FDA approves first-ever drug for rare blood disorder
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment made by Alexion Pharmaceuticals for a rare blood disorder that affects children.
The FDA announced the approval of Soliris (eculizumab) for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare and chronic disease that can lead to kidney failure, stroke and death. According to the FDA, aHUS accounts for 5% to 10% of all cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome.
"This is the first approval of a drug for treating this life-threatening disease, and the first approval for use of Soliris in children," FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products Richard Pazdur said. "This approval underscores how an increased understanding of the biology of the disease and how a drug interacts with that process can expedite drug development."
Ridding homes of bed bugs, one spray at a time
MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Bayer HealthCare’s Rid brand is taking its battle beyond lice with the introduction of Rid home lice, bed bug and dust mite spray.
"Rid is a household name for moms and healthcare professionals, who have dealt with lice, but the same active ingredient that can kill lice and their eggs can now be used for bed bugs," Bayer HealthCare VP U.S. marketing and new business development Barton Warner said.
The spray, which can be used on mattresses, baseboards and moldings as a first step to help eliminate bed bugs, is available in the first aid aisle of most drug stores, the company said.
For tips on how detect and eliminate bed bugs, click here.
Study: Gestational diabetes, prediabetes could increase breast cancer risk in African-American women
WASHINGTON — Researchers have found signaling pathways in cells that may allow earlier detection and prevention of cancer in African-American women.
According to a study presented at the American Association of Cancer Research’s Fourth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Washington, while the pathways can be detected in cells that have not become cancerous, they also are linked to how cells consume and break down sugar, which raises concern that such conditions as gestational diabetes and prediabetes could stimulate precancerous cells and make them cancerous.
"We see a lot of very aggressive, triple-negative breast cancers among young African-American women and a very high death rate, with only 14% alive at five years," Duke University professor of medicine and study researcher Victoria Seewaldt said. "We wanted to figure out why this was occurring among these women."
Seewaldt and her colleagues looked at two independent groups of 39 and 38 premenopausal African-American women who were considered to be at high risk of cancer because they had mothers or sisters who died of breast cancer at an early age.
"We found that in a high proportion of high-risk African-American women, these precancerous cells were taking in a high amount of glucose, and they also had activation of insulin signaling," Seewaldt said. "In these women, we would worry that if they had developed gestational diabetes that the condition could really stimulate precancerous cells."
Seewaldt said that exercise, weight loss and the diabetes drug metformin provided opportunities for preventing aggressive breast cancer in African-American women.
"These are things where a community approach could really make a difference," she said.