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A year or more after a single infusion of axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta, Gilead Sciences), 42% of lymphoma patients continued to respond to therapy––including 40% with a complete remission.  Gilead’s Kite subsidiary announced long-term follow-up data from the pivotal ZUMA-1 study of axicabtagene…
The combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin) improved progression-free survival compared with sunitinib (Sutent, Pfizer) as initial treatment for patients whose advanced kidney disease expressed programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in the phase 3 IMmotion151 trial, Genentech has…
Sildenafil citrate (Viagra, Pfizer), the little blue pill with big annual sales, has gone generic. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has announced the launch of its version, and Pfizer is offering its own generic that ditches the blue color (it’s white) and half of the $65-a-pill retail price. Viagra…
Patients with an advanced type of lung cancer had a 38% lower risk of death or worsening disease when atezolizumab (Tecentriq) was added to their regimen of bevacizumab (Avastin) and chemotherapy in the phase 3 IMpower150 study, Genentech has announced. The pivotal IMpower150 study compared treatment…
Treatment with SAGE-217 (Sage Therapeutics) led to significant improvements on a depression rating scale and remission among 64% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) at day 15, according to phase 2 data released by the company.  “If successfully developed, SAGE-217 has the potential to…
About 15 million Americans will have either Alzheimer's dementia or mild cognitive impairment by 2060, up from approximately 6.08 million this year, according to a new study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The findings highlight the need to develop measures that could slow…
The FDA has approved semaglutide injection 0.5 mg or 1 mg (Ozempic, Novo Nordisk), a once-weekly glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type-2 diabetes. The medication is administered once weekly, on the…
French drug-maker Sanofi will shut down further development of its Clostridium difficile vaccine following a review by an independent data-monitoring committee that found the study unlikely to meet its primary goal, according to a BioPharma Dive report. The trial, known as Cdiffense, tested Sanofi’s…
And the lines, they are a blurring. Just days after CVS Health announced that it wants to buy Aetna for $69 billion, another megadeal looks to further integrate different functions in the health care system. Optum’s proposed purchase of DaVita Medical Group means that the nation’s largest insurer…
The proposed purchase of Aetna Inc. by CVS Health Corp. will change the way many major U.S. corporations buy health coverage for employees and raise new questions over the cost of those benefits, benefit consultants said. CVS said Sunday it planned to buy Aetna for $69 billion, according to a Reuters…
The FDA has approved ixekizumab injection 80 mg/mL (Taltz, Eli Lilly and Company) for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Ixekizumab was first approved by the FDA in March 2016 for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic…
Evolocumab (Repatha, Amgen) has become the first PCSK9 inhibitor approved by the FDA to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and coronary revascularizations in adults with established cardiovascular disease. The FDA also approved evolocumab to be used as an adjunct to diet, alone or in combination with other…
In what’s being described as a landmark deal in the health care industry, CVS Health has agreed to buy Aetna for $69 billion, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. Unlike the proposed deals that would have allowed the mergers of Cigna and Anthem, and Aetna and Humana—which the courts barred this…
The FDA has approved trastuzumab-dkst (Ogivri, Mylan) as a biosimilar to trastuzumab (Herceptin, Genentech) for the treatment of patients with breast or metastatic stomach cancer (gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma) whose tumors overexpress the HER2 gene (HER2+). Ogivri is the first…
The FDA has approved Sublocade (Indivior Inc.), the first once-monthly injectable buprenorphine product for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients who have initiated treatment with a transmucosal buprenorphine-containing product. It is indicated for patients…

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